Why can’t the BBC see Green?
The BBC has decided that UKIP is, in Scotland, now electorally equivalent to the Scottish Greens, and should receive similar election coverage for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections on 5th May 2016.
In doing so, the BBC Trust doubtless hope that pretending in advance that UKIP is a major party in Scottish politics will make them so.
I am a member of the Scottish Green party, since June last year. What follows, however, is an unexciting post full of statistics on the relative support of UKIP in Scotland versus the Scottish Greens.
David Coburn claims in an interview with the Big Issue that he was against the EU from 1st January 1973 onward, for a rather odd reason:
“I was politicised young, while I was a pupil at Glasgow High School. I collected old coins, bought and sold silver shillings to dealers, I was busy and happy. Then we joined the European Union, decimalisation was introduced, and overnight my coin business was destroyed. That set me not only against the government, but also the EU.”
David Coburn was born in 1958. If his birthday is between March and August, he would probably have started primary school in August 1963, and gone on to high school (secondary school) in August 1970, when he was 12. (If his birthday is between September and February, he would probably have started at high school in August 1969.)
But the day that the UK and Ireland decimalised our currencies was 15th February 1971, when David Coburn could not have been older than 13. The transition period for the pre-decimal currency ended on 31st August 1971.
We’ll overlook David Coburn’s confusion of the EU (established 1993) with the European Economic Community. He’s also confused the year the UK decimalised the currency (announced in 1966, when he was 8: finally completed in 1971, when he was 13) when the year the UK joined the EEC (1973, when he was 15).
Instead let’s consider his claims to have been running an antique coin business when a schoolboy.
In less than four months, we’ll go to the polls to vote Yes or No to the question:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
And today, the campaign period for the referendum officially begins.
But as I pointed out a few weeks ago (and Simon Jenkins pointed out yesterday) the SNP are not offering independence: they want major decisions for Scotland’s governance to be made at Westminster/in London. (It’s all in the White Paper: haven’t you read it?)
On 25th May, David Coburn, now UKIP’s London-based MEP for Scotland, tweeted this:
This morning, the newly-elected Londoner who’s the Scottish UKIP MEP, announced that he was kicking off what he calls the UKIP Scotland Naw campaign with a big idea.
He intends to demand that all Scottish Armed Forces members serving outside Scotland must get a postal vote.
Edinburgh is a lovely place to live. (Second on the quality-of-living index for the whole of the UK.) Edinburgh is one of a few cities around the world that are genuinely beautiful.
David Coburn is the list-topper candidate for UKIP in Scotland in the EuroElections on Thursday – Nigel Farage feels “bullish” that Coburn will become one of UKIP’s MEPs after the elections on 22nd May. And, Coburn says, he lives in Edinburgh.
David Coburn was born in Glasgow, and moved to London over twenty years ago: he was working in Kensington in 1993, where he ran the Lexicon School of English, which was dissolved in 1993 by the Companies Registrar after failing to file accounts.
He’s lived in Kensington, W11 at least since 14th August 2006 (from Companies House – he’s been the director of several companies) and he was still living there on 24th April 2014, the deadline for UKIP submitting their note of candidates to the Electoral Commission.
There’s a poster that’s been live on the Internet for a while. UKIP don’t like it, obviously, but apparently one UKIP politician likes it so little that he actually tried to get the police to have it taken down.
I was quite doubtful about this blog when I first read it, because it seemed so improbable that any politician would do anything so damaging to his own party.
[Update: But apparently that Cambridgeshire UKIP councillor is not the only UKIP representative to think the police’s job is to stifle criticism of their party: Ukip’s South East chairman Janice Atkinson and her fellow candidates Patricia Culligan and Alan Stevens have written to the police this week demanding they arrest any protester who calls them “fascists”.]
Yesterday afternoon as I was debating whether to continue watching some lame James Caan movie about midget submarines, I was disturbed by a police officer peering through my lounge window. I do live on the ground floor, so not as surprising as you may have imagined. I went to the door and there were two constables there. The first thing they said was that there was nothing to be worried about, they just wanted to come in for a chat. Not something that has ever happened to me before, but I showed them in and sat them on the sofa.
They wondered if I was the Michael Abberton on Twitter and I said yes. Then they said this was in relation to a complaint that had been made by a certain political party in relation to tweets I had published about them and one tweet in particular which talked about ten reasons to vote for them. The PC wanted to know if I had made that poster. I explained that I hadn’t but it had been doing the rounds on Twitter for a while, and so I had decided to see if these claims could be verified.