On a personal note, good luck to my long-time ally in the crusade against BBC bias Derek Bennett, who is standing for UKIP in Walsall South. Derek, a fine blogger and scourge of our masters in Brussels, is facing a bunch of novices in a Labour-held constituency (following sitting MP Bruce George's decision to stand down after 26 years). Derek's support surges with each election. Fingers crossed for a huge surge this time!!
UKIP's frustration at BBC bias is matched by its willingness to act against it. Here's an example (courtesy of Derek) that reveals why:
UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass has decided to boycott a BBC General Election debate in Birmingham on April 27.
West Midlands UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass he will not participate in the event which would have seen Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems take to the stage while a UKIP representative would have been relegated to sitting in the audience.
The MEP has this week condemned the move and says is it clearly unfair and undemocratic.
Mr Nattrass said: “UKIP came second place across the country in last June’s European election and in this region we came first in many constituencies including Stoke-on-Trent yet the BBC now want to insult UKIP by consigning the party to the audience.
“That is not democratic and we wish to protest about this local dictatorial BBC attitude.
“At the June elections the BBC, in this region, were reporting that I would be lucky to retain my seat, they then reported that the Greens had a chance. In the election UKIP had two MEPs elected out of the six seats and the Greens came nowhere.
“At last June’s election UKIP West Midlands launched its campaign at Birmingham City Football Club and the BBC were advised weeks in advance of the event and the BBC said it would attend. Every other BBC region reported local party launches.
“The BBC failed to attend the West Midlands campaign launch yet attempted to report other party launches until I stopped them saying that not showing the UKIP launch meant, under their public service remit, they could not show the others as it amounted to bias.
“In 2009 the BBC found in their own survey that 55 per cent of voters wanted to leave the European Union and 84 per cent said no more EU directives should be accepted. Yet, the BBC exclude UKIP, which is the only party reflecting those views, from that debate.
“Prior to the European elections interviews by West Midlands BBC TV showed a video about ‘local grant aid advantages of the EU’ but failed to say that the UK do not financially benefit from these grants as contributions to the EU are more than double the amount returned.
“Earlier this year, West Midlands BBC TV interviewed me on the Politics Show reporting that I was accused of fraud and under investigation by the EU fraud police (OLAF).
“The BBC failed to allow me to state my case and cut me off during the broadcast. When OLAF later reported that I was innocent and that no further investigation was necessary but the BBC has failed to convey this information to the public.
“I will boycott for the forthcoming BBC TV debate as it does not offer a level playing field from which to present views and policies,” he added.