UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire's conflict with Nigel Farage led to an invitation to appear on today's The Daily Politics. The interview with Jo Coburn, resulting in a very high I.C. of 2.7, was notable for a couple of things. First was Jo's question "I mean, does it sound like the party's falling apart here?" She put that not to Nikki herself but to Seumas Milne of The Guardian of all people, who replied (as might have been expected) "Well I hope so." Secondly, there's the question Jo did put to Nikki Sinclaire: "How much damage do you think this is doing to the party, which has already had a dreadful year?" What did she mean by that? Did she mean since the beginning of 2010? If she did, which is highly unlikely, what other dreadful things have happened to UKIP since January 1st? She obviously meant, of course, 'over the last year'. What was so dreadful about that? Well, perhaps she meant the Electoral Commission's deeply questionable attack over donations that is seriously threatening UKIP's financial health. She would have a point there. But what about UKIP's remarkable triumph in the European elections, beating Labour into third place and winning over 16% of the vote? There was nothing dreadful for UKIP (or the UK) about that. I think it would be better to say that UKIP has had 'a year of mixed fortunes'. The BBC is unlikely to be fair to UKIP though, so such a balanced assessment is perhaps not to be expected.
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