Time for a virtual chorus of "Basildon" *

Orang Utang* See Liberator’s Glee Songbook, available at all good Liberator stalls.

I’ve been thinking a lot about values, beliefs and politics recently.

A friend recently challenged me for my support of Nick Clegg, saying “he’s a Tory”. The friend is a Labour supporter, but voted tactically for the LibDems in 2010. He is so disppointed that he will vote Tory next time. Eh? Voting out of bloody mindedness? Interesting. I didn’t like to tell him that I have listened to Nick Clegg speak about 50 times and interviewed him twice. He isn’t a Tory. But he does look like one. But, trust a Labour supporter not to understand liberalism.

I am a great admirer of our “In” campaign and Nick Clegg’s strong leadership of it.

But, of course, we must hold hands and sing “Basildon” for all the activists and councillors who sweated blood over years only to be disappointed today.

But 13% Curticed National vote share is not a “disaster” and getting 17% is most certainly not an “earthquake” for UKIP. It’s less than they got in last year’s elections.

It will be interesting to see how the European election vote compares when the ballots are finally unlocked.

I certainly enjoyed the campaign and I am now bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. When we get our local council election results next May, I may not be similarly high-spirited.

But what is important are our values and beliefs. And, as Caron Lindsay said today, it is vital that we do not pander or bow to extremism.

There is hope. A UKIP councillor blamed her party’s low London vote on the “educated, cultured and young” population of the capital. Well, that says it all, doesn’t it?

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