UKIP have enjoyed moderate success in the West Midlands if you take into account finishing 3rd in almost all of the region's parliamentary constituencies in the 2015 General Election and making steady gains in last year's local elections.
An old white man saying something bigoted. The sound of outraged reactionaries complaining about an assault on Christian holidays. A nation on the verge of declaring war because of a minor diplomatic scuffle. There is nothing like America at Christmastime.
We have borne witness to betrayal, capitulation, and opportunism in equal measure. Indeed, as we get read to be dragged off the edge of this Brexit cliff, it is hard to gainsay the sage words of Scotland's national bard Rabbie Burns when arriving at a proper rendering of Britain's Brexiteers.
So now B-day has come - and yes, I am naming it as such phonetically, after the French contraption that blows water up one's arse. Here's my prediction for what will happen...
To say UKIP are having an existential crisis since the UK voted for Brexit would be an understatement. It's easy to infer from this that they were merely a one-man band and ever since Nigel Farage actually resigned as leader of the party they were doomed to failure, but there is more to it than that.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Carswell does next, because surely now everything he stands for has been destroyed. He can no longer play the 'I'm a great democrat' card - because he's not. He can no longer argue that politics is a cartel dominated by people who don't want to give up power - because he is one of them. He can no longer lambast his fellow politicians for breaking promises made to voters - because he has done the same.
While Hopkins, Farage and Robinson are desperate for us not to be united, the reality is quite the opposite. All right-minded people are united in their condemnation for the hideous atrocities that took place on Wednesday afternoon. Similarly too, all right-minded people are united in stating that we won't allow extremists of any persuasion to destroy who we are and what we stand for.
British, European and American politicians will have to manage groups who see the world in very different ways, protect their jobs and enable them to live their lives in a rapidly changing, digital economy where success means less barriers to travel and trade. Trump and Brexit won their elections on the back of declarations to protect those who see their future within a less open state, that they can recreate the world before globalisation and that international free trade has damaged their lives. It's a gamble which is unlikely pay off.
When in office, Osborne brought us austerity and pushed Machiavelli's envelope so far that even the Italian prince would not have wanted any part in it. He then left us with a broken nation after playing co-conspirator with PM Cameron, massively over-egging the scaremongering and losing the EU referendum. Thanks George... At the very least, Osborne should resign as an MP immediately. What would be better is if public servants - especially those that claim to be ace strategists and in whom the privileges of high office have been invested - exercised more restraint while still holding office.
The Budget dominated Commons People this week, as the team tried to work out why Philip Hammond had so clearly broken a manifesto pledge. There was the sacking of Lord Heseltine to consider, as well as reaction to Labour MP Jess Phillips revealing she would stand to be party leader. A quiz on Budgets of yesteryear proved tricky, and the latest Brexit developments were seen through the prism of 'Farron or Farage?'
In a year dominated by the UK's vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump, there were mixed fortunes for Britain's far right. For them it was a year of further marginalisation, convictions and bans punctuated only by extreme acts of violence - such as the horrific murder of Jo Cox.
If there is any reason at all to put an immediate halt to Brexit, it is President Trump's first week in office, culminating in Prime Minister Theresa May's desperate visit to be the first leader to swear fealty - and then her inexcusable refusal to condemn the so-called Muslim Ban.
As the Leicester Comedy Festival starts up again, there are more 'political' acts on the card than ever before. Yet the problem here is finding someth...
When I held up a sign behind Nigel Farage on Wednesday it, to my shock, went viral. Less shocking was the torrent of abuse and hate that followed online. Quite a few, more understandably, asked me what Nigel Farage had done to deserve having a crudely, off the cuff note held up behind his head. For those people, here's a handy list of just five fibs Nigel Farage told that day and over the past decade.
This is the speech I gave at the Stop Trump rally in Manchester on Friday, January 20th, 2017, joining with local activists and people around the world standing up for women's rights, diversity and peace...
I'll be marching on Saturday because the first rule of making a change is to do something about it. I'll be marching to encourage all the people who have looked at the world lately and thought: "Someone should really do something about this" - to believe that on Saturday that person can be them.