Sunday, July 26, 2009

Craig Murray Didn't Deserve Coverage, But UKIP Did

Craig Murray has been whinging in the Mail on Sunday again. "S'not fair," he whines. "The media wouldn't give me any coverage." Perhaps if he had done anything worth reporting, he might have got some media space, but the fact is that the "honest man's" sole noteworthy contribution to the campaign was to put out a virtually libellous leaflet about Chloe Smith. Desperate men... It's rather odd as Mr Murray's entire reputation, such as it is, is built on playing the media for all he's worth.

Whatever I might think of Mr Murray (and I try not to), the media did indeed get the coverage of the candidates from the big parties very wrong. As Nich Starling pointed out yesterday, the BBC in particular gave massive coverage to the Greens, yet managed to completely ignore UKIP. In the event UKIP's vote was substantially higher than Rupert Read's. The Green record in Norwich is what led the BBC to go down that road, but many of us pointed out that their support was largely confined to wards in Norwich South rather than Norwich North.

I do think that the BBC needs to re-evaluate its policy towards UKIP. It has tended them to pigeonhole them along with the BNP in the "too difficult" tray. I understand why, but when they can nearly beat the LibDems in a by-election, perhaps they need to be treated more fairly. I say this not as a supporter of UKIP, but as someone who has come to believe that national broadcasters (and I include ITN and Sky in this) have made very little effort to understand why UKIP is gaining such levels of support or indeed where that support is coming from.

47 comments:

howard thomas said...

The BBC and the press make a point of only 'doing' politics involving the big 3 parties.
What they might do well to reflect on is that 28.5 % of votes cast in Norwich North went to the others----hardly insignificant!!

Gherkin Jenkins said...

A fundamental point here: UKIP do not pick up over 4,000 votes in places like Norwich North because they are anti-EU. They pick up votes because they hate the same politicians that the public do, they want immigration controls but are not racist, they want to take those earning less than £10,000 out of the tax system altogether and want to rip up the Human Rights Act.

This all goes down VERY well on your council estates.

UKIP being pigeonholed with the likes of the BNP and the Greens - who have 2 MEPs each compared to UKIP's 13 - is pretty stupid. If you want to class UKIP as "fringe" then fine (I wouldn't) but there needs to be recognition that after the LibLabCon, there is UKIP, and then another BIG drop off until you come to the rest.

Salmondnet said...

The BBC doesn't give oxygen to UKIP because it diaspproves of its politics. It gives oxygen to The Greens because they are a group of statist lefties, much like the BBC.

There is no point in looking for impartiality in our poll tax funded national broadcaster.

Craig Murray, on the other hand, represents Craig Murray and not much else. He got all the publicity he deserved and then some.

Uncle Bob said...

It is a situation that needs to be looked at by the broadcasters. UKIP will deserve greater coverage in a general election campaign. They have shown strongly in the local, euro and recent by election and are by some way the only party capable of really troubling the big 3 (Well, in England anyway. Farage comes in for a lot of ridicule in some quarters but UKIP have gathered a lot of momentum on the ground). Had they had the greens coverage in Norwich North they may have overtaken the libdems (and taken even more votes off labour)

Flemingcrag said...

When it comes to the BBC treatment of UKIP versus Green Party it is not about indifference, it is about BBC bias and them exercising every opportunity to promote a party peferable to them.
When it comes to SKY my guess is it is just ignorance.
The truth is all the MSM political correspondents are Westminster Village anoraks and are no more in touch with the mood of the Country than the incumbent Government. The majority of them have continued to support it, well past its "sell by date".
More power to the BLOGGERS....

Colin said...

"It's rather odd as Mr Murray's entire reputation, such as it is, is built on playing the media for all he's worth."

Hmmm, that maybe your view. My view is that his reputation was built on sacrificing his career for what he believes in. I know that concept is alien to those of you who spend virtually your entire lives operating inside the political industry, but to some of us, it still means something.

I wonder if we'll be as gushing as Dave, in our praise for Chloe Smith this time next year? I wonder if any of us will even remember who she was?

STB2 said...

