This is how to defect (1), by Morak Babajide-Alabi
Newspaper Column

This is how to defect (1)

By Morak Babajide Alabi

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke,” – Will Rogers

It has been said times uncountable that politicians all over the world are the same. Not because most of them now dress in impressive designer clothes or shoes and try to act as Hollywood stars. No. It is said politicians, no matter which country they are from, have same characteristics. They do sweet talks and make promises. Most times these promises are rather “too tall” to be realisable.

I had argued in certain quarters before that while it may be true politicians all over the world are same, their practices are greatly influenced by the circumstances and situations in which they find themselves. This is understandable when we consider the fact that the modus operandi of politicians differ from one region to another.

While in some climes, it is comfortable for politicians to settle their differences with fists, files or even breaking the maze on the opponent’s head, in others the ideal is to sit down, dialogue and resolve differences.

However, one common consensus among the electorate all over the world is that politicians should not be trusted with their words. It does not matter if they are from the slum of Ajegunle or a posh city in the United States. It is usually assumed that politicians will break their promises in a twinkle of an eye as long as dates set for election are still far away.

Ask Mr. Nick Clegg, the UK deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democratic how it feels to be judged the most unreliable politician in the UK. This is in a society where politicians are made accountable for their actions. Where they fail to deliver on their promises, the electorate turns against them.

To some, no matter what these politicians do, they cannot be shocked any longer. They have come to realise that politicians should not be taken as seriously as we have been doing.

When last week, the UK Conservative Member Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood announced his decision to jump ship to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage, not many observers were shocked by this decision. They shrugged their shoulders and muttered that Mr. Reckless had acted true to his calling as a politician. Mr. Reckless announced he was standing down as the member of parliament, thereby forcing a bye-election in the constituency.

Mr. Reckess is not the first Tory member, and most likely would not be the last to “port” to UKIP. In what seemed to be a discontent among the party back benchers, in August, Mr. Douglas Carswell made history as the fist Tory MP to “cross carpet” to UKIP. While it was big news at the time, the media mileage it received was not as massive as what Mr. Reckless is reaping now. His timing of his defection was very strategic.

A smart guy he is and a politician who knows you win a “war” through strategy. And you cannot deny this fact with his “unveiling” at the UKIP conference in Doncaster. The deafening ovation that he received from UKIP supporters must have been a reassurance for him that he has taken the right decision.

And true to his calling as a politician, Mr. Reckless walked in waving to the crowd and smiling at them as if he had been part of them all the while. At this time, you could see the relief on him and the “feel good” assurance about himself.

Politicians, no matter the colour, the location or background, enjoy acceptance. They feel propelled by it. It is the tonic they need to walk tall and put further spin to the lies they call speeches. So when Reckless walked in, you could feel him practically telling himself, “this is my moment and I must seize it.” And without any further thought he threw away the garb of a Tory.

The UKIP leader, Mr Nigel Farage, had earlier in his party speech announced that the Doncaster venue for the conference was chosen to sound a frightening note of warning to the Labour Party, that UKIP is ready to take over the sleepy town. However, the shine of the 2014 UKIP conference turned out to be the “presentation” of Mr. Reckless as the newest member of UKIP.

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I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.