While in the previous post the UKIP website is worthy of mention for what it carries today regarding the ‘gays can marry’ / ‘no they can’t’ farce, for much of the time it is notable for what it doesn’t cover.
Look through the home page of the party website and there is not a single headline concerning international relations or heavyweight domestic issues – this from a party that has MEPs and aspires to win seats in the Westminster parliament. For example, since the policy reversal on allowing Syrian refugees to live in Britain, there has been barely any mention of foreign affairs matters.
Given UKIP’s silence on the matter, Ukraine may as well be a self drive plant hire company. It’s as if UKIP does the political equivalent of pleading the American 5th Amendment.
There has been little if any coverage or comment on the site about Ed Miliband changing the terms of a referendum on an EU treaty to making it a question of membership, thus ensuring a bias towards remaining in the EU. Despite today being the day the Chancellor delivers the Budget, UKIP have nothing to say about it or what their offering is in respect of economic matters. Similarly the silence has been deafening in respect of David Cameron’s nonsensical EU renegotiation position, with no rebuttal or counter position. There’s more examples besides.
The website of a political party is its ambassador. It is a place where people can go to get the unvarnised view of the party, and where media will lift quotes to use in news stories. Loathe the BNP as I do, their website was responsible for raising issues into talking points and making the other parties address issues they had long tried to hide away from more than anything Nick Griffin said into a microphone.
But UKIP waste their web presence and one can only assume it’s because they have nothing of substance to say on the big issues. They complain they don’t get a hearing in the media, but do nothing to use their available channels to reach beyond the media and speak directly to the electorate. It all contributes to their electoral glass ceiling (11% in the latest You Gov poll), because potential supporters look at what the party has to say and find it amounts to very little.
Small wonder then that with the approach we see from UKIP, on the subject of leaving the EU or staying in, the current polling shows 39% want to leave and 41% want to stay. The party isn’t doing the anti-EU side any favours.
Kirsten Farage describes the party’s headquarters operation as a ‘freakshow’. Maybe the party’s silence on key issues like those above is an attempt to keep her husband’s shallow soundbite-laden observations away from the public sphere, lest it incriminate the party as incompetent and ruin its credibility once and for all.