The UK Independence Party has come under intense scrutiny in the past few weeks with stories emerging about unsavoury comments made by a few of the party's members.
Both the party leader, Nigel Farage, and the UKIP communications director, Patrick O'Flynn have recently said that the UKIP is now put under the microscope more than the other three main parties. But the LibDem, Menzies Campbell, basically said on the Daily Politics earlier this week welcome to test match politics.
So, in order to prove its case, UKIP has published a piece on its website pointing to the antics of several local politicians from other parties over the first few months of the year. One wonders that if these had been UKIP councillors, what the press reaction have been.
The piece starts with: "The national media are clearly keen to run stories about local politicians; so we have collated a number of interesting stories about sitting Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors, since the start of the year, which unaccountably don't seem to have achieved the national blanket coverage they deserve. Some of these stories can be seen below but we have dozens of other stories too.
"Meanwhile, UKIP thanks to the national media, all other political parties and various trade union- and government-funded lobby groups for the immense amount of work they have put in, to undertake the Stasi-style 'scrutiny' of the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of UKIP's 2,200 local election candidates – a substantial task which must be costing someone a bundle – and assures them that every offensive remark reported to us will be considered seriously by our National Executive Committee's disciplinary committee."
It then goes on to list eight councillors from the Conservatives (4), Labour (2) and the LibDems (2) who have been caught out. But in no way has anyone claimed that these people 'define' their chosen parties in the way that UKIP supporters are said to for their party.
I would postulate that any if one of these had involved a UKIP member/supporter it would have been wall-to-wall coverage in the press for a week with claims that the party was full of people like them.