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Thursday, November 07, 2013

WHat Is UKIP Getting Dollops of - Free Publicity or Censorship?

   Is media coverage of UKIP being deliberately censored? This is from a (well actually the) recent Scotsman article about the party which says the opposite. The Scotsman being nominally the free marketist newspaper in Scotland, should represent the zenith of media toleration of UKIP.

It may be that Ukip’s rise – fuelled in large part by abundant dollops of free publicity – proves temporary. The party’s ability to command media attention out of all proportion to its electoral success cannot last indefinitely. Familiarity may yet breed indifference. Moreover, a good deal of the attention Ukip receives is due to the fact it is a party with plenty of crackpot policies that crackpots find appealing. It often seems to be an organisation founded to appeal to the kinds of people who frequent online comment threads. A party of cranks, malcontents and angry old men, then. This helps win media attention but it comes at a price.

    So to test this disproportionate coverage I sent in this letter:

       I am interested to see that the Scotsman's Alan Massie believes UKIP in Scotland has been getting "abundant dollops of free publicity" & respects the "party’s ability to command media attention out of all proportion to its electoral success". In the Aberdeen and Dunfermline by elections we averaged over 4% of the vote which is 10% of what the SNP get (I admit I wish the proportions were reversed and I suspect some readers may agree). This means Mr Massie must have observed the Scottish media reporting our policies, with our spokespeople, if not as often as they do the SNP's at least a high fraction as often.
       I must admit to not having seen it.
       Where are the interviews about our policy of cutting Scottish income tax (which long predates the alleged Conservative conversion to the same)? Where are the articles in which UKIP, the only party in Scotland opposed to the most expensive and destructive climate change act in the world, in which our dissident view is reported?  Where are the leader writers pointing out that only UKIP, as supporters of cheap shale and nuclear and opponents of subsidising windmills, are the only party actually against fuel poverty? When did he last see a Scottish UKIP spokesperson on BBC Scotland explaining how easy it would be to get out of recession if we reduced political regulatory parasitism?  When did he last see a Scottish UKIP spokesperson on BBC Scotland? Though the Scotsman did an article on the Scottish Tunnel project some years ago when was UKIP's adoption of this (& the other parties' rejection without giving reasons) discussed in these pages? In all the discussion about HS2, which will not reach Scotland, where is the mention of UKIP calling for consideration of a cheaper, faster, commercially funded Hyperloop, which would?   
       A recent poll showed 11% of voters will choose us on the 2nd (list) vote. May I suggest that far from Mr Massie's claim of excess coverage, UKIP in Scotland has been almost as excluded as democrats once were from Pravda.
Neil Craig

 Considering that Massie's claim of disproportionate coverage is not only clearly untrue but the precise opposite of the truth I think allowing readers to say so is the absolute minimum an ethical journalist could do. 
      Readers will be unsurprised to see that neither this (edited) nor any letter  from any other UKIP supporter was published.
      "Dollops of free publicity" - Riiight
      "Coverage out of proportion" - well yes but clearly not in the direction he claims.
      The technical term for a regime where the media is state controlled and censors dissent is Fascism.
       Obviously the censorship of UKIP is deliberate, and in the BBC's case illegal though that only applies if there is a rule of law, which Fascist states don't do. Moreover such coverage as there is strongly avoids any mention of policies, which strongly supports my contention that our policies, underlined above, are more sensible and far more popular (not always the same thing) than those of the cartel.
      Indeed I would challenge anybody on the cartel parties to name 2 policies there party has which are more sensible than UKIP's. Not holding my breath.

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