Nothing illustrates the London-centric media’s hatred of having to move outside its own small world than yesterday’s action – or lack of it – on the campaign trail. While Mil The Younger was having a mare of a day out in Swindon, which is reachable by train from Paddington in less than an hour, this was too much for the Westminster-oriented press pack, although the Miliband mess did make the papers.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
No, if there had to be an awayday – or perhaps that should be away-less-than-half-day, something fifteen minutes from Victoria by fast train – and, remember, Victoria is just a short walk from the Houses of Parliament – was much more to the taste of the hacks and pundits. So it was that even the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) fetched up at UKIP’s “Carnival of Colour” yesterday afternoon.
That Quent had indeed made the trip from Victoria was confirmed: “Go to East Croydon train station, cemented gateway to South London suburbia. Walk past some windblown office blocks, down a subway decorated with 1960s tiles, past multinational shops and American coffee shops: welcome to the Ukip Election Carnival, organised to show that Mr Farage and his party were not horrid racists”.
Gosh, he even walked from the station to the Whitgift centre! Perhaps there was a gathering of press people: even Dan Hodges turned up (why wasn’t he on Miliband’s case in Swindon? Just about sums it up, really). Quent quizzed two Romanian women as to their presence: “Blunt nib in hand, I sought the ladies’ names but they were not inclined to disclose particulars”. Yeah, right.
Here on Zelo Street, we know Quent of old, and his habit of not being sufficiently arsed to take notes. And something else he isn’t good at is understanding how us ordinary oiks live: “Monique Rebeiro, 47, a charity worker, joked she had brought an egg to chuck at Mr Farage but would now have it for her high tea”. Out of touch “middle stump Anglicans” might take high tea. But us commoners don’t, thanks.
But he did elicit one telling piece of information: “I got chatting to the Ukippers, several of whom had travelled down from Bedford”. So Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals have to import their support – and yes, it’s an entirely plausible journey, there’s a direct and frequent train service. Otherwise, all that Letts confirms is that the Mail doesn’t do this sort of thing well – it was reported yesterday already.
So was there any point in his turning up? Ah well. The Mail is clearly concerned about UKIP, as one look at today’s Daily Mail Comment will show. Readers are being urged to shun Mr Thirsty and vote Tory, despite Paul Dacre’s dislike for Young Dave. “Tories can win if they stop demonising UKIP” declares the headline. Yes, how dare they demonise other politicians – that’s the Daily Mail’s job!
Wake up Dacre – you’re too late this time. Cameron won’t be winning this contest.