Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Man of the Day: Stephen Wilkinson

I can imagine what happened.

You wake up on one of the first warm days of spring, throw open the curtains and watch the early morning sun glinting on the infant Ribble. You look back over your life - the compromises and thwarted ambitions and wonder how you came to be a New Labour candidate. Iraq? Identity cards? Margaret Hodge? Was it for this that you attended all those dreary meetings in draughty church halls and delivered all those leaflets?

You hear time's winged chariot [I devoured Marvell as a kitten] drawing near. In future, you resolve, you will life live differently. You will live it at the edge, as though every moment were your last. You want to do something wild, something different, something crazy.

Suddenly it hits you: "I know what I'll do," you cry aloud, "I'll join the Liberal Democrats!"

I suppose it is all a great coincidence that it should happen on the first day of the campaign. But I think it is fair to say that this is just the sort of stunt that Labour were pulling on other parties a few years ago. In 2005 it is happening to them.

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