Thursday, 10 January 2013


I recently watched the drama Restless on the BBC. It is an espionage thriller in which a double agent, as is their wont, sets up a colleague. Subterfuge goes on. Politically it's not that long ago since Nick Griffin was calling for BNP members to infiltrate the Tory party

As I left the polling station after voting at the 1987 election I was met by a film crew who asked me if I had changed my voting pattern since 1983. I knew that if I said yes and given them a rant about how bad the Tory government was then there was a chance I would be on TV. Like George Washington I couldn't tell a lie and no filming took place. However it doesn't take much planning to get someone to join a party as an act of subterfuge.

This morning when Nick Clegg faced insults from a radio caller they were all the more profound because they came from a former Liberal Democrat councillor who had just torn up his membership card. He was upset at the hard decisions that have to be made which were affecting the poorest. Nick answered well but it wasn't Nick but the caller who was making the headlines. I wonder where the former Liberal Democrat will turn to give his political support now. Publicly the caller is not supporting Labour. Michael Gambon played the double agent in Restless and he never admitted to supporting the Russians.

It was important for Nick to rebut the caller's claims but the telling point for me was that the caller said he 'first joined the party in 1973'. He didn't say that he has been a member since 1973. He didn't say how many times he had torn up his membership card and done his best to criticise the Liberal Democrats. Could there be an element of subterfuge?

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