One of the strangest political walkabouts happened last week and its importance cannot be overstated. The Prime Minister, amidst the tightest of security, visited President Zelensky on the streets of the Ukrainian capital.
This was a remarkable act of solidarity with the war-torn country and the boost to moral cannot be understated. When you are fighting the might of the Red Army supplies of weapons matter enormously but acts of solidarity gives that extra boost.
President Zelensky continually heaps praise on Britain for the support we are giving whilst being a little more hesitant about doing so for some of our European neighbours. Some would still claim that having left the EU, we are little Englanders.
Ministerial walkabouts are a familiar experience for parliamentary candidates and MPs at election time. The bigger the name the greater the interest. I always value them, but some Ministers are barely noticed by the public so its lucky that few politicians have big egos…
The Prime Minister caused such a stir with left-wing protestors, during the 2019 General Election, that his security team vetoed a planned walkabout to meet local residents.
In politically turbulent times, the French are having their presidential elections and Emmanuel Macron was barely ahead of Marine Le Pen in the first round. Le Pen wants to intervene to set prices, subsidise French industries and introduce a wealth tax which rather sound like she has borrowed few Labour Party policies.
The traditional French political parties have almost disappeared only to be replaced with an array of somewhat odd characters. Strangely enough, the most constant aspect of recent French presidential elections is a member of the Le Pen family being in the final round.
Macron’s political party, En Marche, got its name because, when he created it, he decided that it should us his initials. What did I say about politicians and egos?
In the UK, I often hear that, by messing with different voting systems, we can get a better more inclusive politics. Often those same people are the ones who most decry the fact that Trump won in the US and Le Pen may win in France.
On reflection, for all our divisions, we do politics rather well in the UK.
This article was originally published in the Bolton News.