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

Plus: J.K. Rowling reveals her grisly Stalinist social agenda in BBC One’s The Casual Vacancy and a Downton Tikka Masla from Channel 4

21 February 2015

9:00 AM

21 February 2015

9:00 AM

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.

The Casual Vacancy (BBC1, Sunday) suffered from a similar disjunction between the politics of its creative team (led by author J.K. Rowling) and those of its middle-class target audience. Take the scene where the parish council in the pretty Cotswold market town of Pagford is meeting to discuss the future of the local food bank/counselling/addiction treatment centre. There are plans to turn it into a boutique hotel and spa. But then a worthy social-worker type played by Rory Kinnear stands up to lecture us on why this is wrong.

‘Parish councils are not here to make a quick buck for somebody who already has more than enough,’ he declares. Warming to his theme, he says that trying to discourage the smack addicts from the nearby estate from coming into the village is like apartheid — or worse. ‘Herding people into ghettos because they don’t fit the aesthetic. There’s a name for that, isn’t there,’ he says, suddenly noticing a convenient war veteran. ‘Bill, you stormed the Normandy beaches, fighting Fascism. Look at what’s happening here…’

Michael Gambon as Howard Mollison in The Casual Vacancy

So what can definitely be said for The Casual Vacancy is the fascinating insight it offers into the political mindset of Harry Potter’s creator. Why, she’s so bonkers left she makes Tony Benn look like Norman Tebbit.

But it’s those ‘snooty’ villagers who are right, not the ghastly social-worker character. Of course it makes sense to move the food bank and the addiction centre nearer to where it’s needed. And why should a picturesque village be forced to scuzzify itself (and lose the tourist income that might otherwise have enriched the community) just to indulge the grisly Stalinist social agenda of a children’s author who has, to coin a phrase, ‘more than enough’.

Over on Channel 4 in the same Sunday-night slot is Indian Summers, an epic new last-days-of-the-Raj drama beginning in 1932. It looks fantastic: attractive women perspiring heavily in close-fitting period costumes; steam trains (probably the same one from A Passage To India and The Raj Quartet); a sumptuous recreation of the leafy hill station of Simla.

What let it down slightly, though, are the dialogue and lapses of tone. It has clearly been pitched as a sort of Downton Tikka Masala and everything is ever so slightly hammy and dumbed down, starting with Julie Walters — who has landed the Maggie Smith role as the eccentric grande dame around whom everything revolves and whom we are required to find loveably hilarious.

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  • AJ

    Well, isn’t it funny how ordinary English people are called “Knuckle draggers” and “Little Englanders” for being nothing more than proud of their nation and for wanting to remain living in a civilised, healthy, first world nation where girls are not raped and trafficked and there’s no such thing as FGM and rampant, rabid Islam, yet these people from certain parts of Africa and Asia can behave like animals and literally come here just for the freebies, and yet we’re supposed to bow before them and see their culture as equal or superior to ours. I’m sorry, I won’t do it.


      Vote for green otherwise morons like this will be making our decisions for us!

      • AJ

        No my friend there’s no morons here, just realists who know what the future holds, if we don’t stop immigration on a massive uncontrolled scale, give yourself a shake and do some research into demographics.

        • And

          You are a moron AJ. You think the problems in this country are down to immigrants? You ARE a moron as you are not looking at the bigger picture and absorbing what the right wing media want you to absorb, and you are sucking it up like a Hoover deluxe! You ARE indeed a moron. Why not channel your hatred towards the bankers and politicians? They are the cause of all this. Do some research moron!

          • John Hampden

            Why is there such a refusal to accept the dangers of mass immigration from the left? There are plenty of people on the right that are concerned with growing inequality and corporatism, but this needn’t come at the expense of criticising the failed attempt of a multicultural utopia.

            You refuse to discuss these issues as a matter of principle, for you support the mass immigration agenda of our political elite and then have the audacity to pretend to be their opponents on the issue of “the banks”.

            I’m somewhat certain that you utter the phrase “WOT ‘BOUT THE BANKERS” in reaction without ever actually thinking about the issue. It is merely the first trigger you pull to avoid discussion of the mass immigration scandal you continue to push in utter indifference as to how the majority of British people feel about this issue.

          • UKSteve

            “Why is there such a refusal to accept the dangers of mass immigration from the left?”

