Robin Page on why Nigel Farage was too chicken to appear on Sky TV:
Signs of Spring; what! Is that a Chicken?
Do you know Dave?I love butterflies, I am almost a butterfly freak, and to me the first sign of spring is a sighting of the first Brimstone butterfly of the year.
I usually pride myself in spotting the day they emerge from winter hibernation – the glorious Brimstone day.
On Saturday I reckoned it was a degree or three too cool. Imagine my jealousy and embarrassment when Lulu rushed in boasting, “I’ve seen a Brimstone”. I rushed out but the butterfly had gone.
Never mind, I did find two other signs of spring arriving, flowering lesser celandine and coltsfoot – wonderful.
In the evening Lulu and me went to an excellent concert given by the Christ’s College Music Society at Great St Mary’s Church, in the centre of Cambridge. I am afraid I dozed during the second half after the emotional exhaustion suffered from seeing Cambridge United beat Burton Albion in the afternoon. To an ignorant layman like me the first half (of the concert) was brilliant – the “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens. I was particularly interested in the second section “Hens and Roosters”.
Sometime ago, in a puerile demonstration – UKIP seems to prefer puerile demonstrations to real policies – several prominent UKIPPERS dressed up as chickens. Consequently I wondered whether one of them would have tried to sneak into the concert – but no chicken appeared.
This poses the question, did Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader, disappear in a Chicken costume on Saturday afternoon? I pose this extraordinary question as I had been asked to appear on Sky’s “Sunday Live” (yesterday). The idea was to examine the state of UKIP. I was to be asked to explain why I had left UKIP first, and then Mr. Farage was going to be quizzed on the state of the Party. This was arranged on Wednesday, then on Saturday afternoon, Mr.Farage told Sky that he would only appear if I was taken off the programme. The Sky producer was furious and did not like being told by Farage who she could have on her programme. She refused to axe me – so the great Party Leader refused to be on the programme and the item was cut. Farage had again become a Mirage.
It is absolutely remarkable – the man who complains that UKIP gets too few television invitations suddenly refused to be on a television programme. Why? Apparently he claimed that he thought I would “libel” him. Sorry Nigel, the spoken word is “slander”. And why after thirty-eight years of writing and broadcasting, with no record of libel or slander, would I suddenly start now? Sorry Mr. Mirage, you will have to do better than that. All the questions I have been asked from those who were looking forward to the programme is “What is he frightened of?” and:” Has he got anything to hide”.
To help the process – these are the questions, issues and developments I would have tried to raise in the limited time allowed on the programme:
Why has Bob Spink MP, the ex Tory who UKIP claimed was UKIP’s first MP, now stated that he is an “independent MP”, and that he has never been a member of UKIP?
Why has ex barrister and ex UKIP Chairman Petrina Holdsworth just announced (last Saturday) that she intends to stand against Nigel Farage in the South East at the Euro elections in June?
Why has John Petley, UKIP’s “Senior Researcher”, sacked by Farage, announced the same thing?
Why has Prof Tim Congdon just left UKIP and rejoined the Tories?
Why has Del Young, UKIP’s charismatic, black, ex UKIP NEC member just left UKIP? He would have been brilliant on “Question Time” but every time an invitation came, Farage grabbed it. How’s the old Leo Sayer song go:”I’m a one man band…..”.
Why was Dr.David Abbott expelled from the NEC?
Why was Dr Eric Edmund removed from the NEC and struck off the MEP list for the South West.
Why was Dr.Richard North – Ukip’s best-known researcher, sacked by Nigel Farage?
I do apologise at this point – this does all sound like the Pol Pot removal of all those who can think for themselves. But this is what has happened inside UKIP.
Why was Richard Suchorzewski who came second in the leadership election overlooked for “Deputy Leader”? Instead the position was given to someone called David Bannerman.
Why are UKIP’s rules and regulations selectively applied?
Why was I given a dispensation to put a form in late for UKIP’s MEP candidates selection – only for that dispensation to be suddenly withdrawn leaving me disqualified.
Why was Marta Andreasen included on the election list for the South East, behind Nigel Farage, when as a Spanish resident whose main home is in Barcelona, her inclusion has broken at least five of UKIP’s own regulations, and probably as many as seven.
Why was the Report of UKIP’s own Returning Officer, Piers Merchant, ignored? He said that I had been “ambushed”?Why won’t UKIP involve the Electoral Reform Society in UKIP elections – I understand Nigel Mirage is the one opposed to it?
Why did Mirage tell me that my case would go to the Political Committee when he was the Political Committee?
Why does the Political Committee have no agenda and no minutes?
Why won’t UKIP comply with the Data Protection Act?
Why did not one UKIP MEP give evidence to the House of Lords Treaty of Lisbon Impact Assessment? One famously explaining that he had no time because of his committee work for the European Parliament. Weren’t UKIP MEPs elected to expose the futility of the Parliament – not work for it? Etc etc
In addition to all this there are other rumblings that could break at any moment.
So Nigel Mirage, why wouldn’t you appear on the programme? Had you disappeared back into the UKIP chicken run? Or was your behaviour a “chicken run”.
Greg Lance-Watkins, UKIP-watcher extraordinary has come up with the answer to my exclusion: “Robin come on now. The answer is simple – you would have easily won the Eastern region vote – but in my view Farage wanted his friend Bannerman to win – so you were sidelined. After all when you were elected onto the National Trust Council, a slightly larger organisation than UKIP, you easily topped the poll. You would have done with UKIP too. It’s as simple as that”.
So Dave has nothing to fear from UKIP. Instead of being the year of triumph for UKIP, the House of Cards is crumbling.
There is only one hope – Farage and his apparatchiks should resign now and give the party back to its roots. There is just enough time.
Don’t hold your breath Dave – it takes courage to resign – just as it does to fight your corner on a national television programme.
End of article.
Robin, Farage was too cowardly to appear on Sky because he would have been unable to answer any of your questions. You had him in a corner and he knew it.