When serious people act daft they pose a troubling question.

Were they ever really serious enough – or actually always just plain daft?

Two notable figures bring the problem to mind. Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls being one of them. Nigel Farage, the man who keeps taking back his life then chucking it away again, is another.

Ed – now called Glitterballs by his devoted Strictly Come Dancing fans – has seamlessly slipped into a life of larking about for laughs, evidently relishing humiliation to the point of flat-footed obsession. Was everything in his past life, made up similarly. As in, on the hoof?

And Nigel is supposedly in negotiations to take his place in the jungle to munch on bugs and lizards’ testicles in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

It’s said Mr Farage, anxious for a turn at reality TV, is considering a stint in the Aussie Bush only because he was rejected by Celebrity Big Brother. That’s the rumour, anyway. Who knows if it’s true? Who knows if anything about this man is true? He may be a figment of our imagination… if we’re really, really lucky.

Anne Pickles However, they’re not the only pursuers of daftness worthy of mention. Boris Johnson, for instance. There’s a chap who can’t seem to decide whether to be a seriously silly foreign secretary or a buffoon on a zip wire with a big red bus as backdrop.

And Ann Widdecombe. She was once an earnestly committed politico, until she chose to be hauled across the TV dance floor. Now she spends her time talking to cruise ship passengers about her failed tango attempts. They love it, apparently. Cruisers can’t get enough of her accounts of being to Ginger Rogers what Dumbo was to Tinkerbell. People are so bewildering sometimes.

So, help me here, what’s it all about?

Do we want our politicians and parliamentarians to be statesmanlike and trustworthy, by virtue of their seriousness and wisdom? Or would we rather they were clowns?

Bonfire Night just over – and well done to Carlisle for another great show – it didn’t go unnoticed that many were quipping that Guy Fawkes was the last person to enter parliament with honest intentions.

A joke, of course. But it did, in a way, point a sparkler at the thoughts of some who seem to wonder now at the motivations of politicians.

Do they want to make a difference or fast track to celebrity, via unreal reality shows?

Mr Farage seems less keen to take back his life again. There’s a surprise. He said at the weekend he would now like to change the British constitution so that advisory referendums would always be binding.

Sounds like a big job to me and not one easily undertaken while in a pit of snakes in the Outback. At least, not before the Supreme Court sits.

So, I guess that might be a clue to the veracity of the rumours.

Perhaps the jungle, like life, is on hold for the time being. Clowning suspended – or not, depending on your point of view.

And by the way, anyone seen or heard anything of David Cameron lately? He, having thrown cats among pigeons, has gone strangely quiet, don’t you think?

Rumours that he might be auditioning for a newly devised sequel series of reality telly – I’m a Celebrity… And I Got Out of Here! are as yet unconfirmed. Only rumours.

He has to graduate from clown school first. But you can bet your last shilling that, when he does, he’ll be a heck of a lot more popular and more widely respected than he ever was when he had serious job. And by my reckoning, that’s seriously daft.