Tuesday 11 March 2014

Smearfest part 2

The Times isn't being allowed to build itself a monopoly on making up stories to smear UKIP, the Mirror is determined to get in on the act as well.

Yesterday's Mirror ran a non-story about how Alan Bown wrote to UKIP MEPs in 2011 telling them that they should donate £10k a year out of their salaries to the party. He apparently told them that if they wanted reselection they needed to prove they were "good value for money" and pointed out that it costs the party upwards of £125k to get an MEP elected.

The Mirror is spinning this as a possible breach of rules around using expenses to finance party political operations but as the very first paragraph of the article says, they were asked to donate from their salaries not from their expenses.
UKIP MEPs have been told to pay £10,000 a year from their Brussels salaries towards to the party’s coffers - or risk being booted out.
Their "expenses" are for things like offices, stationary and staff and are all administered by EU-approved accountants so MEPs wouldn't be able to give any of it to the party. The Mirror will of course know this because they've run plenty of stories about MEP expenses in the past. What makes it even more of a non-story is that it was on the premise that MEPs would donate money to the party from their salaries that the membership voted to contest EU elections a decade ago.

Then there's this little gem from the Times (yes, another one) in which we're told that sex-obsessed UKIP staff walk around the party's London offices half naked, take pets to work and make lists of women they'd like to have sex with before knocking off early to go to the pub. This has come as news to UKIP staffers on Facebook who are presumably disappointed that this sort of hedonistic behaviour apparently only happens when they're at the coffee machine or on their lunch break.

The idea that UKIP staff would somehow gets their pets from home to the offices in central London on public transport is frankly ridiculous, the idea that they walk around the office half naked even more so. The "insider" is anonymous of course but presumably either a disgruntled ex-employee or just a troublemaker taking advantage of the desperation of the newspapers to protect their investments in the run unto the election.