All I remember from Far from the Madding Crowd was that Gabriel’s sheep were driven like lemmings to hurl themselves off a cliff – never to be heard from again. Nigel Farage has no intention of watching his flock of UKIP supporters perform a similar feat – he has declined to stand for election as the MP for Newark in the forthcoming by-election.
He has been widely ridiculed – especially by the current holders of a 16,000 majority – as ‘chicken’ for this decision. ‘Bottled it’.
The people of Newark are not the people of Islington. They don’t subscribe to the politically correct views espoused in that gilded bubble of polenta and all things Soya. They have mortgages, not capital-gains free ‘uplifts’ in the property market. They queue for NHS treatment, not glide into the Kensington and Chelsea. They search the jobs vacant column for opportunities for tool fitters, not toy with the idea of taking on another part time sinecure on a quango. They save for a holiday in Benidorm, not while away sunny days in French chateaux owned by wealthy industrialists. Some of them even walk their children to school and fret that the local islamists haven’t taken over the Governors board, nor other pupils resorted to a carving knife by way of avoiding their ‘O’ levels.
So I have just one question for you this morning – how d’you think David Cameron or Ed Miliband would fare if standing for re-election in Newark on June 5th?
A ‘clucking’ disaster if you ask me. No prizes for estimating Nick Clegg’s chances…