No, really, we haven't made it up...
Fleet awoke last Wednesday to the front page splash in the Fleet News that ‘Mad Max’ Bobetsky, the affable and eccentric Official Monster Raving Loony Party parliamentary candidate in 2015 had joined the Tories. Moreover, he is set to stand against Alan Hope, his former party leader, in Fleet Central in the Hart District Council elections. Mr Hope seized his moment, with comments to the effect that ‘once a loony, always a loony’, but added that Mr Bobetsky was ‘a typical politician- he doesn’t know whether he is coming or going’.
There have been significant changes in the local electoral landscape since the General election. The Labour Party in North East Hampshire has seen its membership figures soar and its meetings well attended. It is in good heart – showing the vim and chutzpah sought by the Comment section of the Fleet News – and so is fielding a full slate of candidates across all the wards in Hart. Sources report no significant drift from Loonies to Labour, though there is speculation that some disillusioned Lib Dems may be contemplating Loonyism as the only step now open to them.
Maybe complacency in the Tory group in Hart is such that they can indulge in frivolous, headline grabbing stunts? The headlines are evidence that one part of the strategy has worked. And maybe more voters will turn out as a result.
But I cannot be the only one who has a queasy feeling at these developments?