The Scottish referendum highlighted an aspect all too clear in Britain today – everyone is fed up with politicians. The independence vote gave the Scots an opportunity to put two fingers up to the Westminster Parliament. In England of course we have our own independence movement, and this highlights a personal problem I have been struggling with for many years: in assessing people, their abilities and the quality of their judgements, how do you stop personal ‘attractiveness’ getting in the way of a sober evaluation of their capabilities? The inverse problem is as troublesome: how do you support someone who is doing a good job but that you personally dislike?
I quite like Nigel Farage. He has a straightforward attitude, he is unafraid of laughing at himself and he presents his arguments in a very credible manner. But UKIP policies encapsulate the very worst xenophobic ‘little Englander’ attitudes in this country. The idea that the essence of a political movement is to be ‘anti’ anything, suggests a limitation of intellect that is really quite worrying. And that worrying ‘limitation of intellect’ has just secured its first scalp. Let us hope that the defection and re-election of a person with strong local support is just a flash in the pan.
I think I am more depressed about British politics now, than I can ever remember.