How might Henry V have rallied members, candidates and supporters of UKIP and enthused wavering voters as we enter the official campaign period of this important electoral contest? Perhaps thus…
Once more unto the polls, dear friends, once more
and fill those boxes with your UKIP votes.
When all is well, nothing so becomes
a man as modest stillness and humility.
But when the blast of threats vexes our ears
we must imitate the action of the tiger.
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage
and lend the LibLabCon a terrible eye.
Let it pry through their heads like a cannon.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostrils wide.
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
to your full height. On, on, you noble British
who, like so many Alexanders, defeat
those foes whose aims are found askance
then sheath their swords for lack of argument.
Overcome their confounded base.
Dishonour not your country and
teach them well how a just fight is won.
Now you, worthy yeoman, whose limbs
were made in Britain, show us here the
mettle of your pasture; let us prove
that you are doubtless worth your breeding
for there is none of you so mean and base
that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
straining upon the start. The game’s afoot!
Follow your spirit and, upon this charge,
cry UKIP for Britain and a better future!
Adapted from Henry V’s speech to his troops (in Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s eponymous play) on the eve of The Battle of Agincourt in 1415.