The Independent is reporting a story about Ukip being “accused of exploiting the misery of Rotherham sex-abuse victims” for political purposes. However, it’s exactly what the paper allowed Nigel Farage to do in his column on Friday in its own pages.
Its story reports the party using “disrespectful” tactics in the area, using the Rotherham child abuse scandal in an attempt to secure its first police and crime commissioner.
The party used such messaging in its campaign in Heywood and Middleton, a strategy of dog-whistle racism Nigel Farage resurrected in his Independent column on Friday to defend the Ukip calypso. He wrote:
If you were to play the Ukip Calypso song to me now and say, “Mr Farage. . . knowing what you now know, would you still endorse the track?” I’d say yes. Because it brought a lot of people a smile, and it was released with the best of intentions.
I wonder if, given hindsight, the same people who took the decisions which led to the calamity in Rotherham could say the same thing.
Perhaps it’s time for the Independent to refer more to its own pieces. Either that, or retire the Ukip leader’s column…