Every day in the United Kingdom, anyone who has a passing interest in news and current affairs is subjected to the nonsensical, racist bullshit of the UK Independence Party. Why is this? Well, it appears that right-wing bellyaching jam-for-brain-idiots who used to vote for the current poisonous Tory brand have now realised that there's a more forthright party on the political landscape that specialises in spouting off the kind of unproven xenophobic garbage that the Conservatives have felt the need to restrain within their own toxic party.
But these bouncing bonkers bigots aren't wholly responsible for UKIP's baffling ascension. The news media's collective mouth is already obscured by a cumulus cloud of bubbling foam, hungry for headlines, sensationalism, scandal and anything else that means it doesn't actually have to talk about electoral issues. The Tories know this as much as anyone. As soon as one of their clueless Cabinet cohorts gets into trouble over financial irregularities or shagging, they push Boris the Distraction Clown into the circus ring with his floppy blonde mop and his whiff-whaff-whoff and his shiny red bum bum bus. He is the shiny keys used to keep the cameras diverted while they bury the corpses.
The news media act the same way during election time, forever eager to find an entertaining scoop to stop us from switching over from the main bulletin to The Great British Dainty La-Di-Da Twee Lavender Tea-Sewing Contest. And the mission to push Nigel Farage and his gaggle of spaffing turnips to the top of the news agenda has begun in earnest.
This is really annoying - not just because we have to deal with blinkered racist dogma every day now as if it were the 1970s again but also because the news media treats Ukip with artificial seriousness even though we all know they're just the fluffy comedy mascot; a man dressed as a bee with a football rattle who occasionally says 'stinky gypos' to get on the 10 o'clock news.
If we don't want to be drowned in a rip current of non-stories about this catastrophic bunch of irrational flumps from now till election day, we must do what we can to avoid them. If a loopy man with rosy cheeks stood on a village bench and ranted about banning some varieties of onion for being too mosque-shaped, he'd get two sentences in the parish newsletter. If he wore a yellow and purple rosette, he would be trending on Twitter and Nick Robinson would be lodged in his cat flap.
A Ukip member saying something controversial is not news. It would be news if they said something calm and measured. It would be news if they constructed just one sentence that didn't resemble a drunken scrawl on the toilet wall of a police station in 1974.
If we all turned the other way, news editors might think twice about covering, in-depth, the unveiling of some specious poster that says something about Bulgarians stealing our shoes and report on something worthwhile like the privatisation of the NHS or Susanna Reid's wardrobe.
In short, we must stop. We must stop talking about them. We must stop tweeting about them. We must stop blogging about them. And above all, we must stop writing chaotic and shouty articles about them on the Huffington Post.
A sketch by Michael Spicer.
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