No Gargle or Kitcat for me in the Euro election

By Charlotte Hofton

Friday, May 9, 2014


I said last week that today’s column would examine our magnificent apathy towards the European elections. Too late, I realised this was decidedly rash of me.

An election which is borne on a turgid tide of indifference does not really do it for my creative juices. And a whole column to fill — I must have been mad.

However, I like to be a woman of my word, so brace up. Here are the European elections, as promised.

I came to this topic as, figuratively speaking, a Euro-virgin.

Did I know who any of our representatives were? Or what constituency we were in? Or who was standing this time?

Did I know the date of the elections? Did I care?

Answers, respectively, no, no, no, no and no.

I have, however, been busy with my researches and am now very well informed, although unashamed of my erstwhile ignorance. I asked 50 people on the Island if they knew who any of our MEPs were and not one of them did.

As I said last week, this majestic apathy is the hallmark of the true English patriot.

Unless, of course, you’re one of the UKIP lot, who, for people who detest Europe and want to get out toute de suite (or as N. Farage would say, "right now, chum"), don’t half bang on about it. It’s their specialist subject, which is probably a good thing, because they’ve got absolutely no other policies.

My first astonishing discovery, having learned the Island is in the South East England constituency, is that Mr Farage is one of my representatives.

Imagine that! There are no less than ten MEPs for South East England, all looking after me, and Mr Farage has been doing the job for 15 years. Well, who knew? He’s kept that one dark, never so much as dropping in for a cup of tea. Still, I expect he’s been busy with his expenses.

Of the other nine, I’ve sort of heard of Daniel Hannan, but the rest of them are complete strangers. Sharon Bowles? Nirj Deva? Marta Andreasen? The last two sound like anagrams.

Ooh, that’s a good idea. Let’s liven up this European thing and Google the anagram generator. Marta Andreasen. That would be "Darn! A man teaser!", while Nirj Deva is "Darn! Jive!"

Isn’t that interesting? Puts an altogether different complexion on life in Strasbourg.

Nigel Farage is "A fine gargle." Yup, that’s about right. He’s been gargling on my behalf for 15 years and I never knew.

Now on to the main event, this month’s elections. Hold on, though, I’d better find out what date they’re on.

Ah yes, May 22. Well, I seem to be free that day, so I might as well rock up, especially now that I know so much about it.

Let’s have a look at the candidates, shall we? Bloody hell, there’s zillions of them. How many votes do I have? Just one, according to the official info.

"The number of MEPs each party gets is calculated using a formula called d’Hondt, except in Northern Ireland."

Oh dear, this is really boring. Who made the decision about this d’Hondt formula thingie? It sounds very foreign. I bet Fine Gargle doesn’t approve of that one.

There are actually 118 candidates, representing 15 parties, and I can put my one measly cross against "the party or independent candidate that you wish to vote for."

There are certainly some interesting names on the list. I’m tempted by Jason Kitcat but Millie Uncles and Dinti Batstone also have a certain appeal.

And how about Rev Anthony? If he and Mr Kitcat fail to get in, they’d surely make a fine alternative comedy duo.

There’s all manner of parties, too. The Harmony Party has a pleasing ring to it but the Roman Party is even better and has only one candidate, Jean-Louis Pascual, whose very name smoulders with Gallic passion.

Actually, I think I’ll ditch Jason Kitcat and I’m certainly not voting for a woman called Michaelina Argy, who sounds like trouble before we’ve even started.

But after all this work, I’d better vote for one of this lot, if only to try to unseat my last useless representatives, particularly Fine Gargle.

I need somebody who’ll provide some fun and am thus much attracted to the Roman Party. The Romans were famously good at parties.

Yes, I’ve made my decision. I’ll vote for them. Bienvenu, Jean-Louis!

Flattering rejection for Carole

Groucho Marx reputedly said: "I don’t want to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

Our MP’s partner, Carole Dennett, turned down for membership of the IW Conservative Association, should surely take comfort from Mr Marx. It’s no secret she thinks a sizeable proportion of the association’s executive are complete pills, so she can consider herself flattered in not gaining their approval.

I can’t imagine why she even wanted to apply or what she’d have done if she’d been accepted, but it was never going to be smoochy. All in all, a win-win situation for everybody on this one and so good to see our Island Tories united in contentment.

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