UKIP used to be a joke - remember the antics and utterances of Kilroy-Silk and other MEPs? The transformation into a respectable and serious party wasn't sudden or obvious if you weren't paying attention, but getting Marta Andreasen as a candidate was a big step and should have woken the media up. Now they've no excuse.

Mirtha Tidville said...

There is also the factor that a lot of the Tories natural supporters rather like and trust Nigel Farrage a damn sight more than they do Cameron!!!!!!!!!

Benji said...

What is interesting is that UKIP seems to be picking up support from disaffected Labour supporters,which is something I never saw coming.

Witterings From Witney said...

Iain,

Thank you for a fair comment on the non-coverage for UKIP in the Norwich North by-election. I echo the comments of many of those preceeding me.

For a party that is anything but 'fringe' or a 'one-trick-pony' the media, generally, needs to start doing their job properly!

Lady Astor's son in law said...

The BBC are cheerleaders for the EU aka 'the project'.

See also :
the U.N., immigration, 'climate-change', welfarism, etc.

JimmyGiro said...

Iain wrote:

"...a virtually libellous leaflet about Chloe Smith. ...accusing Chloe Smith of almost being the devil incarnate."

Are you nearly saying something?

Anonymous said...

Here we see another reporter (Iain Dale)not able to figure why UKIP does not get coverage.
This is understandable when we understand a cashier in a bank doesnt even know whats going on in her/his managers office, let alone at board level. This is the same of ur average tv/newspaper reporter.
All of the 100's of media outlets in the west are owned by no more than a handful of people, who r very rich and have their own interests.
They lobby all 3 of the main partys. Do they care if con's or Lab get in? No. Cause both will do the job they want done.
I saw on you tube Tony Blair laughing at John Major (at the time pm) cause John was pro EU and wanted a national I.D. card scheme. A few yrs later and suddenly Tony Blair is pro EU and ID card.
In simple Lib,Lab,Con are all basically the same party when it comes to the interests of the elite media interests.
U want change then vote for an independant party who has to appeal to the public and not their high powered friends.
As for the EU. Well it could be the best thing since sliced bread or it could be tyranny. Either way the slave popluation wont get our vote. The only vote we get is for more of the same, or more of the same.

Dick the Prick said...

I agree that Murray may not be too good at campaigning - simple messages, well crafted and repeated often. However, since when is it the job of the meeja to set the template, to manage the terms of how the franchise is to be informed?

These monoliths are dying, they're out of touch, insular, more bothered with themselves than their duty and filled with idiots who aren't (necessarily) biassed just myopic.

It ain't the meeja's job to restrict - it's to report and I think it's time to slowly end the BBC - soft landings, 7 years to end the license fee; can't say fairer really.

Anonymous said...

As one of the voters who received his DVD I have to say that I only managed to watch about half of it.

For a start he seems incapable of stringing a decent sentence together without long pauses, so it just got tiresome. Goodness knows what he would be like if he ever got into parliament.

Secondly he spent too much time trying to retrace his upbringing and earlier life.

Thirdly he seems to think the staggering waste of the EU is just a minor problem, and suggests they are responsible for peace in the region not Nato.

I voted for UKIP

Alex said...

UKIP is like a fruit cake. Quite rich in parts with a sprinkling of nuts on top.

It is hard fr the BBC to take a party seriously when it is run by the likes of Farage or Kilroy-Silk. They might make a decent party spokesman on some issues, but the diea that either of them should ever be PM is just plain frightening.

Anonymous said...

Craig Murray? Who he?

Anonymous said...

In the BBC news on friday at 1:30pm the BBC showed the Greens in 'fourth' place. So they did not have to give UKIP ANY publicity, they then for subsequent news only showed the first three.

The BBC are the SHAMELESS propoganda machine of this discredited labour rubbish.

Pete-s

I Squiggle said...

Yep, the BBC’s promotion of the Greens generally, and specifically the inclusion of them but not UKIP in the Look East ’Face the Candidates’ thing was a major clanger. I’m going to guess there will be much interviews without coffee on that one, and rightly so. I think a FOI request on the relevant emails could be enlightening?

