THE BLOG

Springtime for Nigel

02/03/2015 11:42 GMT | Updated 30/04/2015 10:59 BST

The Ukip spring get together started just as you would expect: a high kicking, goose stepping, Kugelblitz tank full of jack booted Nazis. They parked their Panzer in Margate and did the Hitler-hi-how-are-you straight armed salutation to the sea front. It could not have gone any better if Albert Speer had designed the conference centre.

This followed a television programme that allowed air time to unreconstructed Ukip acolytes to express themselves in the "I'm not racist but..." manner.

This in turn followed a Facebook faux pas in which a Ukip activist's account posted messages describing Leicester as a "S***hole" and full of "P**is". The former claim is debatable, the latter somewhat impolite.

The string of missteps does not end there. A judge reprimanded a father for allowing his children to be assailed by Kipper-ish opinions. No longer should the dad allow his offspring to attend Ukip meetings for fear of "emotional damage".

Previously, a television station had imagined the nightmarish collapse of society that might ensue should Farage become our next Prime Minister.

Nigel himself has just returned from a catastrophic appearance at an American Tea Party rally where the only people who remained to watch him speak appeared to be cleaning the hall.

The press had a well practised Victorian fainting fit over the less salubrious elements of the week's Ukip stories and guffawed like tickled hippos at their misfortunate ones.

It was all terrible news and none of it was their fault.

First off, the Nazi two steppers had nothing to do with Ukip, other than co-opting the publicity that their conference provided. In the photo bomb of the year so far, a troupe of actors from the touring version of Mel Brook's The Producers sprang Springtime For Hitler on the unsuspecting conventioneers to advertise their forthcoming show. A genius move on their part, particularly the sourcing of the tank, which they probably did not hire at Hertz.

The television programme about the real Kippers could have been made on any political party. To generate some shock horror headlines, eager documentarians need only point their cameras at a group of supporters long enough and eventually one or more of them will break ranks and taboos.

The imagining of a dystopian, riot strewn Kipper future was just a standard Channel 4 cheap shot. The man with the wayward Facebook account says he is the victim of hacking and that the posts had nothing to do with him and the judge who objected to a man taking his children to a political event should probably mind her own business, unless she would rule identically if the party in question had been the Conservatives, for instance.

As for Nigel's oration to an empty room, well, he was in America, where no-one has heard of him, and he was following an address by the Tea Party darling Sarah Palin, so the audience was probably out enjoying a post orgasm cigarette, or shopping for assault rifles.

None of the lurid and gleeful headlines generated about Ukip had anything to do with them, or at the very most described conditions that are symptomatic of all parties. This knowledge, of course, did not stay the hand of the Fleet Street executioners.

There was one positive element to all this. If none of that had happened, and the press were not partly otherwise engaged, just think how much worse Green Party leader Natalie "Meltdown" Bennett's week would have been!