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.