I’d just like to point out, having been a journalist for many years and having met these people, and also having been a member of the Labour Party for more than thirty years, that the constituency activists of every party are, in the main, swivel-eyed loons. They are endlessly busy, busy, busy, little monkeys, obsessive and shrill. This is the problem with democracy; the people who involve themselves in it most actively are the very people you would never wish to see near the levers of power.
I’m an irregular attender at meetings these days, but back in the 1980s I went every week or so to my local ward in Streatham in order to try to stop a horde of genuinely deranged wimmin committing us to certifiable policies. Remember Linda Bellos? The woman who suggested the Thatcher government was planning to ‘gas’ the workers? Never has the phrase ‘swivel-eyed loon’ been more appropriate. One of the loony women came round to my flat to deliver a news-sheet and was greeted by the Rolling Stones blaring out Bitch from my record player. I was too embarrassed to go back for weeks after that.
None of this should detract from CCHQ’s apparent plan to transfer the votes of every single Tory in the country to UKIP as quickly as possible. That’s all going swimmingly, I think. The slightly irritating thing is that the Lib Dems are sailing through this without blemish, and are slowly rising in the polls. I had rather hoped that they would be wiped out completely come May 2015.