            Because they – solely – are / were responsible for implementing it. Think Bangaldesh / India / Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s, and The Caribbean in the 1940s / 50s.

            To say nothing of Tony Blair.

            Oh, and the idea of going to Jamaica in the 1940s to recruit staff for London Transport drivers and clippies was strongly supported by Enoch Powell.

          • CO Jones

            A lot of the problem is down to morons calling other people morons.

          • LuciousVanWinkle

            Oh “And”, people like you depress me. At what point did AJ say that immigrants were responsible for all problems in the uk?

            This is what people like you do…. all….the….time. You can’t debate on the topic of discussion so you change scope and argue the straw man case.

            The problems mass-immigration have caused, particularly from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh have got nothing to do with the banking crisis and AJ never suggested otherwise.

            It’s true, that politicians opened the door to mass-immigration, and they should be punished for this crime, but those factors are separate to the austerity issues, seperate to the issues of corporatations ripping off society by exploiting tax-loopholes and separate to the issues of wealth gap between rich and poor. What have any of those issues got to do with thousands of children being gang raped by Pakistanis all across the UK? What have those issues got to do with the blitzkreig on British identity that has taken place over the last 2 decades? What have those issues got to do with the indegenous English race being a minority in their capital city?

            The answer? Nothing…and as such, I think we’ve established who the moron is…

          • UKSteve

            Absolutely hilarious. Best post I’ve seen in ages.

            (You were being ironic, yes?)

  • Brigantian

    Nice link by the Spectator between the anti-UKIP mob and occultists like J.K.Rowling. Only a left-winger from the Miliband camp could build fiction in the 21st century around an elitist public school model.
    The C4 mockumentary is more pernicious because most native British people find it laughable, but they are not the target audience. For years the satanic ultra left have been indoctrinating the children of immigrants in London’s state comprehensives. Talking to these entirely harmless Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, etc is profoundly shocking. Those from Uganda for example have been taught in history lessons that the British Secret Service paid Idi Amin to massacre their grandparents and arranged his retirement in Saudi Arabia. They have been brainwashed into believing that the British really are racist and live in daily fear. It does not matter if the facts of your own life directly contradict these lies, if you spent 14 years being told the same thing by a person of authority in a classroom they will be embedded in your subconscious. The C4 programme is just a pre-election top up to ensure this key group remain obedient to their masters.
    UKIP do not just have to run an election campaign, they have to de-program the electorate first. Otherwise it is just like shouting at a brick wall.


      What kind of ignorant fool thinks Ed Milliband is left-wing?
      Labour are a functionalist party exactly the same as Cons and kippers!

      • AJ

        Have you just finished your A levels and find yourself with time on your hands, you sound like you didn’t get the necessary grades. What race is Isl@m, when you find the right answer, I’d be glad to hear you out until then, you can drop the racist remarks, it doesn’t cut the mustard any more.

    • Callum D George

      Where is your evidence of such farfetched and frankly laughable claims…!?

      • UKSteve

        Before your eyes.

  • BigRed

    I cannot believe that any sane person can regard UKIP as been racist. All we want is controlled immigration and been able to govern ourselves. I mean who in their right mind wants to be governed by Germany in the guise of Brussels. Our brave British soldiers fought and died for our freedom only for ConLibLab to throw it away. It just doesn’t make sense, yet they are running scared of UKIP, hence this 100 days of UKIP. Yes, and they should be running scared, because Jo Public true Brits are beginning to see the problem of the open door immigration. The formerly Labour supporters are realising in greater numbers that their wages are kept low because of this uncontrolled immigration.
    All I can say to the electorate is to “Wake up and smell the coffee” before it is too late.
    Vote UKIP get UKIP.
    Vote Labour and get SNP


      No. You are all a bunch of racist morons, who hate democracy, and should go and live with ISIS! No-one agrees with your stupid ‘immigration’ policies, because they are stupid and racist, like you and your shaven-headed moron friends!

      • BigRed

        RNRDOCTOR you showing your true colours by the way you write. The only thing that is stupid is continuing with an immigration policy that is going to swamp this country under an ever increasing burden.
        Any way, your ilk will bite the dust sooner rather than later. See you on the 8th May.
        Vote UKIP we don’t have people like RNRDOCTOR in our ranks. We only have decent law abiding British people who are sick and tired of PC abuse.

