I rarely write about British politics and, by the end of this, a few of you might be grateful for that. Writing about Westminster feels toxic and drawing every word like preparing a poison pen letter for a vulnerable friend who will soon guess it was you and will no longer consider you a friend. It takes a degree of naivety, foolishness, or downright cruelty to play that game.
And perhaps it’s only because I’m currently in my sickbed having enjoyed one-too-many sips of the fruity Benylin that I’m willing to join in the fun. Yet, had I not already been suffering from a cold that’s refusing to budge, I might have taken to my bed for other reasons. Today I saw politicians do something I’ve not seen politicians do for a very long time. I saw British politicians abandon the old party two-step.
Well, okay. I’m not quite that won over by the words of Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen as I might sound. I understand there’s a degree of hypocrisy about their defection, coming as it does so deep into the Brexit endgame rather than when austerity bit the hardest. I’m also too old and cynical to think that a solution to our broken politics will come quite so easily or absolutely as The Independent Group. Yet there’s something about this moment which I can’t help but admit I find exciting.