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Saturday 8 June 2013

It’s The Daily UKIP – Official!

[Update at end of post]

For some time now, the increasingly downmarket Daily Express has been running a howlingly Europhobic series of front page attacks in support of its “Crusade” to “Get Us Out Of The EU”. And the talking heads of choice are inevitably either out on the fringe of the Tory Party, from anti-EU lobby groups, or UKIP. Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals get a free press pass from the Express.
Pass revoked, was it?

And now it’s official: although he has not said anything personally, Farage confirmed via Twitter that Express chief political commentator Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn, so often a fixture at UKIP get-togethers, has joined the party and is looking to stand as an MEP next year. Clearly the thought of exchanging the misery of the Desmond press for a workplace where Roger Helmer sleeps for much of the day appealed.

Whether this is a purely voluntary initiative, or whether Dirty Des has decided that a full time pundit is a luxury he can do without when there are so many talking heads available for free, and other papers’ copy to lift and recycle, we are not told. The standard of what passes for EU news coming out of the Express could not sink much lower, in any case. Today’s front page lead is a case in point.
Proof Britain Doesn’t Need EU” thunders the banner headline, the conclusion having been reached from a cursory inspection of the latest ONS export figures. The logic goes that, because trade with the rest of the EU has declined slightly, while that with the rest of the world has increased, we no longer need to be in the EU. This is dependent on a number of assumptions.

First and foremost of these is that the trade with other EU member states is either worthless or could be easily substituted. So how much is it worth? Well, it’s worth an annual £16.8 billion, as opposed to £13.1 billion with the rest of the world. That’s more than half our exports, so it ain’t going to be switched elsewhere overnight. And we can’t just do without £16.8 billion of trade.
So we actually do need the EU, Express people. And the growing trade with other countries may just be down to their economies growing, with declining EU numbers being because those economies are in recession. On top of that, the Express assumes that trade with non-EU countries is despite our EU membership, not because of it. So not much “proof” there, then.

I’m sure an ability to churn out this kind of stuff will be eagerly lapped up by UKIP, and some voters may be briefly taken in by it. And all those expenses may appeal to “Lunchtime” O’Flynn, who probably gets grief from Des’ accounts men for using the Tube, instead of taking the bus or walking. But actually doing politics is a very different ball game to just pontificating about it.

Something for the man from the Express to ponder before next year’s elections.

[UPDATE 9 June 1655 hours: "Lunchtime" O'Flynn has at last confirmed his membership of UKIP, and that he is hoping to stand for election in next year's European Elections, on the East of England list.
So, after years of pro-UKIP copy from both "Lunchtime" and the rest of the dwindling band of hacks at the Express, we now have the admission that the paper's chief political correspondent is a party member.

That's something to think about when the next EU scare story with next to zero basis in fact gets splashed over the front page of the Express]

1 comment:

youngian said...

To be fair UKIP do not want to stop trading with the EU anymore than Norway and yes they have a plan; they will persuade 26 countries, each with a veto, to allow the UK to continue with its present single market access but no longer pay a penny to its development, demand a de-facto subsidy by abolishing all employment and consumer regulation and repatriate hundreds of thousands of migrant workers back to the dole queues of their native countries.
And the UK leverage for this plan? Farage has thought of that- "they still want to sell us Mercedes".
So there you have it, any vetoes from any country (many of whom do negligible UK trade) and free market UKIP will start a major industrial import war.