        • UKIP Kiddie

          Couldn’t agree more.

      • UKIP Kiddie

        Excuse me, but I’m not racist and actually love democracy that’s why we in UKIP are asking for a referendum on the EU. Ed and Cleggers won’t give it to us and Comedy Dave promises pie in the sky. Try thinking outside the box, open your mind to voting for a party other than the LibLabCon because we are on the road to ruin if the status quo is not broken.

      • rob232

        I don’t understand what goes through your mind. What is racist about wanting to leave the EU?

      • ukip

        well said (cannot believe that any sane person can regard UKIP as been racist. All we want is controlled immigration and been able to govern ourselves) and the best you can do is tell us to join the ISIS grow up your the moron

      • LuciousVanWinkle

        Australia agrees with them, they are based on theirs… In fact, last time I remember statistics on immigration policy, I recall 80% of British people wanted mass-immigration to stop. My point being, you, like all people like you, ignore the evidence in favour of your own beliefs.

    • UKSteve

      Vote UKIP get ex-Tory.

  • patritius

    You correctly pointed out the problem with the UKIP mockumentary.

    However, nobody has caught the irony of Miss Rowlings piece de resistance. It is her type of people and the rest of the lefty glitterati who are sucking the lifeblood out of the cotswold villages – indeed villages all over England – not the Turnip Taliban, by pricing ordinary people out of their homes and introducing their twee notions of what village life is about.

    • Chris Golightly

      I doubt UKIP will go much further. Their people and policies are far too lightweight, poorly defined and written. They have unsurprisingly been a little short term protest. I am not entirely certain there are too many “Lefty Glitterati” doing much sucking in Cotswold villages. I suspect Rowling was being a little tongue in cheek here. Delingpole’s “Stalinist” usual sensationalist comment is fairly typical of a man who thinks he is funnier than he really is. This so-called “review” tells me nought but more on JD’s politics and views which many of us have had more than enough of now.

      • UKIP Kiddie

        For a party that did so incredibly well in the Euro elections, I wouldn’t write UKIP off so easily, if I were you.

        • Chris Golightly

          Well I imagine there are many UKIP folk who are not writing themselves off from getting a few seats, but that protest registering vote was something, serious voters and lives are another. I have read the various UKIP manifestos from recent times and looked at the Party demographics and do not think it will do much better in a General Election. There also seems to be a lot of bias and ignorance running through the group about economic policies in general and climate change and the green energy transition in particular. As a result, I am just not interested in even the remotest possibility of this group of people with such limited and outdated ideas taking part in any real coalition government of a country in the future. I do not think they have the people, the pragmatism, the professional experience or the capabilities to do that. I believe they are really just a protest group who have no intention of having power and the responsibility that goes with that. The UKippers are not as capable and politically competent as the Front National in France, thankfully.

          • UKIP Kiddie

            Thank you for such a dignified and considered response, I wish others on this site could be as civil. It is a pleasure to agree to disagree with one as respectful as yourself.

          • Chris Golightly

            No problem Kiddie. The UKIP “phenomenon” has identified certain things which they are correct about, such as uncontrolled, unlimited immigration, which is a problem in many countries in Europe, especially Italy and potentially Spain, from North Africa. In Britain this was just allowed to flow too freely, unmanaged. The problem is the UKIP group are not the people who will be able to deal with it. Their (your) success and that of the SNP and now the Greens is a result of the insipid incompetence and spinelessness of the “political class” in England, particularly the London Metro crowd. But we should all remember that whether “Left” or “Right” politically, we have moved into times where things happening in Syria, Ukraine and Libya are now so serious that we need to remember that the things that divide us in discussions like this are almost certainly nothing..NOTHING, compared to the divisions that divide “Us” from those who wish to slaughter us and our children or push us as hard as they can to the brink of an Eastern European war. I am not being melodramatic.

          • UKIP Kiddie

            You certainly aren’t being melodramatic about us being on the brink of an Eastern European war. The fact is the EU started this by wooing Ukraine into its membership and when the Russian bear showed its teeth, the EU backed away and left the Ukranians to their fate. You are right, of course, that we have arrived at this juncture because the LibLabCon have let us all down badly. I will be voting UKIP because I could not ever again bring myself to vote for any of the main parties for the reasons you have highlighted. I hope you also vote for a party other than the LibLabCon.

