Diary: When PR goes bad: UKIP aide sorry for Twitter rant at Warsi

 

Baroness Warsi, who may soon be the ex-chairman of the Conservative Party, picked up a curious but meaningless fact and gave it air time on live television.

In 2008, the BNP fought 19 per cent of the seats that were up for grabs; in 2012, 5 per cent – a drop of 14 percentage points. In 2008, the UK Independence Party contested 14 per cent, and in 2012, 28 per cent – up 14 percentage points. Baroness Warsi suggested that this coincidence might imply, "a sort of a link up" between the two parties.

Gawain Towler, spokesman for UKIP, heard this, lost his rag, and tweeted: "Warsi **** off. How dare you. Bitch."

Challenged by other Twitter users, Towler backed down in stages. He first apologised first for the "tone" of the tweet, maintaining that he had a right to be angry. Then he conceded that his language was "not parliamentary". Then he deleted the offending tweet and put out a second, less qualified apology.

The UKIP leader Nigel Farage made light of it. "One of my press officers said something he perhaps shouldn't have said but hey – anyone who watches The Thick Of It knows in politics bad language does get used," he said .

Lib Dems' long wait for the blues

The challenge for politicians who are getting slaughtered in elections, as the Liberal Democrats were yesterday, is finding something positive to say without sounding disconnected from reality. The prize this time goes to Ed Davey, who wittily drew attention to the fact that the Lib Dems have never sustained losses like this before because they have not been in government since the 1920s. He said: "We've been waiting for mid-term blues for around 90 years"

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's dark night did, howver, have one ray of light. Lembit Opik, the patron saint of lost causes, called for him to resign. So his job is safe.

And Galloway's biggest fan is...

"I've got 30 million items on Google. Ed Miliband has four million. I have 150,000 followers on Twitter and 12,800 videos on YouTube, so anyone who wants to know what I really think can easily find this out," George Galloway has announced in the current issue of The Lady magazine, to explain how he pulled off that astonishing by-election victory in Bradford with no help from the mass media.

But when I go into George Galloway's Twitter feed, it tells me he has just under 74,000 followers, not 150,000, and when I google him, my machine counts 4.4 million entries, compared with over 20 million for Ed Miliband. Not one to undersell himself, old George.

Welsh king's eagles are grounded

Though the Flag Institute has given it official approval, the striking banner of three golden eagles on a green backdrop, flown at the battle of Agincourt by King Owain Gwynedd and the men of Caernarfonshire, is not going to be flown permanently over Caernarfon Castle, though it may be raised on an "appropriate days".

The Caernarfonshire Association has told the Daily Post that they are "disappointed" that an ancient Welsh flag takes less precedence than the flag of the EU, but the Welsh environment agency, Cadw, says that it's a matter of 'protocol'.

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