But what gets me more, Iain, is you spelling pigeon with a ‘D’. Lummy, that’s not a typo.

Bob Latchford said...

"It's rather odd as Mr Murray's entire reputation, such as it is, is built on playing the media for all he's worth."

Dear oh dear....Mr Murray's reputation is based on his unswerving work in the field of human rights in Eastern Europe and Africa, and his sacrificing a lucrative career as a British Ambassador on moral grounds.

Still, maybe one day he can dream of being a keyboard commentator and a junior flunkey for the Tory party......

I Squiggle said...

Ooh! You have edited it out..

davina strange said...

I cannot let this pass.

Craig Murray is a self-serving, opinionated ass and Chloe Smith is a fine young woman with a brilliant career as a Management Consultant behind her and an even more brilliant career as a party politician before her

Who would you rather have representing you?

I Squiggle said...

To be serious. ish. The BBC’s treatment of Craig Murray is not in the same league as theirs of UKIP. His was a vanity party. I’m not at all sure he’s the angel he paints himself to be, and standing in a by-election you have no hope of winning tells me a lot. If he stands in another then it would prove he has joined in with the Monster Ravings. UKIP, on the other and, are beginning to look like a party with some momentum. They have clearly put the orange one behind them, and 13 MEPs proves that. Anyone from the top three who rubbishes that is effectively telling the electorate their stupid. A very dangerous game. It’s particularly dangerous for the Conservatives, who need to get an effective counter campaign in place, and soon. If UKIP continue to start translating success in the Euro elections to Westminster, that will harm Cameron in the marginals. So to speak.

I Squiggle said...

“They’re”. On my own petard hoisted..

haddock said...

....a brilliant career as a Management Consultant behind her....

Pray tell us, how old do you need to be to have had a career behind you ?... all of it, not just the 'brilliant' part of it......
then tell us again how old she is

Anonymous said...

Witterings From Witney said...
Iain,

....the media, generally, needs to start doing their job properly!

And pigs might fly!!

David Campbell Bannerman said...

Thank you for this Iain, you make a good point. UKIP only asks for fair and balanced coverage, not for any special treatment.

In the Norwich North by-election it was extremely galling for us to be barred from BBC Question Time hustings having beaten the governing Labour Party just one month before. This bar was done in favour of the Greens, who as you say have a presence in Norwich South but were of equivalent strength in Norwich North, and which we went on to comfortably beat in this by-election. The BBC should be deeply embarrassed by this error.

The facts are that in this by-election UKIP gained the largest increase in vote share of any party - at 9.5% we were higher than the Tories at 7%. We increased our General Election percentage by a factor of 5, and picked up many Labour votes. This is the best by-election performance UKIP has ever had and 11.8% takes us closer to the 17% average voter share we achieved in the Euro elections.

What is happening is that UKIP's electoral appeal is travelling way beyond just the EU issue, and as we continue to roll out new domestic policies ( my job to oversee ! ) we will become increasingly relevant in domestic elections. I believe that UKIP has come of age and that the media are now belatedly waking up to the reality of this.

Best wishes,

David Campbell Bannerman MEP, Deputy Leader and MEP for Eastern Counties

An Activist President said...

In all fairness, the Greens deserved the coverage because of the base of support they still had in Norwich North. Which they do, their council results are evidence to that fact. Did UKIP deserve coverage? Maybe? But why would UKIP deserve coverage in a seat where they have no local representatives, and where all evidence beforehand suggested UKIP did not have a base in Norwich North in any council or parliamentary elections. Perhaps it was a failure by the BBC to grasp the nature of UKIP's populist appeal. I think what is evident now is that UKIP have support, not from Tory voters, but from Labour voters. This is quite surprising seeing that UKIP has little to say on traditional class concerns of housing or jobs, areas which the Greens have policies strikingly similar to traditional, 'old' Labour.

Anonymous said...

Iain
This is from Murray’s blog. Was there something more scurrilous?

Otherwise it seems a tad lame to talk of libel, then I have no knowledge of any blood between yourselves





"But "virtual libel" seems to be Dale speak for "Truths the Tories do not want you to know."

