Hardly surprising given it was the launch of the UKIP manifestool but there is pretty widespread covearge of UKIp today in the National news. Indeed, more than UKIP have ever recieved before. Even during the Euros, and even after beating Labour into third place. Anyhow I digress.
The Express gives the launch nearly a whole page compared to two for the Tory launch.
VICTORY for any of the “old failed” main parties would be a disaster for Britain, the anti-European UK Independence Party said yesterday.
Unveiling a campaign poster featuring the faces of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg under the slogan “Sod The Lot”, it urged voters to break the mould of British politics.
In a shocking departure the Daily Mail actually covers the launch... Andy Coulson will be livid.
Mr Farage said the election campaign so far had been a 'piddling irrelevance' and the mainstream parties had not addressed the reality of the UK's economic problems.
He added: 'It really is time for some straight talking. We are skint. We need some massive cutbacks in the public sector.
'We can't have our own immigration and asylum policy if we remain members of this European Union.'
In its manifesto, Ukip promises an 'end to uncontrolled mass immigration'. Britain would leave the EU, and workers from within the Union would require work permits to enter the UK.
There would be an immediate five-year immigration freeze followed by a new stricter points-based system.
It reaffirms a plan to ban Muslim face coverings such as the burkha and pledges to 'scrap political correctness in public affairs'. The prison population - currently 84,000 - would be doubled.
The party's new poster features the faces of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg alongside the slogan ''Sod The Lot''.
Ukip leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch said it was time for a new politics and argued that leaving the EU would save up to £120 billion a year - with no jobs or trade lost from Britain.
In The Times they followed the manifesto launch with a trip to Buckingham,
In Buckingham, the party’s best hope of a seat, the contest is just as baffling. With the main parties standing aside, Nigel Farage, UKIP’s former leader, is challenging the Speaker, John Bercow. While Mr Bercow is the firm favourite, Ladbrokes is offering 10/3 on Mr Farage.The Independent states,
“We see him as our only hope against John Bercow,” said Sue Moore, a 50-year-old IT sales manager. “It’s expenses; Bercow’s not a good ambassador for Buckingham. He flipped houses.” Ms Moore, who has previously voted Labour, says that only one thing might make her waver in her support for Mr Farage: “I’m very pro-Europe.”
Mr Farage hopes to exploit such oddities. “There’s a lot of confusion about the election here,” he said. “I’m in this campaign to say to people, ‘You can send an earthquake through British politics by toppling the man who is the symbol of the last
Lord Pearson argued that leaving the EU would save Britain £120bn a year, but that negotiating a Switzerland-style free trade deal would mean trade and jobs would be unaffected. The party that finished second in the European elections in June also plans to ban Muslim face coverings such as the burqa. Ukip pledged to grant local and national referendums supported by 5 per cent of the population. It also promised to end "uncontrolled mass immigration" with a five-year immigration freeze.Simon Carr has fun in his sketch,
John Bercow is to be banned from all public buildings in Britain. Brilliant! A bit un-British, but a bold stroke in the Ukip manifesto. Clear, clinical, a little brutal, popular with all right-thinking people who regarded the Speaker's election as a stain on the Constitution.But goes on, Farage is
I'd arrived for Ukip's manifesto launch and couldn't see very well at the back there, half in and half out of the packed little room. But there it was, loud and clear, "banning the Bercow" (he's already been banned, apparently, from public buildings in France).
in short, what the people of Buckingham would recognise as a proper Tory. And to watch him watch the Tory launch is to watch what proper Tories think. That's very different from what the leadership thinks, and it's a measure of how far Cameron has taken his party. All credit to him and so forth, because proper Tories only number 30 per cent of the vote. But it's most probable that most Tories in most pubs think what Farage was thinking. That nobody wants to see Theresa May and Andrew Lansley talking about anything. That Osborne might at least have learnt his speech enough not to stumble. That there was "nothing you could get hold of", and "nothing about Europe or immigration". That the leadership manifesto consisted of "aspirations and platitudinous nonsense" – and that it would probably get Cameron into Downing Street.Otherwise
That presents Ukip with its best opportunity, Farage says. "Two years into their term, millions of voters will realise they don't have a conservative government." And then... what? Ukip will strike? I couldn't follow the opportunity but asked how it might present itself.
"It'll be immigration that does it. In April of this year, the eastern European populations will get full benefit rights in Britain. After 12 weeks' work, all EU migrants will be able to claim all benefits that Brits can claim.
Other Stuff, in the Daily Mail Jan Moir bigs up the appearance of Caroline Pearson as the UKIP candidate in Kensington,
However, even if she did live in Kensington for years and even went to school there, has she any idea of what she is letting herself in for?
'Of course I'm nervous,' she said. 'I want to be a player not a spectator. I don't want to stand there discussing how domesticated my husband is.'
Is she saying how wet the other political spouses are? 'I would never say such a thing,' she said. Yet despite those who dismiss the spouses as frivolous, her sudden elevation emphasises our fascination with wife power in this election.
So I include the pic.
Michael White in the Guardian tells us,
None of it cut much ice at the Ukip launch, where Nigel Farage, the party's ex-leader, MEP and wannabe MP for Speaker Bercow's Buckingham seat, held court with his successor, Lord Malcolm Pearson of Rannoch, and Lord David Campbell-Bannerman, the descendant of a Liberal prime minister. They all complained that the election so far has been boring and ducked the real issues.The BBC covered it, and again and again and again. As did Sky and so on.
What is a week's debate on £6bn worth of national insurance charges when we pay £16bn a year to the EU and borrowed £170bn last year, they asked. "We are no longer a single-issue party," insisted DCB before rattling off a long list of implausible policies such as leaving the EU; electing county health boards; putting matron in charge on the ward; including non-academic skills in the 11-plus; cutting out red tape, especially EU red tape; spending 40% more on the army ... And so on.
Lots of gorgeous stuff in the small print, but idealistic and well-meant in its way. They are all oozing sincerity in this campaign. It's the ungrateful voters who drip with cynicism.
But Ukip's package struck me as the sort of manifesto lots of Tories would write after drinking a pint or so of white wine and a couple of pink gins on a Saturday night, but bin when they woke up with a headache and read it on Sunday morning. That's probably what most floating Tory voters will probably do on 6 May too, the temptation to vote in a winner after 13 years is too great to resist.
'"Don't write off little Ukip," says Farage, a likeable rascal, I've always felt, who shook off Andrew Neil's complaint at today's press conference about his £2m worth of EU expenses since 1999.
All spent on staff, not a penny on me, he said. And the wife's salary? She worked for free until 2007, he replied, unblinking. And that's the new politics talking ...
What is undeniably new is Ukip's policy of urging voters not to vote for their candidate in places where six Tory MPs and one Labour are so Eurosceptic that they win Ukip's approval. Posters are going up saying "Ukip says vote Tory here, but vote Ukip if you really don't want to." Fun, eh?
Try as it may, Ukip keeps coming back to its core subject: Europe. Pearson said this was the last chance to resist the European superstate; it would soon all be over for Britain as an independent country. Yet the three most contentious policies of the last decade – Iraq, the unfettered banking system and the unbalanced UK budget – were all carried out in express defiance of EU sentiment and policy, I mused aloud. We had an enjoyable spat, mediated by Andrew Neil's heckles.