2016: The good, the bad and the bonkers

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ANN WIDDECOMBE: A former Strictly contestant.

I WROTE last time about 2016, the year of the political earthquake, and pollsters, pundits, bookies – you name it – getting everything wrong! Well, this time, let’s look not at events of 2016, but at some of the people who made the headlines.

We saw David Cameron stepping down and Theresa May stepping up and Jeremy Corbyn clinging on and Nigel Farage becoming the most influential Brit with the president-elect of the United States. Then there was Boris Johnson becoming our top diplomat and Great Balls on Fire / Ed the Sex Demon / Golden Balls (or, in other words, Ed Balls to you and me) becoming for some a ‘national treasure’ on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. . . 

But why this support for second-rate politicians who happen to have had years of dubious free publicity (for which they were quite rightly dumped by the electorate) stealing the limelight from others? 

For some, the former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe (whose own, err, natural grace carried her to week 10 as a Strictly contestant in 2010) advising Balls not to “do a John Sergeant” and quit the show before the better contestants were voted off smacked of the Second-Rate Politicians’ Union. 

“He must go with what the public decide,” she declared at the time. “If he gets into the final he should do his best to win . . . The public are enjoying the entertainment. If that’s what they want it’s what they should get.” Populism rules OK!

Is it just me, or are ex-politicians disporting themselves on such shows turning themselves into figures of ridicule? Heck, if you had told me two years ago that the man who stopped Gordon Brown hitting people would be pirouetting on national television, I’d have said, “Oh yeah, and the next American president will be Donald Trump!” 

Finally, as for the transatlantic bromance between Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, an anagram of their two names would seem to be: ‘Parade of dull, grating men.’ Hmm. “Make America grate again!” as the man (might have) said.  

Nora Johnson’s psychological / suspense crime thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.   

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