One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

David Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: Today sticks the knife into Ukip

The Today programme’s election centrepiece yesterday was a visit to Bath University by presenter Justin Webb, ostensibly to explore what they clearly saw as one of the burning issues of the campaign: the ‘progressive alliance’.

And bingo! En route, they managed to find a new way of showing how unpopular Ukip is.

Somewhat unusually for Today – perhaps the influence of new editor Sarah Sands? – it was a series of segments in front of a live audience in one of the university buildings.

Whoever they were - it was not explained - they were up at 6 am and listened mainly politely to a range of contributors, such as Lord Ashdown and Molly Scott Cato, the local Green candidate.

But the mood changed markedly at around 6.45 am. Suddenly, we were in the radio equivalent of the Lion’s Den, when Ukip’s Ian Kealey, (who fought North Somerset for the party in 2015) joined Webb. Guess what? They audience booed him loudly, and attempted to shout him down with yells of ‘you’re broke’.

Then, as he dared to suggest there might be benefits of Brexit, there was more heckling, including laughter and jeers. Someone could be heard above the cacophony. He shouted: ‘Name one’.

Justin Webb, to be fair, stepped in at this point to calm things down, and Kealey then eloquently managed to outline that young people would potentially benefit because £15 billion of investment money had come into the country. This, he claimed, would translate into jobs.

The rest of the sequence was an interview with Scott Cato. No heckling here. In fact, there was applause as she attacked the Tory party for its ‘divide and conquer policy’, which, she claimed, gave benefits to older people to deprive younger generations; and then outlined that under the Greens, tuition fees would be scrapped, and secure homes would be provided for young people.

Now, of course, no-one can ever predict how a live audience is going to react. But perhaps if you go to Bath University and put students who listen to the Today programme with a Ukip candidate, it’s almost a  cast-iron certainty.

As it was Ian Kealey was alone in being heckled. It will be interesting to see how Today editors work to balance that negativity against Ukip (that they created) as the campaign unfolds.

(Image: Jez Coulson)

David Keighley

  • Politically__Incorrect

    “they were up at 6 am “. Are you sure that wasn’t 6 p.m.?
    Predictable stuff from the beeb and the usual vegetable-rights activists, but there is a serious point here about UKIP. UKIP is clearly in difficulties at the moment (I speak as a party member). I believe there are two reasons: firstly because their main aim of getting out of the EU is now under way, and secondly because the party has failed to inspire or resonate with the public since Nigel Farage stood down.

    There is however, a large political territory which none of the main parties have so far occupied. It’s social conservatism, which covers a broad range of issues from the family to macro-economics. UKIP would do well to take that ground. A change of name might help too, not to hide anything, just to show a new purpose for the party.

    • Shazza

      UKIP in its present form is finished. It has no core policies, no clear message.

      If UKIP wish to make a difference in this country, they need to grow a pair and replace its current leader with Anne Marie Waters.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        You may well be right about Anne Marie Waters. I just think UKIP needs to decide what it actually believes in besides Brexit and then start shouting about it without apology or compromise, regardless of what the PC mob might say. If it doesn’t believe in anything else then as you say, it is finished.

        • Shazza

          None of the other parties will go near the subject – she will and she will give a voice to the millions of ordinary people who are rightly terrified of what the future holds for their daughters and granddaughters.

          She is fearless, brave – hopefully it will be a case of “cometh the hour, cometh the ‘woman'”…..

          • Partridge

            That’s all very well: the true nature and evil teachings of the religion of Islam need to be more widely known, even to those Muslims who are otherwise normal decent peaceful people. But it is to be hoped that Anne Marie Waters is not also a feminist: feminism, too, is an evil poison whose toxicity is not generally understand by society at large.

          • Shazza

            From her videos, speeches, writings, seeing her on the BBC’s atrocious Sunday Big Questions, etc. I do not believe that she is a feminist – just someone who wishes to preserve our culture and have one rule of law for all of us.

            She is very well aware of the true nature of Islam.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            When Muslims are a minority they demand minority rights.
            When Muslims are a majority there are no minority rights.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            ‘Decent’ Muslims are those that would prefer infidels are killed by other Muslims.

      • It was a pity Diane James was ousted and Steven Woolfe shot himself in the foot on two occasions.

    • The last time I was a member of UKIP (2009-2013) they were slowly wedding themselves to that awful “marxism of the right” ideology ‘Libertairanism’.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        Yes, inserted into the party by those Tory rats, Carswell, Reckless, Evans and the Hamiltons.

