VIEWPOINTS: Breakfast in Bournemouth

It’s that time of year when parliament is in recess, the parties go to conference and commentators go to pieces – spoiled for choice by the rich seams of comedy material to mine.

This past week, it’s the Liberal Democrats in the grip of ‘Brexit fever’.

Prepare for Goober-mint

Political strings have been tuned to election pitch with everyone and their dog believing that polling day is mere heartbeats away.

Amid much loin-girding, as well as signing up lots of lovely new members, including some MP’s who come pre-elected (aka ‘lightly used’), Lib Dems have stormed through getting their Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) lined up.

The current tally is 320 according to LD political blogger Mark Pack, author of the book 101 Ways To Win An Election which, due to Bournemouth euphoria, is being retitled 326 Ways To Win A Majority. Only 292 to go then.

Foot in Mouth disease

Of course, when you’re lining up 650 candidates, you’ll be depriving a few villages of their idiots. So it wasn’t long before the first one appeared as the PPC for Banff and Buchan made 39 mis-steps on social media.

The post attributed to Galen Milne said: “Johnson, Fox, Gove, Davis, Rees-Mogg should be … burned at the stake”.

Waking smartly from semi-comatose recumbency, Rees-Mogg’s response of “As Lord President of the Council, I am entitled to the privilege of being beheaded” saw Milne’s political head being separated from its prospective body as 320 became 319.

Radio gar g-aahhh

Next up, and making sure that her third extra spare shovel was razor-sharp, the PPC for North Devon was interviewed by Ross Hawkins on BBC Radio 4’s World this Weekend. Or at least, it started out that way, but when it got picked up by BBC Radio 4’s World at One and The Spectator’s blog on Monday, her goose wasn’t so much cooked as burnt.

Kirsten Johnson had suggested that her prospective constituency voted Leave in the EU Referendum because there were very few ethnic minority voters. When asked what this had to do with voting Brexit, she said “I didn’t mean to mean that … you’ve got me in a corner here”. 

So when the interviewer said that they didn’t understand what the relevance of her point was, she replied about the rise of hate crimes. 

By now thoroughly bemused, the interviewer asked, “Do you link Leave voters to hate crimes”? whereupon she went into denial. Pressed again she replied, “I’m saying that because of the err, um, aahhh …” and that was it. Total elapsed time from prospect to fly-specked? Just under 84 seconds.

Fishy business

Earlier in the week, conference was addressed intelligently by a 13-year-old, as to why Britain’s yoof would support a tougher stance on revoking Brexit. The irony was lost on some of the delegates, so they promptly stood and applauded.

Elsewhere a Lib Dem MEP (age 65) wanted to ‘Fish for the Future’, so dressed as one. He warned conference as to how the new policy of revoking article 50 would be perceived, before voting in support of it later.

Despite his efforts, the Liberal Democrats promptly became the Liberal Autocrats.

Summery Summary

As ever, the cheerleader’s job is to have the final say, and “standing here as your candidate for Prime Minister”, she duly did. With “tired old parties having failed” (the previous night’s must have been bad), Britain deserved a better selection of Etonian socialist to deliver insults of choice.

She then set off the fire alarm of climate change before landing an eco-drone smack in the middle of the Green’s front lawn.

And having welcomed seven defectors, she marched down off the stage and into history – to go and defeat nationalism and populism.

The Last Word

Apart from voting revoke if elected to a majority government, becoming the Stop Brexit party and kicking sand in the other parties faces, they probably discussed something else at conference but I can’t for the life of me recall what it was.

Oh well, on with the sham pain and cocoa nuts then. Next week – Labour’s in Brighton.


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