The results are in. The BBC, stubborn to the last, is desperately spinning the results. Apparently if you add the LibDem votes to the Green votes, count Labour as a Remain party and chuck in all the minor parties’ votes (see what I did there?), the Brexit Party didn’t really win the EU elections. This was, if you look at it through the wrong end of the telescope while standing on one leg, facing the other way while wearing two eye patches and a blindfold, an obviously overwhelming victory for Remain.
It won’t wash. If the EU voting system were not fiddled to make it impossible to get a result that didn’t lead to compromise, fudge and horse-trading then there would be only one man standing after this apocalyptic night: revived by a couple of years off, invigorated by the mendacity of the political class and its betrayal of the British people, Nigel Farage once more bestrides the European landscape like a colossus.
When a new Pope processes through the cheering crowds of Rome for the first time, close behind him is a monk who, when the adulation reaches a hysterical climax, lights a flaxen thread soaked in pitch. It flashes into ash and is gone in an instant. Through the tumult the Pope hears the chilling whisper: ‘sic transit gloria mundi.’ So passes the glory of this world.
Let me be that monk, let me light that fragile thread, let me whisper the warning. ‘Watch it, mate, we’ve been here before and that went tits up. Don’t throw this chance away.’
It probably sounds better in Latin.
Let me digress. In the 2015 General Election UKIP came second in West Suffolk, which in 2017 meant that the final Radio Suffolk interview had me and Call Me Matt Hancock standing on Newmarket High Street being quizzed by the local presenter who was in a nice, quiet and warm studio in Ipswich. We’d just been wiped out in the County elections and he seized on this, rather rudely I thought:
“OK, you’ve won the referendum, you’ve been rejected by Suffolk’s voters. What’s the point of UKIP now?”
I’d learnt our manifesto, had it all down pat. But what came out of my mouth was unprepared, spontaneous, from the heart.
“Britain is ruled by a political class. Left or Right it doesn’t matter. They go to the same schools, the same universities. They party together, they marry each other. They’re the same and they no longer speak for the British people. The job of UKIP is to smash that political class.”
Nigel Farage has used the same rhetoric while on the stump for this election. Let me light the thread, let me whisper a warning.
The new MEPs deserve all the adulation they will receive from those of us sick of the troughers and parasites who infest the upper reaches of political life. New brooms, they can sweep away the Clarks, the Greens, the Kinnocks, the nomenclatura. But there is a danger here, the ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ syndrome.
There’s an election coming, a real one, a General Election, one that could change the way we are governed. But it could still go wrong. The MSM knives are out already, picking over the names, hinting that far from smashing the political class, TBP is recruiting from it and is, after all the noise and fuss, just another bunch of entitled poshoes.
Counter that smear, crush it before it gains currency. Recruit from all walks of life, Dukes and dustmen, they have a right to be heard, a right to speak for Britain. Parliament should be like a jury, a cross-section of commonsensical real people who have their heads screwed on right and who know the value of things other than worldly success, money and power.
Up like a rocket, down like the stick. Not necessarily, Mr Farage. Get this one right, choose the right team and the Brexit Party rocket can make it into orbit.
Julian Flood is a retired RAF pilot (Vulcans and Buccaneers) who recently resigned as Chairman of the West Suffolk Branch and left UKIP in order to vote TBP on Thursday.