    • The_Pr1soner

      We might have to wait until the next election to see where UKIP or its replacement is – until the Conservative Party becomes unpopular and its voters abandon it again. This election will see a lot of votes being lent to the Conservatives. Of course, this won’t stop the media from portraying it as the end of UKIP!

      I’ll still be voting UKIP, though. I can’t bring myself to vote for a party which, in many respects, is now a soft-left, elitist organisation.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        As a UKIP member Inam able to vote UKIP as we have a candidate in Taunton, but if there wasn’t one then I’d spoil my voting slip as a protest, as so many French did.

        • The_Pr1soner

          As a gesture, I’m not sure what use doing that is. I think the pertinent issue is that, for many people, there simply isn’t a real choice on the ballot. Shocking for one of Europe’s oldest democracies.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    A new, shiny, renamed incarnation of UKIP would be ideal for getting
    stuck into the transgender activists corrupting our schoolchildren (refer today’s Lefty Lunacy article).

  • Bark Kantatas

    “a range of contributors, such as Lord Ashdown and Molly Scott Cato, the local Green candidate”

    Feel the “range”, peoples.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      The BBC report an the whole political gamut from A to B.

      • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

        They ought to. Anyway,

        UKIP in its present form is finished. It has no core policies, no clear message.

        If UKIP wish to make a difference in this country, they need to grow a pair and replace its current leader with Nigel Farage.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      When will a journalist ask Ashdown, once LibDem chief whip, when he first learned of Cyril Smith’s abusing/raping of very small boys?

  • Snoffle Gronch

    The BBC ran the whole political gamut from A to B.

  • It really is no surprise that the far-left BBC use a university – a place of rabid intolerance and censorship – as their location, is it?

  • David

    Ukip’s policies are still popular, but it is just that Farage is a very hard act to follow and Nuttall is not that good at it. However when it comes to Brexit the so called “Conservatives” are dancing to Ukip’s tune – we’re leaving !

    • TheRightToArmBears

      All Nuttall need do is keep shouting ‘Stop the money going to Brussels NOW!!’
      How could the MSM argue against that?
      But he can’t see that Trump won big-time by shouting what the public want to hear, so he doesn’t.

  • adambagpuss

    What seems to have escaped the left is that bashing UKIP only drives more voters into the arms of the Conservatives. Totally counterproductive. Perhaps they would be better keeping their mouths shut if they want to have any hope of limiting a landslide.

  • RobertRetyred

    I voted to remain in the Common Market, aware of the threat of an EU because that is what stalled earlier attempts to create a British/Continental trading group. However, I didn’t know about our loss of fishing grounds (which would have changed my mind without a doubt) or how treacherous our MPs would become. It was a case of ‘why miss the trading opportunities and, having won the war, we shouldn’t be so negative’.
    Yet, we are where we are, and my feelings towards May and the Tory Party are not that dissimilar to those in 1975.
    Will voting Tory give us back our sovereignty, with global trading opportunities, or not? The Establishment are still campaigning as if the referendum hadn’t happened. The EU are having a mental breakdown, collectively and individually, while being unaware that they are under attack, being occupied, and losing credibility. Sweden has said they don’t want another deluge of migrants – but I don’t think another will be needed. How much terrorist monitoring can we afford? How much windmill building can we tolerate? How much bullying from the EU can we put up with? Why continue with so much international aid, by law? And how much Feminism can we take? As the proportion of women teachers, doctors and graduates increases from 50%, to 55%, and upwards, where many work part time, creating a shortage and financial problems, will 60% be the level to correct the imbalance, or will it continue towards 90% and beyond? And children need to be given the opportunity to choose their future well before they are 18 when, currently they are in one big mincer, until they have their enthusiasm and thinking ability squashed by a system that even good teachers cannot remedy. When half of graduates are not in ‘graduate jobs’, there is something wrong.
    I am hoping Theresa May (and her team) will have the answers, or more exactly a Clean Brexit and some of the answers: nobody else, who could form a government, has!
    It is unbelievable just how the entertainment industry, the MSM, academia, and even the Democrats 🙂 have not accepted the recent US election results.
    And, in Britain, the ReMOANers are acting on a very similar manner: I do hope that the next government deals with them efficiently. The Tory manifesto might give us some hints 🙂