Grantham Journal column: Where have personality politicians gone? asks Peter Clawson

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.
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Here’s a thought. If the Conservatives can take a controversial character like Boris Johnson as a serious possible replacement for David Cameron as Prime Minister, the opposition parties could hit back in kind.

Labour could elect one of the most colourful personalities in the House of Commons as their leader. How about ‘Big Boris’ taking on Dennis Skinner at Prime Minister’s Question Time? Talk about Westminster fireworks! That could be the understatement of the year.

Moving on to the Liberal Democrats, it is more difficult to find such an extrovert to replace Nick Clegg, but I’m sure they could give it a good shot with Paddy Ashdown.

Nobody could replace Nigel Farage for UKIP, but if the media are to be believed they do have a few outrageous members lurking in the wings.

It’s a great pity that Nick Griffin appears to have bowed out of the limelight for the British National Party, while without Caroline Lucas’s powerful leadership, the Greens seem to be slipping into a less prominent role in British politics.

Far be it for me to suggest a really controversial new speaker in the Commons, but might Tony Blair fit the bill? Locally, of course, Grantham already has quite a character as its incumbent MP, Nick Boles.

Unfortunately neither the Tories nor opposition parties currently include such personalities from the past as Tom Scott, who almost single-handedly solved the debacle that was the town’s orginal indoor swimming pool in Union Street, or even an up-and-coming Maggie Thatcher, who was never averse to ruffling a few feathers.

Love her or hate her, she certainly made her international mark.

What we need now is someone as forceful as her, whatever side of the political spectrum they might espouse.