Friday, 20 February 2015
UKIP: The First 100 Days
"A biased, partisan depiction" of his party. That's what UKIP leader Nigel Farage thinks of this alt reality docudrama.
Well to quote the recently deceased Mandy Rice-Davies, ''he would say that, wouldn't he?''
But unfortunately some fifteen hundred (and counting) complaints have swamped Channel Four and Ofcom since the broadcast of UKIP: The First 100 Days, the 'what if?' drama on Monday night which depicted a future in which Nigel Farage won the general election in May 2015, which I guess just goes to show how quick to assemble and complain racists can be.
Thankfully of course the prospect of UKIP becoming the next party to lead our country is an unlikely one, but that's not the purpose of this docudrama from film maker Chris Atkins which mixes real-life archive material alongside scripted drama detailing the fledgling career of the newly elected fictional MP for Romford, Deepa Kaur (Priyanga Burford) a token Asian in Farage's party. The main aim here is to highlight UKIP's policies and encourage debate among the viewers in a manner which would hopefully open the eyes of anyone who is considering placing a X next to Farage's name in May.
Unfortunately however, I don't think it does this all that well and the rather hollow satire Atkins deploys is not in any way original or daring enough to truly merit the controversial status it clearly aspires to. Yes, it does its job of addressing the concerns that UKIP's policies are ill conceived, headline grabbing and empty, and that they would lead to nothing but an embittered, hate filled nation. But its drama is preaching to the converted at best and, at worst, has actually just added fuel to the fire of the notion that many UKIP supporters have - that the media is a metropolitan bunch of trendies sneering at the interests of the average common (white van) man and that their's is the only party that can truly represent this underdog. In many ways, I worry if this will actually have helped rather than harmed Farage and his ignorant cronies and his vocal protestations towards it, inspiring the rising complaints, can certainly help to achieve that.
Ultimately, UKIP: The First 100 Days follows the same fatally flawed path as previous Channel 4 complaint heavy docudramas like The Execution of Gary Glitter and The Taking of Prince Harry.