Plain Jane 050914

Of course Nigel Farage was selected as our UKIP candidate for South Thanet. He was always going to be and I am surprised that those “campaigning against” this inevitability, wanted to give him all the extra publicity. Mr Farage and his cronies must have been rubbing their hands with glee – who needs a campaign manager when you’ve got “Thanet Stand Up to UKIP” plastering your name all over the papers. I firmly predict he will get in too. The Greens and Lib Dems don’t have a hope in hell (and with Ian Driver batting for the former, let us be thankful for small mercies), the Conservative is ex UKIP so what’s the difference (Laura Sandys might just have given NF a run for his money), and Will Scobie is probably a very nice chap but looks as if he should be in school uniform. (Ageism cuts both ways). But it’s not all bad. I am as dismayed as the next woman by the thought of UKIP actually getting some power- even if it’s just the one seat –  but must admit, with my columnist’s hat on, to a small frisson of glee myself at the prospect of the entertainment value. I am only sorry that the local Tories have missed a trick. For maximum hilarity, they need to send the unappealing Craig Mackinlay packing  and bring in Boris.
NO DOUBT Mr Farage will be at pains to tell me, but I’m never quite sure what I feel about “Europe”. If I was pushed to summarise I’d say it’s a good idea badly executed. A bit like Comprehensive Schools or organised religion. Free trade and movement and job opportunities are all fine ideals but look what the French did to our apples and now we’re not even allowed to own a decent vacuum cleaner. Big retailers have announced record sales of the household appliance prior to the new EU ruling against manufacturing or importing cleaners of above 1600 watts (five of the top seven cleaners in a Which? report used more power than this). Apparently they are coming for our hair-dryers next. Who knows where it will all end. Will they ban fast-boiling kettles, quick spinning dryers and the sort of irons that even I can turn out a crease-free shirt with? I am no scientist, but won’t everything just take longer and use up the same amount of electricity in the end? While general productivity falls as we wait around in our damp clothes, with our wet hair, on our crumb-specked carpets, just to get a cup of coffee?
IN CASE anyone else is thinking of throwing their hat into the ring – perhaps starting up the “Common Sense”, “Stop Talking B******cks” or the “What-We-Really-Want” Party, can I say I’m right behind you. For the candidate who pledges to protect our precious NHS while paying nurses properly, stop messing with the education system while teaching basic literacy, show some logic in matters of health and safety (and quit re-calculating the alcohol units till every second granny who likes more than one sherry is a binge drinker), re-open Manston Airport and preserve the sanctity of the sub post office and the local pub, all without robbing the poor, demonizing the rich or being totally short-sighted and annoying –  I am ready to put my cross in your box.
We can, as they say, always dream…


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