But I have a theory. A theory about the popularity of that pariah party, UKIP. It occurred to me the other day while washing my hands after inadvertently coming into contact with one of their election leaflets.
My theory is this. People like UKIP not in spite of the random and rather silly things they say but because of them. Ok, hardly a revelation worthy of Einstein. But compare UKIP to any of the other parties, any of the other politicians (with the exception, perhaps, of Boris) and they seem a bit more like the rest of us. By which I mean they make mistakes, have half-baked ideas, open their mouths without thinking first and enjoy politically-incorrect pints and the odd cigarette. Or is that just me...
Anyway, the rest of politics is such a sanitised, scripted, gaffe-free and focus-group led wasteland I figure that people of all political hues and none are just glad to see some real people getting involved for a change. And the trouble when there's a shortage of something (real politicians who'll tell you what they think not what they think you want to hear) is that any deviation from the norm - no matter how crazy - is likely to be seized upon. Hence UKIP's apparent popularity.
In which case my advice to the other politicians is - stop listening to us. Stop telling everyone to look and sound the same. Stop being so scared of saying the wrong thing that you either shun the likes of Paxman or Humphries or end up sounding like a broken record when they're asking questions. Admit mistakes; share a joke. Have a cigarette if that what turns you on. Be human. Tell it as it is. And then well decide - in the only focus group that matters - whether to vote for you or not.
UKIP is popular, I suggest, because they're barely political at all in the sense of what the word has become in the last twenty years. Either that or because people really do think we can make a decent fist of it without the EU and are fed up with all the immigrants.
Soap and water, anyone?