To misquote Kings Henry II on Thomas a Becket – ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent weather’? It’s been another bleedin’ awful day in the Calder Valley. For the umpteenth in a row we’ve had rain, fog, low cloud and the sort of depressing weather that make you want to reach for a travel brochure that features white sand beaches and palm trees. Not that there’s much chance of that at the moment, unfortunately.
To add to the general merriment we’re also slogging our way through a turgid general election campaign where you wish an option on the ballot paper would be ‘non of the above’. I received my postal ballot today and found that we have a choice of Holly Lynch, the incumbent Labour MP – whom I respect, even if I can’t stand ‘Magic Grandad’, her party leader, or some of the lacklustre people he’s put on the Shadow Front bench. Then there’s the Lib-Dems, the Tories (whose candidate lives in Lancashire!), the Greens and the Brexit party. The woman who’s paid Farage her £100 to stand for the Brexit party lives way over East in Batley and Spen, the constituency where their Labour MP, Jo Cox, was brutally murdered by a far-right extremist.
The Brexit party candidate’s name’s Sarah Wood and all I know about this young woman is that I’m getting well pissed-off with her clogging my Facebook page with adverts like this! She admits she never voted until 2015, now she expects to be elected as an MP, but I’ll be damned if even she knows what she stands for. One of her videos filmed in the local market claims the Brexit Party will scrap local business rates and replace them with a ‘small’ tax on online retailers. It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to spot the flaw in that plan! This is populist politics at its basest.
Well, that and the fact her replies to some of the comments on her FB adverts don’t exactly make you think she’s a political titan who’s got much of a grasp of things. You know, like reality…
I’m hoping that Wood will split the brexity vote and allow Holly Lynch to retain the seat in order to help deprive Boris Johnson of a majority. Plus, we get to keep a decent local MP, so a win all round!
How the election’s going to play out is anyone’s guess, but I’ve been heartened to see how many young people (ie, under 35) have registered to vote before the deadline closed. The potential impact this could have can’t be underestimated, because they’re the one’s who have most to lose from Brexit, and it’s clear that Conservative Party Central Office are acutely aware of this as Johnson’s lead in the polls starts to disappear. I don’t believe for a minute that Corbyn is going to sweep to power. I suspect we’ll end up with another hung Parliament, but I am hopeful that tactical voting will produce more than a few ‘Portillo moments’ (when he lost his seat in a shock result in the 1997 general election). I came across this on Twitter earlier and hope it has relevance to Halifax too…
Politics and weather aside, I’m back on the rails again tomorrow, so expect the first rolling blog for a while. I’m heading back to London to get some pictures for a magazine, then pop over to an event that I don’t want to spill the beans about just yet. The reasons for that will become clear tomorrow! Typically, the weather forecast isn’t looking great wherever I am, North or South, the only difference is that the rain will be warmer in London!