Friday, 15 May 2015

The Big Story

This time last week, the nation was digesting the unexpected (by the pundits) election result. Naturally I wrote a post about the quest for Britain's National Bird. Now that the smoke of election battle has dispersed, it's clear what the Big Story is: Nigel Farage's phantom retirement and an outbreak of dissent in the upper ranks of UKIP. Well, that's the big story as far as the BBC is concerned: it seems to have been leading every bulletin for days, with long reports, interviews and features thrown in. Some of us might not be too surprised that UKIP is in a degree of disarray, having got more votes than the SNP and the Lib Dems combined and yet crossed the finishing line with one seat and no leader. As UKIP is a party of loose cannons - its very lack of management might indeed be part of its electoral appeal - it's no surprise that they're rolling around the deck even more than usual and a couple of them have crashed overboard.
 You and I (and probably the entire world outside of the BBC) might have thought that the big story of the election was the collapse of the Labour vote across the whole nation (apart from London) following a catastrophically inept campaign under a disastrously awful leader, an unelectable cerebral weirdo of apparently extraterrestrial origin. With Labour in complete disarray, leaderless, rudderless and with no obvious reason to exist, you might have thought that would be the story, especially as said leader was expected (not least by himself and his inner circle) to become PM last week. But no - UKIP's the story...
 No, hang on - a Labour story has managed to shoulder UKIP off the BBC's top spot at last: Chuka Umunna has withdrawn from the 'battle' for the Labour 'leadership'. Funnily enough, I spotted him at Victoria station last night, with his 'girlfriend', waiting for a train. He was looking worried and uneasy. Little did I realise that I was witnessing history.


  1. Our dearly beloved broadcaster has veered so far from the madding crowd that, even, our favourite great granny has banned them from her forthcoming ninetieth birthday bash, handing the job to ITV instead, Vivat, Regina, Vivat Regina Elizabetha, Vivat!

  2. She probably has bitter memories of the Diamond Jubilee Regatta - the most calamitous broadcast since the Blue Peter elephant, but not funny. For overseeing it, Geo Entwistle was rewarded with the DGship (for a few excruciating weeks)...

  3. So smug, Nigel.
    I am heartened by the number of people joining the Labour Party since the election and looking forward to the future, happy that it couldn't be worse than the last few years.
    However, the Budget to come may prove me wrong.