Inexplicably, we all fall out of love during our lives and grow to hate the very sight of former objects of desire, be they human, physical or edible. For me, it was Boaster biscuits and Sherbet Fountains. As a teen I had a penchant for a boaster, and my mother knew it, so, for the next 20 years, bless her, she would always furnish me with a packet when visiting. It was a fraught conversation when, upon one such visit a decade or so ago, I mustered up the courage to tell her I wasn’t 14 anymore and my tastes had become more refined and now veered toward a custard cream or, if feeling naughty, a chocolate finger.

I also used to adore politics which, although making me sound like a geek, was a guilty pleasure. I enjoyed Question Time and would read the news avidly. I enjoyed the theatre of it all: the good guys versus the lunatics, the female characters holding their own as they battled the male-dominated establishment, the different take on policies, dependent on where you lived geographically and what class you sprang from, but, much like Boasters, that love has now died a death and I never want to see another politician for as long as I live.

I am impressed that I have managed to get to word 231 in this week’s column without mentioning Brexit, but it is an inevitability. We are consumed by it and bored with it, yet clamouring to shout even louder and become more vicious in our language, no matter which side of the chasm we sit on.

But then an epiphany, or so it should have been. We had the chance to forge a united disdain that had the ability to draw the country together: the universal dislike of all politicians. Sadly these pantomime villains have only, in part, been used as whipping boys. Instead they, and we, have chosen to blindly continue our allegiances, much like a playground punch up, as you and your gang line up on opposite sides before the the fight. You are now blue, yellow or red with no gumption to shift sides (bar the politically fluid Chuka Umunna who changes party more often than I do my underpants), and, yet again, therein lies the core of the problem: party politics.

I have still never been able to fathom how something as important as a ‘vote’ can be given to a party whose behaviour is toxic and whose policies are as far removed from reality as Scientology or Pinky Ponk from In the Night Garden. Yet still, prospective and current MPs, along with card-carrying members of the public, now rebadged as ‘activists’, choose to vote for policies as crazed as cancelling the referendum vote, reforming the welfare state to the point of causing death (see I, Daniel Blake), or closing down all private schools on a whim.

We have been here before time and again: those party members who privately opposed the poll tax still voted blue. Those who opposed the war in Iraq but still voted Red and those with kids at university who still go yellow. That is my problem with politics: how we are so brainwashed, so ingrained in our thought, that when our party goes against our beliefs we blindly follow and put the cross in the box anyway.

Personally I am resigned to the fact that I will not be satisfied no matter who the next PM will be after the inevitable upcoming election. Johnson is full of bull, Swinson strikes me as deranged and Corbyn is a shiver looking for a spine to run down.

No, I am going to sit at home and go through the wringer as I turn my back on those who fought for democracy and our right to vote. I will only change my mind if a good independent knocks on the door and promises to put residents’ concerns first, means it, and makes no mention of the blinkered vision of any of the major political parties.

I, and millions like me, have no interest in a party fanatic’s lifelong belief, their propensity to follow thy leader like sheep, nodding and braying all the while as they follow the party line and attack their political opponents.

Instead, they should be dealing with Doris up the road who has been burgled five times this year, or Cecil who got mugged last week or the fact that every local green area is being concreted over by the local council, or sick little Jamie from down the road who can’t get the care his parents are desperate for at the local hospital.

I am going independent and heck, may even stand myself if there is no one else willing to give it a go. Ill pack a flask and speak to people about their concerns and what they want and I may even bring along a pack or boasters or twelve as lord knows I have enough of a stockpile to spread some love.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher who lives in London Colney