Don't believe the UKIP lies. The idea that all politicians are the same, or that all 'mainstream' political parties are the same (or however you want to phrase) is one of the most ludicrous concepts to have permeated the public consciousness in recent times - as even the most cursory glance at a manifesto will tell you. However, there is one way in which all politicians are very much alike; they are all universally adored by the people in their local area - at least, according to their own Tweets, they are!
With the European Elections coming up in less than a week, now, politicians and activists of all parties are feverishly taking to Twitter to try and create a good impression. The good impression they all want to make goes as follows:
They have been out-and-about in the local area (wherever that is - some of them don't even know themselves!), meeting the local people "on the doorstep" (which always sounds very draughty, to me). It is hard, physical work because it involves a lot of walking, not to mention carrying pieces of paper - but it's all worth it, because for the local candidate and his or her team of enthusiastic volunteers, engaging with the voters at this personal level is such an invigorating and life-affirming experience.
Personally, I suspect that a healthy proportion of people who answer their front doors to find an out-of-breath gaggle of political zealots armed with shiny leaflets standing there just tell them to sod off again. But these respondents are carefully filtered out of the picture painted on social media, and the stories we read on Twitter are all of local residents who are not only keen to lay all their concerns (about "local issues" - like parking outside the school, and the planned closure of the duck pond) at the feet of the politicians whom they trust explicitly to deal with such matters, but are eager to make it clear just how delighted they are by all the hard work the party has done so far on their behalf.
No matter which party a candidate or activist represents, or the area in which he or she is campaigning, his or her canvassing activities only ever elicit "a very positive response from locals" - or, at least, appear to.
Frankly, it's getting a little tedious. Yes, we know there are elections around the corner - but do you honestly think that telling everyone on Twitter how many local people you have spoken to (as if that's supposed to impress us?!), and how much all of them liked and respected you (as if we're going to believe that?!) is going to get you any more votes? Maybe you should Tweet about your policies instead…