Talking of headaches for Dave, last night’s ICM/Guardian poll has UKIP on 18%, their highest ever rating and double their ICM rating for a month ago. Labour, the Tories and the LibDems all lost four points each, with Labour falling below Ed’s fabled 35% target. UKIP are up nine points. What was that about a referendum?
Record highs in the polls, surpassing expectations in the local elections and never seeing your face off the TV are all well and good, but you haven’t truly made it until you star in a Portuguese rock band’s music video. Apparently Joe x Ppl’s latest offering was inspired by the idea that politicians think the public are less than individuals. All money made from downloads goes to Portuguese charities helping those who have suffered from recent EU-related events…
Guido revealed the guest list at the unlikeliest dinner party of the year in yesterday’s Sun column. At a soiree hosted by Russian billionaire’s son Evgeny Lebedev, Nigel Farage broke bread with celebrity luvvies such as Goldsmith heiress Jemima Khan, Labour’s former prince of darkness Peter Mandelson plus TV personalities Stephen Fry and Janet Street-Porter. “Bonkers” was Nigel’s verdict. Well he wouldn’t want to damage his anti-establishment credentials, would he…
Celebrity endorsement of the day: Des Lynam has come out for UKIP. Casting his vote for Team Farage in Sussex obviously wasn’t enough for Des, who has of course rewritten the lyrics of Send in the Clowns to mark the occasion:
We used to be rich
Now we are not
But here at last there’s a chance
To stop the all rot
Send in the Clowns.
Isn’t it bliss
Don’t you approve
They just kept tearing around
But they wouldn’t move
We need the clowns
Send in the clowns.
They’d never stopped
Opening our doors
Now you are learning
The vote that we wanted was yours
We’ll make our entrance again
With unusual flair
Sure of our lines
Well be right there.
We’ve had the farce
Their fault I fear
We know that you want what we want
No need to fear
They call us the clowns.
So send in the clowns
And give us a cheer.
What a surprise
Who could have thought
You’d come to feel about things
We felt you ought
Only now will they see
You’ve drifted our way
No surprise now
It’s no cliché
Isn’t it strange
Now they have fear
They’ve lost their timing this late
In their careers
And where are the clowns
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don’t bother were here.
To be sung at UKIP conference. Obviously…
UKIP at their highest ever poll rating for YouGov, Tories at their lowest this parliament. 25% of Tory 2010 voters are now backing UKIP. It isn’t as simple as 27+17 beats 38, but food for thought nonetheless…
Last week they were clowns, fruitcakes and racists, now here’s Dave’s new position:
“It’s no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for. It’s right that we show respect for people who supported them. We are going to work hard to win them back.”
What a difference an election makes…
Taxi for the other three leaders…
Our colleagues over at The Sun put 18-year-old politics student Bradley Monk, standing for UKIP to get on the Hampshire County Council seat Winchester Eastgate tomorrow, on page 2 after he put pictures of himself wearing a creepy Jimmy Savile mask on his Facebook page. Further examination of his Facebook reveals him dressed in a bikini having a drunken snog with Eric Cunha, another UKIP activist. Guido thinks we can safely say this is one UKIP candidate who is neither racist or homophobic…
It takes something pretty special to unite the Tories and the Guardian, and then have UKIP and the New Statesman team up against them. UKIP candidate Dick Delingpole’s photoshop of himself with Hitler and subsequent Telegraph blog “confessing” to a non-existent Nazi past were so obviously a joke surely no one could fall for it. Step forward Simon Geraghty, Delingpole’s Tory opponent in Worcester, to bore us all with a cringeworthy sense of humour bypass:
“I find it absolutely sickening and abhorrent. I think the vast majority of British people will find this shocking – it’s not funny at all, it’s dreadful and I can’t believe he’s done it.”
The Guardian‘s Nick Watt even managed to bring himself to write the non-story up in full high-minded glory, apparently using the headline “Ukip in fresh Nazi row after candidate Photoshops Hitler image” without irony. You knew the whole thing had reached farcical proportions when the Staggers came out in defence of Delingpole this afternoon. CCHQ, a Tory candidate and the Guardian versus UKIP, the Staggers and a Delingpole – roll on Friday.
