Singapore has long had the practice of naming cross-bred orchids after celebrities and foreign dignitaries. Yet the ceremony to name an orchid after British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday took an awkward turn when the orchid appeared to reflect the colours of a rival political party.
Problem is the blue Cameron orchid is purple. Five year propagation ends in Ukip. http://t.co/CNl73dXxsb
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) July 28, 2015
The Papilionanda David Cameron, reportedly the culmination of five years of work, was not the rich blue of Cameron’s Conservative Party (often known as the Tory Party), but the purple of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a party led by Nigel Farage that received 12.6% of the vote in the British general elections earlier this year. Members of Cameron’s party, such as Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, famously defected to UKIP last year.
According to British media, this fact was not lost on the prime minister, who stared at the flower for a moment before observing that the petals were a “darker purple” near the top.
Downing Street, the office of the British prime minister, chose to soldier on bravely by saying that the sepals and petals were a “shade of blue”, but a factsheet by the Singapore National Parks Board (NParks) handed out to the press at the Botanic Gardens stated that the “sepals and petals are a delightful blueish purple, and with each bloom being complemented by a large and prominent dark purple lip.”
According to The Guardian, Cameron has promised to bring a cutting of the orchid back to the Downing Street garden, where he will get a constant reminder of how his orchid, too, might have already defected to UKIP.