Yesterday the people of Norwich North spoke, & today the BBC has not been enjoying what they've had to say! For full, hilarious coverage of the day's events, please click on the 'Biased BBC' link below:
I'll merely confine myself to more Crick-bashing!!!
As a reminder here are the by-election results:
Conservative, 13,591 (39.5%)
Labour, 6,243 (18.16%)
Lib Dem, 4,803 (13.97%)
UKIP, 4,068 (11.83%)
Green, 3,350 (9.74%)
Good result for the Conservatives, poor result for Labour, Lib Dems fell back and UKIP beat the Greens (who came a poor fifth).
On last night's 'Newsnight' Michael Crick (who I'm watching closely) presented his report from Norwich North, where he had spent the whole day. As the programme's political editor, he was there for the quality insights he would bring 'Newsnight''s viewers - incisive analysis and considered predictions. How did he do?
Well, he predicted that the Conservatives would win. Correct! That said, so did all the political parties (as he himself admitted). He said the "consensus" view that Labour would come second was "probably" right too. So correct again! Well done Michael! What insights!
He visited the Tory area of Taverham, & got the camera to focus twice on a pampered, coiffeured poodle. Oh those Tories, and their pampered, coiffeured poodles!
He joshed with a Tory couple, then encountered another couple who had voted Green instead of Tory. This, Crick argued, was proof that the expenses scandal is a "big factor for aalllllll the major political parties". Not so, it turned out. As Chris Ship, on ITN News was to point out, it was "only one party" that was significantly hit - Labour.
After this point, made at the Tories's expense (pun intended and duly apologised for), Crick changed the subject: "Labour's being hit too this week, not so much by election fever as swine flu" - as the Labour candidate was confined to bed. A classic Crick manoevre.
A lot of pro-Ian Gibson stuff followed. As a reporter on Sky noted today, there has been a lot of "rose-tinted" reporting about Ian-Gibson (the scandal-hit Labour MP who provoked the by-election by resigning in protest at how the Labour Party had singled him out for punishment) and Crick's spectacles were as "rose-tinted" as anybody's.
"The Green could be celebrating too, with their best ever result in a by-election". Here Crick was right and wrong. This was their best ever by-election result, but they still came fifth, significantly behind UKIP.
Of course, in contrast, Crick only gave UKIP a cursory mention, bracketing them with the BNP and former Uzbek-ambassador Craig Murray as a 'minor' party - despite their winning 2nd place in the European elections.
In response to a question from Gavin Esler, Crick rehearsed Labour's excuses:
- the 'Gibson factor'
- "the whole of the expenses row which is effecting all the political parties"
- "some mutterings about the calibre of the candidate"
- "the fact that he's had swine flu for the last couple of days has effected Labour's campaign"
He then worked himself up into an evangelical fervour over how if the Tories only got 40% of the vote it would be a "disappointment" for them and that they, as Labour would say, "should have done better"!
The "all parties" message - and words - (over expenses) got a final outing in reponse to Esler's last question about poor Ian Gibson & how he'd been so badly treated, despite the fact that Labour, the governing party, has unquestionably been hit by far the worst by the expenses scandal, as proved by local elections, European elections, opinion polls and, now, the Norwich North by-election. Crick just does not get it - or, if he does, he will lie, lie and lie again for the party he loves.