Thursday 16 April 2015

A Mirror reflection of Ukip

The Daily Mail has come out against Ukip. Express owner, Richard Desomd on the other hand has just handed the party £1.3m. This should cause no great alarm for any of the parties in that Ukip wouldn't have the first idea how to usefully spend that much. It's akin with handing a toddler a loaded pistol. The money would actually be better going into an EU referendum exit campaign and kept as far away from the Ukip bozos as possible. One might be tempted to suggest they put it away to spend after the election and spend according to a strategy but instead, they'll piss it up the wall in no time.

The Referendum Party proved that money cannot buy votes and without decent policy they have no chance of securing the confidence of opinion formers but in the media and society as a whole. But good policy is definitely what we don't see from Ukip. Moreover, of the few sensible policies they do have they lack the skill and knowledge to credibly defend them. But Ukip is not alone in this. The only thing worse than Ukip's policies is the infantile level of analysis we see.

For instance, The Mirror is aghast at the idea of abolishing childcare registration: "The registration process that is so unnecessary includes a paediatric health certificate, basic food hygiene, a check that you are medically fit to look after children and won’t have too many in your care for you to cope with, and a criminal record check to make sure you’re not a paedophile."

As it happens, the registration system has only really been in effective operation since the early nineties and though it sounds good in principle the reality of it is yet another social services department dedicated to chasing paperwork with long delays at great expense to very little effect. Here I remind readers that Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, was CRB cleared. The basic hygiene training certificate (for what that's actually worth) is not required of parents so it's really up to parents what they judge to be a suitable standard.

Parents routinely complain about the costs of childcare, often demanding subsidy for their cherished offspring but nobody has stopped to question why it is so damned expensive in the first place and how come it never used to be until the registration system appeared, destroying a lot of voluntary groups in the process. But society has given way to stranger danger, assuming everyone is a potential child molester. I can make a solid case for regulation where it is effective but there is scant evidence to suggest this particular system adds any value at all. Not least when it is administered at the corporate level of local government. It might well be effective if social workers had their won patch and were integrated with such a vetting process, but they aren't. Such logic seems beyond the wit of both the Mirror and Ukip.

The Mirror complains that "Nigel wants to leave the EU while keeping almost all the EU institutions" but this is actually the first hat tip to reality I have ever seen from Ukip on the Brexit front. Most of the institutions we need to preserve are adjacent or above the EU in the hierarchy of intergovernmental systems. Thus the mirror is chastising Ukip for not being as stupid as they think it is. That said, Ukip has only a passing familiarity with the complexity of Brexit and that is entirely a consequence of its own policy neglect in this field. If pressed on the details and what shape Brexit will take, Ukip will fold under scrutiny. Ukip is just lucky in that few in our media have the necessary wit to press them where they are vulnerable.

The Mirror is of course right in that the Ukip manifesto is the rag bag of obsolescence and contradiction we were all expecting, and nobody is really surprised, but our media is certainly in no position to be throwing stones from their house of glass. If the same scrutiny were applied to them as Ukip, they would look equally ridiculous. One is a Mirror reflection of the other.

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