        • UKSteve

          If you think that has any relevance or bearing on the general election whatsoever, I suggest you go and read copiously – for a couple of years.

          Just look at 2009 / 2010.

          • UKIP Kiddie

            That was then, this is now. The world has moved on and we find ourselves in uncharted political territory.

          • UKSteve

            You are – like, I suspect, 99% of UKIP, a political ignoramus. If not, worse.

            God forbid anyone should vote for this shower of clueless half-wits.

          • UKIP Kiddie

            Thanks for the compliment. I am no ignoramus thank you very much. I was a lifelong Labour supporter, but never again will I be lied to, taken for granted or sneered at by the main parties. Thankfully we live in a democracy where people are free to vote for whomever they want. I like replies to my posts but others have shown a lot more respect than you have.

          • UKSteve

            Well, it is clear that my description was spot-on even in a wider sense (and I think you need a new dictionary), and it is further endorsed by the phrase “….a lifelong Labour supporter…”

            Seen this?

            The lying and sneering by the main parities has been going on since 1990 – where have you been?

            Unfortunately, we live in a democracy where 1 in 3 can’t be bothered to get up off their ar$es, even in the age of postal voting and Winston Churchill had some interesting ideas about the system,

            “That was then, this is now. The world has moved on and we find ourselves in uncharted political territory.”

            This was one of the most spectacularly stupid things I’ve read on the internet – it is showing neither respect nor disrespect, it’s simply a statement of fact. I’ve no idea how long “lifelong” is meant to be, but if you think UKIP is the answer in this political climate….well, enough said.

          • UKIP Kiddie

            I am 60 years of age so lifelong in this case means lifelong. Maybe UKIP doesn’t have all the answers but I am all for someone other than the LibLabCon having a go. Fair enough, if you are happy with the status quo, then by all means vote for one of the main parties, but things will just get worse under them. The lying and sneering has been going on long before 1990 but until UKIP came along, apart from a handful of fringe parties, there wasn’t a viable alternative (for me) other than the main parties. We are just going to have to agree to disagree but I would urge you to think outside the box and consider voting for a party other than the LibLabCon.


    Well they couldn’t just come-out and say that farage is a modern hitler, and that ukip are a racist party for morons who hate democracy and is most closly modelled on ISIS, or the ukip fascists would sue them!
    So really they should just be glad that it was meant to be funny rather than accurate, and that we live in a democracy where our morons can admitt to being neo-nazis without good people executing them for the good of our children!

    • UKIP Kiddie

      It wasn’t just funny, it was hilarious. To think that ‘professionals’ cobbled that load of piffle together. But never mind, it just rallied even more support to us. Thanks a bunch Channel Four!

    • UKSteve

      I think you mean “Hitler”. And “Farage”. No hyphen in ‘come out’. And that should be UKIP…….oh what’s the point?

      And you call people “morons”?

  • UKIP Kiddie

    I must congratulate the ones contributing on this site, especially the anti-UKIPPERS ~ hilarious!

  • You don’t need a TV licence even if you have a TV. I only watch catch-up TV and online content and told the licencing people just that; so don’t have to have a licence at all. We watch things like this old cartoon, for free

  • Callum D George

    Sounds like nothing but the author having a frothing-mouth strop at having his desperately closely-held and completely embarrassing political views challenged by writers and actors who, unlike him, have some talent.
    UKIP is simply one dying throe of the backward, childish ideological shitstorm that is social conservatism, a sociological illness of mankind that thankfully is beginning to come to an end.
    Within a century, small-minded organisations such as UKIP, the BNP and the Conservative Party will be remembered as a shameful stain, a mere distraction, on the history of our species’ progress.

    • UKIP Kiddie

      I consider all the main parties to be a ‘shameful stain’ on our species’ progress. UKIP doesn’t have all the answers, none of the parties do, but you have to choose between more of the same or move on. I would urge voters to throw their support behind any party other than the LibLabCon, because they have failed the electorate and will continue to do so as long as they are given a mandate.

  • Circuit Ben

    I got sick of British people banging on about immigration like it affects them personally, so I emigrated. Now I realise how stupid we look from the outside, it is embarrassing to say the least.

  • stephen

    in terms of the dangers of immigration no one has mentioned the terrible impacts on the existing societies of australia, new zealand and north america of the mass arrival of the british