A friend of mine, Rob Carver, was in the audience on the BBC question time episode Thursday.
At one point Russel Brand started off against Nigel Farage for being anti the disabled and Rob who walks with the aid of a stick had his hand in the air to respond. He was noticed and a camera was rolled over to him so he could do so (bear in mind that the shows producer knew who Rob was).
The result as they say is history, Youtube has clips of the exchange, the papers have been full of it and everyone was having a good chuckle about it.
Then suddenly the fact that Rob has a brother has become some sort of crime, Rob’s brother James Carver is a UKIP MEP.
This isn't a secret, if you scroll down to Robs guest post below you will see it clearly mentioned in the Bio.
But this fact is being used by a number of newspapers to discredit his comments, because somehow the fact that he is related to a Kipper MEP makes Rob’s own opinion tainted.
Rob is a supporter of UKIP, something he makes no secret of. He does not agree with everything UKIP says and doesn't seem to be a slavish follower of the cult of Nigel. In fact if you listen to the clips he said he does not agree with everything Nigel says.
But in our topsy turvy political world that doesn’t matter. He is related to a UKIP MEP and he wasn’t wearing a Tee Shirt that clearly proclaimed this fact to the whole world, therefore he was trying to deceive people as to his opinions somehow.
In the debate Rob raised a point that Russell Brand was unable to satisfactorily answer. The only one to rise to Brands defence was a woman who has since been identified as a prominent activist, anti UKIP campaigner and rather strident member of the Socialist workers party, Bunny La Roche.
Her background is not making it into any newspapers apart from in the comments sections but he is drawing a lot of attention for his reputed failure to declare that he is a supporter of UKIP (which his words should have said clearly enough) or that he is related to an UKIP MEP.
Rob posted this comment last night:
To be very honest, James Carver and UKIP didn't even know I was in the audience.The questions that I hoped to ask were nothing to do with UKIP policies, in fact they were related to care in the community and The city, Russell Brand was a nice guy,I only asked him to use his influence and following to help the democratic process and make a real difference by standing not campaigning, I feel that it would help the disillusioned public engage in the political process.
I declared my interests in the QT questionaire, James Carver is now being attacked despite not knowing that I was even going on the show, I find this sad.
Online chat is fairly split, about 50/50, between people saying he has a right to have an opinion and people who are calling him a UKIP plant and worse. Incidentally to those claiming the walking stick is a prop and an attempt by UKIP to fool people, its real and he needs it to walk. He told me a while ago he broke his neck and back in 1999 when he was hit by a moving tank.
The problem with this love/hate fest is that the questions and the answers or lack thereof are being forgotten in the Media rush to create this teacup storm. Modern politics in action. The punch and Judy show of Westminster.
Blaming immigrants or calling people racist. Opposite sides of the wall of smoke that is hiding the real problems our society faces and chokes off any attempt to try and talk about them.
Debate and discussion being swept away in a tidal wave of personal attacks and democracy suffering as a result.
Russel Brand was asked a question. His answer lacked conviction and the audience noticed. The shout of Racist was raised yet again and yet again it was used completely wrongly, is it so difficult to use a dictionary to find out what it really means or has it simply become an generic insult devoid of real meaning.
What we have here is a fine example of one of the reasons why so many people have become divorced from British Democracy. Politics has become a shouting contest where priorities have been turned upside down, peoples concerns and fears are belittled and things that the electorate have little interest in seem to be front and center all the time.
Giving ever younger people a vote will not change anything, the electorate grows but that just means we have a larger number of people who can vote but don't. What is exciting to a media organisation, what brings in publicity and audience figures to the BBC is not reasoned debate, it is argument, insult and scandal.
Top Left Rob Carver. Bottom Left Bunny La Roche. Middle Nigel Farage. Right Russel Brand.
One more thing. The Daily Mail and the Mirror both used the same comment. Underlining is mine.
And last month a guest blog 'What I know about UKIP supporters in debates' appeared on a website written by a man named Rob Carver, who said he was the brother of the West Midlands MEP.
A bio beneath the post also states: 'Rob has been asked by UKIP to stand as the party candidate in the Tory safe seat of Beckenham at the general election.
Punctuation and correct sentence composition, fairly important even in a daily newspaper.
Two UK national newspapers mention one of my blog posts and they both say the same thing. Rob doesn't write the website you barely literate cretins. Just what qualifications are required to be an editor at the Mail or Mirror anyway?
Last month a guest blog 'What I know about UKIP supporters in debates' appeared on a website. The guest post was written by a man named Rob Carver, who said he was the brother of the West Midlands MEP.
Was that so hard?