Watching grown men and women desperately avoid saying the painfully obvious really is one of the least edifying things about politics. Watching the Beeb’s coverage of Eastleigh for the last few hours, I’ve seen, variously, Chuka Umunna, Grant Shapps (resembling Tony Blair playing a bit-part in The Hobbit) and a terrified-looking John Denham all trying to spin their party’s humiliating cataclysm as somehow less humiliating and cataclysmic than the other lot’s. Andrew Neil is having a great time.
“Mr Denham, your party is coming fourth! You’re facing an unpopular coalition and the sitting MP has had to resign after pleading guilty to a crime! How is this not a complete disaster?” “Well, we’ve made lots of contacts down here and the voters are very positive about hearing the Labour message.” “But they’re not voting for you.”
“Mr Shapps! You’ve come third behind Ukip! Is this a crisis for David Cameron?” “No, it’s a very worrying result for Labour.”
The comb is long gone, but they’re both fighting for the right to say they never wanted it in the first place.
How they must be longing to break down in tears and shout ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT IT’S AWFUL WHY MUST YOU TORMENT ME SO.
At least Nigel Farage and Simon Hughes are enjoying themselves. Anyway, result in a second.