The facts about Ms Smith in the leaflet in question are these:

She was born in Ashford in Kent
She works for Deloitte Touche
Deloitte Touche were accountants and auditors to RBS/NatWest before the crash
Chloe Smith tried to be selected as candidate for Ipswich before being selected for Norwich

Iain Dale does not think you should know any of this - and all of these facts were totally absent from the Tory literature and from Ms Smith's own website. It is apparently "Virtual libel" to tell inconvenient truths about Tories."

Siberian Tory said...

Since the advent of blogs I've come to realise just how lazy journalists and particularly political commentators. I'm currently listening to the Westminster hour and one of the journalist guests said something like "turnout in Norwich North was low; people are turned off by the expenses scandle and they're not coming out to vote" I admit I paraphrase.

I emailed the programme with this:

"Norwich North by election : 45%

By election average from 2001-2005 : 37.9%

Turn out is actually higher than in recent by elections. Typically turnout in a by-election is 17% lower than a general.

Bearing in mind we're 10 months from a general I'm amazed the turnout is as high as 45%.

Incidentally the numbers are taken from House of Commons library research paper 05/34; which I found by googling "by-election turnouts" - it was the 3rd result.

The internet has exposed how lazy much of the professional political commenteriate is."

Norfolk blogger is right; the main stream media is being shown to have no clothes. No wonder they resent bloggers.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I have written to BBC East to compain about the debate on a number of points, but also to complain about their lack of balance, the appalling introduction given to the Lib Dem candidate whilst other candidates were given glowing references, the fact the audience was packed with tory councillors and also including the fact that they failed to include UKIP.

As a Lib Dem I hate to see unfairness in the media.

I would urge everyone else to write to the BBC and complain too.

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

Sorry Dale but Craig Murray has actually done things that are worthwhile, all you've ever done is to write about people doing stuff that's not always worthwhile. You're not in the same class.

I thought Craig was wrong to assume that the BBC's lack of coverage on him was a personal sleight it seems that everyone is agreed that the BBC got its priorities wrong in various ways. Yes, UKIP should have been more coverage but so should the independents. I think we should get off the idea that the BBC is run by reds under the bed, they're just a bit crap at times like many other organisations.

And if a former British Ambassador who was forced out of his post running as an anti-sleaze candidate isn't newsworthy at the moment I don't know what is.

Btw, can you please explain what 'virtual libel' is? And is it a good idea for you of all people to include the words 'libel' and Sunday Mail' in the same place?

acadman said...

A short term triumph for the Tory party, but a long term ominous portent.

Many UKIP-ers, myself included, will have looked at this result as a watershed moment when we became established in domestic politics and seen as more than a single-issue party.

Previously, without wishing to put words in the mouths of others I think most in the party would have returned to the Tory fold when exit from the EU had been achieved (and it will be). Now, however, it seems we have 'arrived'.

With a party of genuinely libertarian convictions permanently encamped on its right flank, this means that there will be much less room for the old Tory cynicism of seeking power for its own sake. Alienated grass roots activists now have somewhere to go to.

A Very Public Sociologist said...

Salmondnet said...

"The BBC doesn't give oxygen to UKIP because it diaspproves [sic] of its politics. It gives oxygen to The Greens because they are a group of statist lefties, much like the BBC."

I'm not a Green, but to say they're statist leftists displays nothing but ignorance about their policies and politics.

And it the contention was true, how do you explain the coverage the BBC has given the BNP since the European elections. They didn't get much in this campaign, but they've sure done better than the Greens in the two months since.

Havocman said...

UKIP get very little coverage on the Beeb as they are anti EU membership - completely the opposite of NuLabour and therefore the BBC.

WV - bummewee

Anonymous said...

"I do think that the BBC needs to re-evaluate its policy towards UKIP."

No the BBC should not have a policy to re-evaluate in the first place. They are not given the right to steal £3.2 billion from the forced subscription for them to have policies or biases.

neil craig said...

UKIP's voter is visibly replacing the liberal Democrats. That is because UKIP are a largely classic liberal party & the LibDems are a coalition of eco-fascists, bustbodies, socialists, middle class bureaucrats defending their state jobs, Eurocrats & supporters of bombing hospitals if the people in there are Christian.

