I have for a number of odd reasons been both aware of and interested in politics since before I left primary school so even I find this strange but the fact is, this General Election is a complete turn off for me and I’m not terribly interested in it. The default setting as my initial TV programme is always BBC 24, I suspect this will become a no go zone for me until after May8th.
Most times I just cannot bear to watch the England football team play, they are far too inconsistent and guaranteed always to disappoint in the end, their poor showing in Brazil about summed up generations of England performances and the pitiful plight of any supporter. Are these two things related ? Yes in a way, they suffer the same affliction – the bloody media.
The problem with the British media and the general election is just the same daft behaviour they display when any England team in any sport plays, too much froth, too much ‘build up’ and very little common sense on display.
Tabloid newspapers know that one of the last bastions of people who buy actual newspapers are those who follow sport so rather than “tits and bums”, a first class sports section will keep the tills ringing. But the real point is that watching sport as opposed to playing it is a totally passive experience as far as physical participation is concerned. They can shout, scream hold as many opinions as they like but their main job is to provide the cash for this ‘spectacle’ by having a season ticket, buying copies of the kit or simply subscribing to a sports TV channel.
This process produces a Tsunami of cash to fund exclusive TV rights, ridiculous wages for players and all the rest of the nonsense. It follows that such ‘customers’ will need constant reassurance that they are getting value for money so a constant barrage of ‘punditry’ is required generally supplied by former and retired sports people who also have a vested interest in keeping the whole thing going – everybody gets to eat !
The problem is when you apply the same principles to politics, it really doesn’t work. As I’ve written previously, I oppose the TV Debates which I consider a total nonsense in terms of the politics of the United Kingdom. They are irrelevant to the outcome but massively important to the Media who desperately need them as focal points for more copy and programmes. The reality is that the newspaper industry is dying on its knees because of “new media” and TV will go the same way because of “time shift” or TV on Demand so all the buggers are fighting a determined if irrelevant rearguard action. Not one of them will produce even one article or an hour of thoughtful commentary between now and May 7th.
A Problem to Solve
Although given the dreadful financial position the Country was in and a Coalition Government, the Act to set up 5 year fixed term Parliaments was under the circumstances, a reasonably sane idea unfortunately I really don’t think it suits the temper of these islands. We have been running in a type of election mode since last Autumn which picked up pace as soon as Christmas came and went and now we have the actual long slog of the ‘campaign’, it has to go, the Act must be repealed as the first order of business.
Frankly the American experience should have forewarned us. They have fixed 4 year terms between Presidential Elections with ‘mid terms’ for both Houses also every 4 but off set 2 years to the Presidential one. The result is “Two years of government followed by 2 years of campaigning”. So the first problem is the fixed 5 year parliamentary terms, they need to go, reintroduce the ‘uncertainty’ and it will be a relief for journalists too, I’m sure.
To me the interesting thing that came out of revising this website of mine was the realisation of just how few “current themes” worth writing about there are and the proof lies on the home page where there are 8 ‘hot buttons’ that link directly to posts. Ignoring the two that link to picture galleries, the other six are as follows:
- OAPs can contribute to Deficit Reduction – published December 2014
- Courageous Leadership – ignore UKIP Dave – published November 2014
- English Only Votes – published December 2014
- Devolving Power, the limits – published November 2014
- The United Kingdom and the Celtic need for it – published November 2014
- The Real EU Problem, the Euro – published October 2014
The reason that I have left those links there is not because I’ve forgotten how to change them or are too lazy to bother but simply because they are still relevant and current in terms of the underlying problems having not been dealt with. The professional media cannot do this, they must produce “stories” even when there are none which is why an over long campaign period is the death of good journalism.
As to the Election
I find the opinion polls frankly strange beyond belief because if that truly reflects the views of the electorate, they deserve everything that will follow voting like that. The Scottish opinion polls are even stranger but frankly I have little problem with 40-50 SNP MPs coming South because their inevitable political destruction will surely follow. As usual because that is where the bulk of the UK population and tax base resides, the election will be decided in England and I hope my fellow countrymen and women have their thinking hats on.
Even if you were a die hard UKIP supporter and your two main issues are the EU and immigration, there is absolutely no point in voting UKIP, they are unlikely to gain more than a handful of seats and can’t deliver a EU Referendum, vote Tory or get shafted.
Voting Green is for Antique Dealers and Thespians, not for real people.
If you are a LibDem supporter then stay loyal, they have made a contribution in the past 5 years.
For Labour supporters, if in a die hard Labour constituency, vote Labour, if a marginal or a three way fight, vote Tory. Whilst that may seem a big ask, the truth is that the Labour Party isn’t ready to be in power yet, there needs to be a clear out of the front bench, fresh blood and a new leader.
There are only two people who could become PM, Cameron or Miliband, it should not be the latter because as things stand a Labour government would be a car crash in slow motion. Following a second defeat, the Labour Party might well find out “what its for” again and be able to offer a cogent programme and vision which it currently lacks.
Accepting that regardless of the party politics of the party in Office, the economy could be blown off course by external forces, I believe it is the case that what the Country needs next is a majority Conservative government with a sufficiently large majority – +80 should do, so their right wing nutters will have no influence on policy. Here’s hoping…