Nigel Farage has written an article on the Independent website about how the UKIP Calypso shows “how skewed people’s priorities are”. The main thrust of his point is summed up in the first paragraph:
How’s this for having your priorities in order: 1,400 young girls are groomed and raped in the North of England, and yet this week we’ve seen a stronger reaction from many on the Left to a calypso song produced by a Ukip supporter.
Later in the article he continues:
Still the obsession over a viral campaign to get a funny song into the charts has dominated the news agenda this week.
I presume Farage is saying that more focus should have been given to the news this week that a number of files have gone missing relating to the Rotherham abuse scandal. I believe the implication Farage wants us to draw is clear. We should not focus on the Calypso when there are other, truly awful, things happening.
His use of an incendiary topic like Rotherham makes it hard for anyone to argue with the position. It is a powerful diversionary tactic and, in our heads, we can probably imagine Mr Farage using it in one of his barnstorming speeches. His “slow-slow-quick” delivery style. His vocal rise and fall. His well delivered anger.
But I believe that this argument is an example of the worst type of political opportunism and misdirection. The type of politics that Farage claims to stand against. I believe it is gross hypocrisy.
The news on Rotherham has continued ever since it was initially uncovered. Virtually every week a new, shocking, revelation has come to light. Yet I did not hear Mr Farage criticising anyone when Rotherham was replaced in media coverage and editorials by the UKIP conference, or Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless’s defections. I did not hear Mr Farage pleading with broadcasters to talk more about Rotherham when he was being asked about UKIP’s first elected MP and the party “making history”. I did not hear Mr Farage offering his time to make adverts for child abuse charities when he was busy filming ones for betting companies. So why the outrage now?
The sad truth is he was only too happy for coverage to move away from Rotherham when it suited him. When he was lauded for delivering a “political shockwave”. When he was invited on the primetime political slots. When he was taking another photo opportunity with another pint in another country pub.
So I ask you, Nigel, how’s that for having your priorities in order?
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Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 28/10/2014
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