What could be a bigger turn-off for an electorate than to have a candidate so devoid of appeal that his supporters have to pretend that he is popular? The point was originally made by the Monty Python team decades ago, with a sketch about a by-election in the rather obviously fictional constituency of North Minehead, where a Mr Hilter was standing for the National Bocialist Party (geddit?!?).
Bit more difficult than appearing on Fox News
Even though he appears devoid of a sense of humour, someone ought to sit James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole down and play this video for him. Why so? Well, Del Boy has entered the fray and is standing as an anti wind farm candidate in the forthcoming Corby by-election, a contest precipitated by the departure of Louise Mensch.
And by his own admission, Del isn’t faring too well with the locals, some of whom are not lapping up his sneering dismissal of any idea that does not meet with his approval, or his unwavering self-confidence in Himself Personally Now. He is having difficulty introducing nuance to his arguments, or even tact to his encounters with voters. Like Mr Hilter, he is frightening them off.
Del firstly tells how he encountered one likely recruit to his cause, told him about “bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes”, but did not get the response he expected: that voter remained unconvinced that wind turbines were the evil that Del claimed. Yet he then asserted that he was in the contest “to give a voice to all those rural people ... in East Northants”. Not that one he wasn’t.
Yet still he rants on: “Normally in politics there are two sides to every argument. What’s unique about this one is that proponents of wind simply haven’t a leg to stand on”. This does not sit well with last week’s news that wind power had met over 10% of the country’s electricity demand over a sustained period, and in doing so had driven the spot price down, which suggests all those “expensive” claims are rot.
But this thought is not allowed to enter as Del keeps on putting his foot in it. Blinded by the certainty that he is right, and anyone that suggests otherwise is of lesser intellectual standing, he concludes “The wind industry is so wrong in every way that to be against it ought to be no more contentious than being against paedophilia”. Yes, wind power, like Paul McMullen’s privacy, is for paedos.
What will happen next in the saga of Delingpole the candidate? Will there be rallies? Will he manage to debate the issues without resorting to sneering abuse? Will the legendary air quotes be deployed? Or perhaps pundits will be left thinking of the parallels with Monty Python and the voter declaring “I don’t like the sound of these ‘ere boncentration bamps”.
Still, if you’ve got £500 to spray up the wall, eh? Welcome to the real world, Del.