Blogs by Don Flynn
The big news of last week was of course UKIP’s performance in the Clacton and Heywood and Middleton. Victory in one and a close second in the other has increased the sense that the party best known for its anti-Europe and immigration stances is a serious force which could hold the balance of power in Parliament after the general election due in May 2015.
But after a taking advantage of the opportunity to chat with activist folk at the Labour and Tory events during the past week there seems to be some grounds for hoping that the main parties will not be overly tempted to be led onto the terrain where UKIP seems to have planted itself. There’s a consensus, at least at the more liberal ends of both Labour and the Conservatives, that tough talk on immigration will only remind voters of what they perceive as the failures of two successive governments, and of the fact that an alternative on the hard right is there for anyone wanting to make that choice....
There’s an oft-told fable about the sparrow, frozen on a cold winters day, who tumbles in a dead faint from a high up tree branch. Fortunately its fall is broken as it drops into a soft, newly excreted cow-pat.
The annual round of party conferences is underway once again, with Labour being camped out in Manchester for the next few days.
Last month the readers' editor of the Guardian Chris Elliot published a response in which he conceded many of the points made in the complaint sent by a number of groups, but suggested that alternatives to the term would possibly be perceived as being clumsy and inelegant. He invited readers to assist with their suggestions on the best form of language.
Artwork: Faviana Rodriguez