So Priti Patel’s father was publicly a candidate for UKIP for approximately an hour and a half today before it was announced he was standing down. So what happened?
Needless to say that senior UKIP figures were rather excited about securing Mr Patel as a candidate, so much so that one of their senior comms people couldn’t help but cough it to a BBC journalist in the Marquis of Granby, Westminster last night. Unfortunately for the spinner he failed to check who said Beeboid was drinking with – a government special adviser – who promptly went round the corner and immediately called the story in to CCHQ. By the time it broke this afternoon, the Tories were well prepared to kill it and the rest they say is history…
UPDATE: He’s still a candidate say UKIP:
Mr. Patel remains the UKIP candidate for the Bushey South Division in the Hertfordshire County Council elections. He is currently convalescing from a recent serious operation and is unable to conduct any further interviews. Mr. Patel said, “I am proud of being a UKIP candidate and very proud of the achievements of my daughter who represents the people of Witham in an exemplarily fashion. My views are my own and I am astonished that there has been quite so much interest in my candidacy”.
UPDATE II: UKIP sources keen to stress no names mentioned in pub and pressure from CCHQ on Mr Patel only came this afternoon, after James Forsyth’s Tweet. Phone call came during photoshoot, there was a minor wobble but Sushil Patel is on ballot and is a candidate.
Lord Tebbit has accused the BBC and CCHQ of colluding to smear UKIP. While that is going a bit far, his words for Cameron are worth the box office treatment. Writing on his Telegraph blog, Norm has given Dave both barrels:
“The intentions of many one-time Tory voters will have been reinforced by Ken Clarke’s singularly ill-judged rant calling them “clowns”. That has to be as stupid a way of persuading defectors to return to the Conservative fold as Cameron’s rant about closet racists and fruitcakes. If Thursday is a bad day for Mr Cameron, he should have no doubt where the responsibility lies. Certainly, the rest of us will all know who to blame if it is an even worse day for the Conservatives that it need have been.”
Tebbit points out that he will be voting Conservative on the basis of his local council’s record, but is very sympathetic to those without an excuse:
“Of course it may well be that many former Conservative voters are so fed up with the Cameron Coalition that they will turn to Ukip as the party which comes closest to a traditional Conservative agenda, and a reasoned position on the European issue. One can hardly blame them for that.”
You can tell the truth when you are above the law.
The political establishment is gunning for UKIP, Ken Clarke calls them “clowns”, the newspapers are running front page anti-UKIP stories focusing on some of the oddballs who have attached themselves to the fast growing party. Will the all-party, all-papers attack on the anti-politics party halt UKIP’s progress against the media headwind? This morning on the BBC’s Today programme, John Humphreys claimed UKIP’s support came from taxi-drivers – we’ll find out on Friday if their support is a little more broadly based than the BBC makes out.
Britain’s right-wing civil war continues this morning, with UKIP continuing to get the big boy club treatment. Today’s battle ground is the Times take down of UKIP’s “£120 billion black hole”. Tory MP Charlie Elphicke was wheeled out to stick the boot in:
[…] Read the rest
“It is clear that there is a £120 billion financial black hole in UKIP’s economic plans.
Some room-silencing deadpan answers to a series of questions on cycling from UKIP’s local election candidate in East Chesterton, Cambridgeshire. 78-year-old Peter Burkinshaw is taking no prisoners:
[…] Read the rest
Q: What experience do you have of cycling in the Cambridgeshire area?
Ed Miliband has been out and about today campaigning for the local elections:
Not content with the small crowd he pulled for his stump speech, he decided to take his message door to door. Car door to door that is. The Merc driver doesn’t look like he’s feeling the pinch too much:
Talking of crowds, the number of people turning up at UKIP events cannot go unnoticed.[…] Read the rest
A month ago in his Sun column Guido revealed that UKIP are already up and running on the ground in Portsmouth South in anticipation that self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock will be forced out, triggering a by-election. Today Farage has confirmed he is predicting a by-election this summer, telling a press gallery lunch that he thinks UKIP will win.[…] Read the rest
[…] Read the rest
“Years ago, Mrs Thatcher recognised the truth about the European project. She saw that it was about taking away democracy from nation states and handing that power to largely unaccountable people. Knowing as she did that the Euro would not work, she saw that this was a very dangerous design.”