Britain’s establishment media today attacked the leader of the UK Independence Party at the organisation’s manifesto launch, implying and insisting that they were “exploiting” the terrorist attack in Manchester for “partisan” gain.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) manifesto — a 64-page document covering a vast swathe of international and domestic policy positions for the upcoming General Election — was due to be launched on Tuesday. The party delayed the launch out of respect for the victims of the Manchester attack.
That didn’t stop the traditionally UKIP-hostile media accusing the party of “exploiting” the attack simply for urging strength in the face of extremism and terrorism: something every other party leader has already done since the atrocity on Monday night.
Channel 4’s Michael Crick opened by asking: “…wasn’t that blatantly exploiting Manchester for election and party purposes?”
UKIP supporters in the crowd hit back, shouting “Rubbish!” and “You’re exploiting it!” at Mr. Crick.
Indeed, UKIP’s manifesto was finalised and went to print last Saturday, and was not changed since the Manchester attack.
ITV’s Libby Wiener insisted: “You say you’re not exploiting Manchester but you say also that lighting candles isn’t enough. Isn’t that an insult to all the people who have come out in Manchester to show their respects?”
She was followed by Channel 5’s Andy Bell, who rather than asking about policies in the manifesto, asked: “Can you confirm that you haven’t added anything in to your manifesto since what happened on Monday night?”
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg chimed in, appearing to act as a Conservative Party surrogate: “I understand you had very strong words for Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary. You’ve accused her of allowing jihadis in. It sounds like you’re near as damn blaming the Prime Minister for this attack and the circumstances that led to it.”
Finally, LBC’s Theo Usherwood issued a statement, rather than asking a question: “Paul, you had a choice yesterday afternoon when [the] minute’s silence was announced. You could have put back this manifesto launch to 12 o’clock… instead in 10 minutes time the nations is going to stop to remember the victims. Surely you’re exploiting what happened in Manchester.”
In fact, it was broadcast producers who asked for the launch to be earlier in the day so they could film, edit, and package clips together for the news channels.
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 25, 2017
In effect, what the partisan press was asking UKIP, is “how do you dare talk of solving this problem?”
Sadly, Paul Nuttall’s responses were not as robust as mine would have been i.e.: “Yes I am blaming the Prime Minister and decades of Labour and Conservative policy on immigration, security, defence, policing, and foreign policy for this attack.”
Nonetheless, when we ask ourselves why we can’t seem to get a grip of these atrocities, consider the attacks people and parties who try and offer solutions endure at the hands of Crick, Wiener, Bell, Kuenssberg, Usherwood, and their liberal friends.