Most people in the UK had a drink or two over this sunny May bank holiday weekend, I hope there aren’t too many queasy hang-overs today. I’m sure that pint tasted good for Nigel Farage, the jovial leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party. If he couldn’t celebrate after his party took nearly a quarter of the vote in last week’s local elections, then when could he? Next year, I suppose, if his party rises to its big moment at the elections for the European parliament when some predict an overwhelming UKIP resurgence. We will have to wait and see but Mr Farage seems to have found a way of tempting large numbers of British people to his seductive saloon bar Utopia where there are comfortingly easy answers to Britain’s complex problems in this disconcerting time of national insecurity. With each new round of intoxicating drinks served up in Nigel’s bar, his followers feel that things don’t have to be so bad for Britain after-all. Inside his olde worlde tavern, nicotine-stained nostalgia burgeons in smokey rooms where political manifestos are scribbled on soggy beer mats and where sober reality is banned from the club.
David Cameron, the British prime minister, may well scratch his head. He thought he was holding a nostalgia party until Nigel Farage jollied his way onto the scene. If things were looking bad for his chances of re-election, they have got a whole lot worse now that he has been party-pooped by so many of his traditional supporters, old-style Rule Britannia types, a coalition of tweedy suburban dreamers and abrasive Ford Mondeo-drivers who share the late Margaret Thatcher’s distrust of foreigners especially ones who don’t speak English and who see politics as an intellectual debate. David Cameron can hear the confident laughter coming from Nigel Farage’s bar down the road while he tries to humour the dwindling numbers of restless guests at his low key wine and cheese party.
Talking of coalitions, the Liberal-Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, is still at David Cameron’s party, he even chose the classy French wine and his own supply of Camembert cheese supplementing the David’s mature English cheddar, but he is not happy. He too can hear the laughter from Nigel’s bar and fears that David may soon have to roll out a barrel of old English ale and a hearty supply of pork scratchings. After those local elections, Nick knows that he can’t keep the party going on his own. No one has gone for his guacamole canapes and his Camembert has started to sweat. Maybe he should look for another party, I hear the Labour leader, Ed Milliband, is going to have a bar-b-que if the weather stays fine. Nick, just bring an 8-pack of beers, in case the wine runs out. This morning I heard my first cuckoo. Cheers everyone in the UK, hope you enjoyed the party.