There seems to have been more in the local paper about the Norwich election than the EU parliament one – though I haven’t yet read today’s local paper, it’ll wait until I get it soggy in the bath. We had leaflets delivered (by post, not volunteers) from the Conservatives, the Greens and the Labour party, so I was quite surprised when I looked at my voting slip and found a long list of parties, several of which I’d never heard about and most of those apparently being simply anti-EU. UKIP was at the bottom of the paper, another similar-sounding party was at the top – I don’t know how the order is selected, but it seemed confusing to me.
I’ve always been quite EU-sceptic, and I acknowledge that much of that is because I didn’t rate Ted Heath highly and he was the Prime Minister who took us into the Common Market, declaring at the time that it was simply a trading agreement, but years later acknowledging that it was obviously much more and anyone who didn’t know that was naïve. I feel very European and I just dislike the extra layers of bureaucracy. However, I’m coming briefly off the non-political fence to say that UKIP has influenced me quite strongly. It’s turned me from Euro-sceptic to Europhile.
I’m not sure that the pundits, who say that the Conservatives are losing votes to UKIP are entirely correct, however, or at any rate, they only have part of the story. I listen a lot more than I say in political matters, and most of the people I know who say “He has a point, you know” are people who have normally voted Labour in the past, but are in low-paid jobs and are afraid of losing them. I can hardly feel that any success the party has is anything but protest voting, mind you – i think most people vote realistically at a General Election, for a government rather than on a whim.
In other news, today I’ve mostly been scrubbing the big greenhouse. I feel very dirty. Well, I am very dirty. I’m off to have a bath Right Now.