The campaign by UKIP’s new leader Paul Nuttall, the “Bad Bootle Meff”, to win a parliamentary seat by entering the contest for the Stoke on Trent Central by-election, may have seemed a good idea at the time, but it is now becoming clear that his campaign has progressed not necessarily to his advantage. Bookies are no longer making him the favourite to succeed Tristram Hunt, and the locals remain to be convinced.
An' then I just pointed the gun like this, er, like ...
After he and his predecessor Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had suffered the ignominy of an egg-throwing attack, Nuttall went on the door knock around the constituency. This, too, did not go well, with one resident telling “I’m from Stoke and this clown just knocked [on] my door. It took me about 4 minutes to (calmly and respectfully) destroy every weak, sensationalist, unjustifiably [hyperbolic] point he made until he had no more arguments left to make and resorted to just calling me a ‘loony leftie’”. Way to go, Kippers!
It got worse: Nuttall was then invited to appear on 6 Towns Radio. Now, having tried to pretend he was a local at heart, and seeing the name of the radio station, you might think he would have anticipated the first question - could he name the Six Towns that make up the Potteries (Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton)?
Sadly, Nuttall’s local credentials did not extend to knowing the basics about being, er, local. His parading around in Tweeds like the local squire was also not cutting the mustard. So he has been reduced to, once more, playing the victim. As the Guardian has reported, “The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, has moved house because of fears for his personal safety, the party has said”. What, moved from the house he wasn’t living in in the first place?
It seems so: “Paul Oakden, Ukip’s chairman, said on Saturday that Nuttall’s house in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where the Ukip leader is standing in the forthcoming byelection, had been targeted after the address was shared on social media”. One enterprising Tweeter alleged “A #StokeCentral Rozzer source says @UKIP @PaulNuttallukip's claim of harassment & threats at his 'home' is ‘fantasy’”.
That may be speculation, but after Nuttall’s claims about playing football for Tranmere Rovers (he didn’t), and suggesting he had a Ph.D (he doesn’t), the possibility of further creativity on the UKIP leader’s part could not be discounted. Nor could the suspicion that Nuttall was being seriously economical with the actualité when he claimed that he had been at the fateful FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in April 1989.
Nuttall, with his customary subtlety, said “only ‘scum of the earth’ would suggest this was not true”, but as the Guardian has again reported, “After he added in a newspaper interview last weekend that he did not like to talk about the disaster, the Hillsborough Families Support Group questioned why he had never offered any support, while others who knew him at the time say they have no recollection of him saying he was present during the disaster”. Enquiries will continue. And Michael Crick may be back.
Paul Nuttall’s Stoke campaign is showing signs of coming apart. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving unprincipled, intolerant, ignorant, lying and carpetbagging SOB.