In praise of Lembit Opik

Posted on

Lembit Opik played a minor part in British politics.

No policy can be attributed to him.

His own party no doubt cringed, frequently, at his antics.

Best known for two failed engagements – one to a glamorous weather forecaster, the other to a Romanian member of the “Cheeky Girls” – he was, however, reported to be a good constituency MP.

He lost his Lib Dem seat this week.

Last night he appeared on Have I Got News For You.

That took courage.

He was clearly hurt. He had obviously not expected to lose.

His humour as intact. Much of it was self deprecating. And he gave back to Ian Hislop in buckets in a way few can or do.

His charm was apparent.

He may be a bit of a buffoon. He may have suffered from wandering lust. And he may not have been a great politician. But he added some rare colour to life whilst doing little harm. And that’s no bad thing.

Which does make me hope he finds success in a new career.

It’s sad I can’t say the same of so many retiring MPs.