I wrote some things about the Brexit Party recently, and why it would be impossible for the Tories to get into bed with them.
That was then, when I had done nothing to scratch the surface of the BP movement. Now I have had a look under the covers at the constituency level, I’m afraid I’m even more pessimistic.
Last week I attended a meeting to introduce the Brexit Party PPC for my area. Had I gone as an undercover remainer looking for succour, the occasion could not have passed more happily.
There is a woefully inadequate candidate, who has clearly had the benefit of no prior scrutiny or suitability vetting, no strategic guidance, no training and no support or facilitation from the centre, barring a few bundles of Brexit freesheets to hand out to volunteers who could put them through letterboxes.
And distributing those newssheets is all our candidate cared about. She had no thoughts even about which letterboxes they went through… no street-by-street or even ward-by-ward targeting. She couldn’t even spare 5 minutes to tell us who she is, what we were there for and what the party’s strategy is nationally and locally. I was left unpersuaded that she had a satisfactory answer for any of those questions, to be honest.
It’s clear from talking the old Kippers at the meeting who have been around the block with this, that the party harbours no ambition to win this seat in the affluent South-East, in spite of literally half the constituency having voted for Brexit. I guess Farage and Tice must have something like 50-100 target seats in the midlands and the north: just enough to hold the balance of power were a portion of those, by some miracle, elected. And I suppose they have to put candidates in every seat to mop up all the votes nationally, so they can point at the numbers and say, just as UKIP did in 2015, ‘no fair, we got 4 million votes and just one lousy seat in parliament.’
And then the remainers, Labour, Tory and LibDems can all point and laugh at the silly Brexiters.
I’m afraid to confirm it appears that the minute the election is called, the Brexit Party is going to be found out in the way I descrived previously and, after the ensuing media bloodbath, they’re going to do well to poll better than UKIP, less still get any candidates into parliament. It’s one thing not to want professional politicians, but if the alternative is politicians who can’t even convene and chair a meeting at the village hall, I’m not sure I’m buying what’s for sale.
Still, I suppose it solves the conundrum of letting Labour in through the middle by splitting the Tory vote.
It makes me sad though. A great many people are, once again, not going to get what they were solemnly promised, and after all hope and faith is lost, we’ll end up with millions more people, whether they realise it or not, in Galt’s Gulch.