Friday, April 30, 2010

What about a leaders' rebate

Watched the third debate between the three party leaders. It's one of those occasions where it's almost too easy to be cynical, but christ there's a lot to be cynical about. I guess elections are always which one do you dislike the least, which one's going to do the least harm, but this year's has taken that to some new hideous extreme. Perhaps if politicians were a bit more honest (ha! as if that ever helps them) well, it'd be nice if they were like, look, I'm going to be a light touch and try not to fuck it up.

Cameron appears to have won on the night, more's the pity, but it was no surprise. Although he normally greases around like an oil slick that's been poured into a suit, on the three occasions when he's had to slog it out he's shown enough of that Eton steel to get him through. The first time was his speech to the Tory conference in 2005 that effectively won him the leadership. The second was his speech to the Tory conference in 2007 that effectively meant Brown called off the election. And now the third time, as Brown finally got the clunking fist to stop clunking himself and actually give the Tories a bit of stick, Cameron was able to hold off the attacks and give some back.

Who knows how the debates translate into votes, and how floating voters actually react to all of this. Of course by their nature floating voters must be fairly low IQ, I mean, everyone knows the Tories are for the cunts, the Libs for the wets and Labour for people who haven't got anywhere else to go. You don't need a debate to see that, it's been the same for years now. (Also, do people really vote for someone because they got their missus pregnant?) My guess is the debates are just the public's way of deciding which newsreader they want to give them the bad news. I only watched them to see if a fight would break out, but of course they'd all done private polling and found that a fight breaking out would only be popular with 22%, so none of them would go for it.

And who knows why anyone would want to win the most poisoned chalice of governments for many a year. It may well suit Labour to sit out five or ten years of savage cuts and tax rises, before popping up again to say: Hi, remember us! We're the happy people from the happyland! Whatever happens, however, we can safely say that the idea floated when Blair went that the public was tired of slick, focus grouped newsreader-style politicians, that is clearly nonsense, the public wants nothing more than light, frothy politicans to bridge that gap between the daytime shows and the evening soaps.

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