On last week’s leadership debate on BBC TV, Nigel Farrage made himself look even further away from planet earth. First, Cameron scored a real own-goal by not turning up, giving the impression that everyone else was sorting out the country without him. First rule of politics – as CP Snow observed, is ‘always show up.’ Or, as he put it, ‘never be too proud to be present.’
Second rule of politics: don’t diss the audience. Farrage’s very unwise comment that this was ‘a typical BBC left-wing audience’ went down very badly and he was sharply rapped over the knuckles by David Dimbleby who informed him that the audience had been independently selected to represent the whole range of views. I guess Nige thought it’d play well with the supporters at home to say that – but the thing is, they’ll vote for him anyway. The whole point of having a debate is to convince those who might not vote for you. So it was a bad debate for the Tories and UKIP; and I bet the Lib Dems were fuming at not being able to take part either.
All of this is nicely satirised in radio 4’s ‘Vote Now Show’.
But let us turn to pleasanter topics. I know of no greater satisfaction than shredding. Thanks to Streetbank we have borrowed a shredder, and all the prunings (minus the big branches) can be reduced to mulch. Then when I weed a patch of garden as I did yesterday, the mulch can go on it, and the whole thing has gone full circle with the only environmental damage being the electricity the shredder has used. It is quite stupendous how much zing and lickety-split and ding-dang-dillet* it can give you, doing stuff in the garden. All I need now is a lawn-edging tool and my life will be complete: the lawn thinks it’s tidal and the tide is up, covering edges and borders in uncontrolled waves. I’ve tried cutting it back with a spade, but a spade just won’t hack it.
Enjoy the sunshine and try not to worry too much about global warming. Nigel isn’t – but then, after all, he’s on Planet Thanet where they don’t have global warming…
* I think that may be a phrase of General Melchett