Guido Fawkes had an “exclusive” last night that suggested the Change UK MPs were getting cold feet and already talking about a split. With some, seemingly corroborative, comments in the Independent and New Statesman then it would seem that, if nothing else, the honeymoon period is over.
Lets start by recognising that the grouping, the Tiggers, did an incredibly bold thing, they stepped up and said “not in my name” and that has to be applauded. They gave people a reason to get excited about politics again, especially with the talk of challenging the status quo and doing things differently.
They did some rather cool things, like getting an Amendment for Peoples Vote on the table (granted, only for Labour to stab it in the back), they did make me reflect on my own actions and what I was doing with myself.
But that is kinda where the fairy-tale ends. They inspired a lot of people, an independent group supporters network organised itself as well as other social media groupings. But none of this was really linked or even influential within the main group.
The EU elections were probably the biggest mistake so far. They acted as a catalyst for rushed ideas and silly decisions. The fact they contested the elections was pretty dumb really. Lots of people put themselves up, but vetting such a list and getting selections done was clearly never going to go well. And within days of announcement, a number of candidates has their social media delved into and things were coming out which led to candidates standing down quite quickly.
But even before that, the registration with the Electoral commission was an interesting episode too. The name is ridiculous, as was the hamburger logo. As someone who works in usability and design stuff, it was just way too close to the menu icon we are all used to seeing on mobile websites.
As I have been dipping into writing this, there has been confirmation of the split. Only 5 MPs are left, with Anna Soubry as leader, with followers Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey.
So, this really looks like the end of the road for Change as far as I see it. I thought it had potential, but never really broke out of the Westminster bubble. No doubt the party itself will continue, but quite frankly it will be more as the dinner party joke than a serious concern.
What is the more interesting question is what will Heidi, Chuka, Sarah, Luciana, Gavin and Angela do now – They are the more prominent and dominant force out of the group, you could argue they had the most to lose, have they lost it, or will the Lib Dems suddenly gain some dynamic people?