Tomorrow, people in Rochester and Strood have an opportunity to free their former MP from membership of the reality-based community and make him the second, wobbly and flat-tyred parliamentary wheel of the bicycle of racists, misogynists, homophobes and anti-intellectual weirdos that is the United Kingdom Independence Party.
That Mark Reckless, the spectacularly ineffective former member of the Conservative Party and famous pre-vote drinker will be elected UKIP MP for Rochester and Strood is as much as a foregone conclusion as a Jammie Dodger eating contest between Eric Pickles and Maria Eagle. That Labour will have to pretend that it marks a worse day for the Conservatives than Labour is also assumed. The spin helicopter has already lifted off. But this by-election means precisely nothing.
This by-election is the political equivalent of eating Celery for lunch – 100% guilt free. It’s an election with no consequences. People can use it to throw a punch at Labour and Conservatives – and to cock a snook at the Lib Dems, knowing that Reckless will be as deeply useless to them after the election as before, and that the country will continue to be governed by a Tory-led coalition, just like they opted for at the last General Election. The people of Rochester and Strood are quite right to use the leverage they unexpectedly have, to make the un-promotable Reckless some sort of national spokesperson. That’ll be fun.
UKIP is an awful shower of shouty, showy buffons- the basement dwelling national weak, who feel the need to be ruled as if by a Fuehrer whilst pretending Uncle Nigel is really setting them free – people scared by their own shadows, who see the spectre of foreignness everywhere they go. This is the crew of people who crave a full Sunday Roast while in Benidorm – who complain that the tea just isn’t the same away from home, and who can’t really bring themselves to like Dale Winton – all in the one conversation. Theirs is a grubby party, a cowering party, a party in need of Uncle Nigel and his ABSOLUTELY BRITISH SURNAME to tell them that everything will be all better with a pint glass glued to our hand and a working knowledge of the second verse of the National Anthem.
If you are a UKIP voter, then, with the sincerest pity I greet you. You’re crazy, but you’ll get better. It might just be a 24 hour thing.