The Greens are very much worse being committed to poverty & ultimately the mass die off of billions of human beings. They are thousands of times more destructive than the BNP could ever hope for & arguably more destructive than Hitler could ever have been. Any politician who cuddles up to them is a traitor to the human race.

Mike Power said...

Surely labelling a perfectly innocuous leaflet as being 'virtually libellous" is itself "virtually libellous", is it not? Perhaps you would care to point out the "virtually libellous" elements of the leaflet in question?

neil craig said...

"I'm not a Green, but to say they're statist leftists displays nothing but ignorance about their policies and politics" Says VP sociologist.

Having a quick look at your blog you did a recent post about improving unity between you SP socialists & Greens so not quite so far from being a Green & they arem't far from being statist leftists then?

Personally I think it is an affront to everything that socialism used to stand for the today's "socialists" are so eager to embrace a movement that stands foursquare against progress, for poverty & going back to the middle ages. This is the socialism of Tamerlaine. At least Stalin was trying to construct something.

Anonymous said...

But how can they cover UKIP?

The EU is too complex for today's media to explain it in easy chunks.

This is compounded by the media bias aginst the EU and the propensity of people to believe the conspiracy theories and the Murdoch/ Associated propaganda in the press.

In fact the whole premise of the party is an untruth in that if the UK tried to leave the EU it would only break up the UK (as Scotland would definitely go independent just to stay in the EU)

The one thing there will never be is UK Independence. English independence quite possibly- but what a price to pay for it.

Funnily enough, although I think they're bonkers I'm quite kindly disposed towards them because at least they're only xenophobes as opposed to the rabid racists and fascists in the BNP who would lead us into civil war on our own island.

Anonymous said...

"Funnily enough, although I think they're bonkers I'm quite kindly disposed towards them because at least they're only xenophobes"

Naturally having a restrictive border policy means you are a xenophobe. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

"Naturally having a restrictive border policy means you are a xenophobe. Nice try."



Er.......... relative to the those of us who believe that immigration controls are immoral, anti- human, anti- historic and anti- nature, it's self-delusion (at best) for UKIPers to claim they're not xenophobic.

Anonymous said...

The EU is the single greatest thing that's ever happened to this continent and this country.

It's saved millions of lives, brought prosperity and freedom to even more and the fact that Murdoch, Desmond and Rothermere don't like it because it might prove an effective opposition to their business and tax practices is probably the best recommendation of all.

transfattyacid said...

"The EU is the single greatest thing that's ever happened to this continent and this country.

It's saved millions of lives, brought prosperity and freedom to even more"

Strange, I thought American and Russian domination of Post War Europe - through NATO and Warsaw Pact - was the reason for the lack of continental wars. And by extension the lack of wars was the reason for the period of economic growth.

UKIP's problem is that they tend to be a bit creepy.

Anonymous said...

"Strange, I thought American and Russian domination of Post War Europe - through NATO and Warsaw Pact - was the reason for the lack of continental wars. And by extension the lack of wars was the reason for the period of economic growth."

@ transfatty acid

You should check up who was signed up to NATO and the Warsaw Pact then. The existence of the EEC/ EU / EFTA kept the war "cold"

It's about much more than "wars"....
Your thinking doesn't really account for events in Portugal, Spain, Greece where military dictatorships were overcome, in Ireland where the meaninglessness of the border enforced a peace settlement & in the former Yugoslavia.

As soon as we get Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan into the EU as Mediterranean nations then we will have peace in the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

"As soon as we get Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan into the EU as Mediterranean nations then we will have peace in the Middle East."

You're delusional but I'm glad not many will sign up for your delusions.

Anonymous said...

"You're delusional but I'm glad not many will sign up for your delusions"




The fact that not many in the UK would sign up is, in EU terms, increasingly irrelevant & smallfry.

It's much more delusional to imagine the entity of the UK will ever leave the the EU without splitting up the United Kingdom.

You can cover your eyes and ears but the Mainland will carry on with or without you.

The Med is just is the next obvious expansion after Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, FYROM.