Every election has its winners and its losers: the new MPs, fresh-faced and keen to take up their representative duties; and those who have heard the division called for the last time. I remember watching a Spitting Image special after the 1992 general election, where they carted away the latex puppets of the old characters we’d see no more, to melt them down and make more Norman Lamonts.
This year, we had our fair share of spills and thrills – Trimble out, Galloway taking Oona King’s seat, and Stephen Twigg disappearing back to wherever he came from. However I honestly didn’t expect Michael Howard to do anything other than battle on to the next general election, no matter what happened on the night. But no – he is standing down, probably by the end of the year, and with him goes a small piece of political history.
The Michael Howard Song.
My enduring memory of Fringe 2003 was – despite my best efforts – the pervasive strains of the “Standing on a Podium” song, murdered every day on the Royal Mile by a group we have all sworn never to mention by name. For Fringe 2004, I’m afraid to say it was probably James’ song about Michael Howard. I’ve been looking forward to Howard’s departure from frontline politics ever since.
So farewell then, the Michael Howard Song. And Michael – if you’re listening, please don’t change your mind.