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UKIP: The First 100 Days, Channel 4, review: a sad, predictable, desperate hatchet job

18 February 2015

11:31 AM

18 February 2015

11:31 AM

This is an extract from this week’s magazine, available from tomorrow

Just three months into Ukip’s shock victory as the party of government and already Nigel Farage’s mob are starting to show their true colours: morris dancing has been made compulsory for every able-bodied male between the age of 30 and 85; in ruthlessly enforced union flag street parties, brown-skinned people are made to show their loyalty by eating red-, white- and blue-coloured Battenberg cakes until they explode. And what is that acrid smell of burnt fur now polluting Britain’s hitherto gloriously carbon-free air? Why it is all the kittens that Nigel Farage and his evil henchmen are tossing on to beacons from John O’Groats to Land’s End in order to demonstrate that Ukip are the masters now.

Though I think I’ve just about done justice to the hysterical tone of Channel 4’s dystopian mockumentary UKIP: The First 100 Days (Monday), what I fear I’ve failed to capture is the aching predictability, ineptitude and boringness of this sad and desperate hatchet job.

It was couched as a mock fly-on-the-wall documentary in which a journalist trailed Ukip’s first female Sikh MP as the stones began to fall from her eyes and she came gradually to realise that the party she’d joined were nothing but a bunch of horrid racists, supported mainly by horrid white working-class closet BNP voters, on a mission to take the whole of Britain back in time to the era of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

But this all said rather more about the cultural and political assumptions of the filmmakers than it did about Ukip. In a scene depicting what was supposed to be a ‘far-right rally’, for example, protestors were shown brandishing an Israeli flag. When it needed real-life exemplars of wisdom, probity and insight to act as a kind of chorus to explain how awful Ukip were, the ones it wheeled on were Nick Clegg and Diane Abbott. As for its depictions of White Van Man — these might just as well have come straight from the Twitter feed of Emily Thornberry. Channel 4 may have thought they were hammering Ukip. Instead, they will have acted as its recruiting sergeant.

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