Fields of wheat and other political distractions…

I think it must be time to shove my head in the washing-machine and flush out all the politics.

What a lot there has been these past weeks. Now that we are on the last day of campaigning, what have we learned? We’ve learned that Theresa May is a terrible campaigner, truly awful. Robotic, awkward, arrogant and strangely uncomfortable with the meat and veg of politics – the arguments and discussions, proving yourself through debate, rather that surrounding yourself with zombies sporting blue rosettes.

She has shown herself to be the most brittle crisp in the packet. And the flavour of that packet? Oh, vinegar and more vinegar.

Mrs Maybe started this unnecessary election because, she said, of Brexit. Strange, then, that Brexit has hardly been mentioned, which exposes the truth we knew all along – she wanted this election because she thought it would be a pushover.

She ran this whole me-myself-and-I election on the basis that Jeremy Corbyn was a hopeless loser. And Labour may well lose tomorrow, but Corbyn has shown himself to be a good campaigner, polite and dogged, good at meeting people, prepared to engage in debates.

I’ve always put myself in the Corbyn sceptic camp, believing that his relative extremism makes his party unelectable; and what’s the point of a political party that can’t get elected? Apologies to the Greens and Lib-Dems – but no apology to those now hopeless Kippers.

The longer the campaign has gone on, the better Corbyn has seemed. I’m not joining the converts or anything, as the evangelism might get me down. But it’s fair to say that Jeremy Corbyn no longer seems so scary to the average person – even if today’s Daily Mail devotes nine pages to saying why Theresa should win. The Express, which has taken up attic space in Mrs Maybe’s brain, offers: “Vote May or we face disaster.” The Sun, meanwhile, scrabbles in the history bin to come up with the frankly disgraceful: “Jezza’s Jihadi comrades.”

All of this is to be expected – along, too, with a well-argued leader in the Guardian the other day on why Labour deserves to win. Odd in a way, that endorsement: ardent members of the Corbyn congregation berate the “once proud, etc” Guardian for disparaging their hero. And now the paper has backed him almost with a full heart.

Yesterday we did learn something new about Mrs Maybe. Asked by Julie Etchingham on ITV’s Tonight programme what was the naughtiest thing she ever did, the prime minister stumbled and blustered.

“Oh goodness me. Um. Well, I suppose – gosh. Do you know, I’m not quite sure.”

When Etchingham persisted, the PA stalled, saying “nobody is – nobody is ever perfectly behaved, are they”.

Having built us up for a cliff-hanger revelation, she said: “I have to confess, when me and my friend, sort of, used to run through the fields of wheat – the farmers weren’t too pleased about that.”

Heavens, the world paused on its axis at that. Who among us knew that Mrs Maybe grew up with Thomas Hardy or that on the quiet she was once known as Tezza of the d’Urbervilles?

Of course, she could have said the naughtiest thing she’s ever done was cut police numbers, collaborate in the clandestine privatisation of the NHS and help to bring schools to their knees. But I’m sure that trampled wheat has been marked down in the sin book.

She likes trampling on things, does Theresa. Now she says she wants to trample on human rights legislation in the name of fighting terrorism. A lot of people may think that’s fair enough, but such kneejerk pronouncements – especially on the cusp of an election – have little to do with what will or won’t work, but are merely opportunistic politicking.

Instead we should redouble our efforts to keep track of these dangerous Islamist ideologues, boost community policing and listen when concerned Muslims pass on their worries about evidence of extremism in their community.

And while there may be things that Facebook and Google could do to stop the spread of extremism, we can’t just blame the internet for everything. Jihadists will have used the internet at some stage because they live in the modern world and we all use the internet. It’s all too easy for ‘that there internet’ to be blamed for everything.

That’s enough politics for now. I’m going out to find a field of wheat to run through.

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