When I was a kid, my house team in school was Scott House, named after the (doomed) Antarctic explorer. Our house colour was yellow, a subliminal message perhaps that I should stick with this colour and it would be influential in my later years as a LibDem?
I digress. Anyway our House didn’t have the most sporty kids in it. Nor the cleverest. I guess we were a bit middle of the road. But I do remember we had a lot of heart and on occasions we did beat the fastest on the athletics track or came top in class (resulting in much sought after house points), we’d cheer and celebrate our teammates.
I have this feeling this morning, following the EU Elections and the performance of the LibDems.
I feel we punch above our weight. People write us off yet still there we are, our successes cheered on by a passionate group of supporters, activists, friends (house points aplenty). South Norfolk registered the highest percentage of votes for LibDems in the whole of Norfolk, something to be proud of. And now we have two LibDem MEPs.
This feeling is tempered a little by the new/old kid on the block, Farage. I’ve forgotten how many political come-backs this man has had. Just when you think that’s the end of him, up he pops again like some pantomime villain, the Lazarus of politics. His ability to reinvent the kind of politics he espouses is nothing short of astonishing and the media inexplicably love him.
In that respect he is pretty astute. He has the plain speaking talk ordinary people like, no politician-ese for him, Nige tells it like it is, he’s your man.
But is he? Despite shrugging off lies (£350 million anyone?) like a non stick coated frying pan and people thinking he is a breath of fresh air with his new shiny light blue party, I can’t help but think about The Emperor’s New Clothes.
He might seem like he’s talking sense. He might appear a man of the people. He might have been able to draw people to his cause. But in reality he is a self-serving egotist, prepared to represent the UK in the EU Parliament yet not really as he takes the Euros but fails to be a proper part of a Parliament he despises. His intentions are certainly not honest or honourable.
His new party scooped up the votes of UKIP and possibly hard-core Leave Tories. But is he the new face of UK politics?
His party has no policies (save exiting the EU) so what were people voting for? Say we do exit the EU in October. What happens to his party? Will they start to absorb the Tories?
His party is unlikely to do well in a General Election due to our electoral system. Will they seek reform so they can be elected?
Ultimately time will show if this was a major turning point in our history , the death of one shade of blue and the birth of another. Because I don’t see much of a difference between them.
Going back to our school houses, our nemeses was Bonnington House. The sporty kids. The clever kids. Their colour was blue.
Yet how we would cheer when we beat them.
To be continued…