Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Just because Paul Nuttall is from the North, it doesn't mean he will appeal to Northern voters

When Paul Nuttall was elected leader of Ukip the commentators told us Labour should be afraid.

Nuttall came from the North, therefore he would appeal to Labour voters in the North.

That was, of course, nonsense.

It was like saying the Conservatives should be afraid of Jeremy Corbyn because he came from the South and would therefore appeal to Southern Conservative voters.

What it revealed was that, to too many commentators, the North of England is a homogeneous and unknown region stretching from somewhere just beyond Toddington Services to the Scottish Border.

It is populated, they imagine, by men with whippets and cloth caps and unmarried mothers with prams.

The truth is that Northern voters are as varied and discerning as Souithern voters. Perhaps a strong Northern candidate would appeal to them, but Paul Nuttall is not that man.

Those same commentators told us he was a great communicator. He is not.

Nuttall talks entirely in in cliches and prefabricated soundbites. And when he has unburdened himself of one of these, he gives a self-satisfied smile.

When he was on Daily Politics they noticed and kept the camera on him just that little bit longer than he expected. He looked very silly as a result. I suspect other journalists have noticed this too.

Nuttall is unable to talk for more than a few sentences without contradicting himself.

And, as he displayed on the Today programme this morning - "I'm massively excited about Donald Trump, It's clear he's an Anglophobe - he is not she sharpest point in the pencil case.

Add to that a silly face and an accent that will not appeal to everyone in the North, and you can see how wrong the commentators were.

Labour faces all sorts of problems - in the North as much as anywhere else - but I suspect Paul Nuttall will prove to be the least of them.

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