Master debates

Posted: 16th April 2010 by Get No Happy in News of the day, Politics
Tags: , ,

I for one really enjoyed the leaders debates last night, for all the talk of stage-managed boredom it was actually a rather gripping political display. Found myself quite taken with the whole thing and I am actually looking forward to next weeks. Hopefully there will be some deeper questions on Europe and the welfare system.

It appears Nick Clegg won the day, and it’s certainly true that as the Lib Dems are a smaller party, they, and indeed he, has been much less tarred by the political scandals and events of the past few years. Therefore it was much easier to separate himself from the others. Props are also due for repeatedly pointing out both the Labour and Conservative parties had refused to adopt many of the policies they are now proposing. However whether this will translate into actual votes is anyone’s guess.


Labour and Conservative leaders. Not pictured: the greased tracing paper sliding between them… 

The post-match analysis also revealed something interesting; It revealed what a bunch of pencil-eating morons and hypocrites the voting public are. Well I say interesting, what I mean is utterly predictable… Two examples will suffice for now.

Exhibit 1: Anecdotes
One consensus reached early was that recounting tales of the mystical people the leaders met in the sunless nightmare land of Up North did not play well with the electorate. Personally I too disliked these little stories of interest: I have made clear on many occasions I want my representatives to be purely focused on matters of state, to be cold-hearted and logical when allocating housing and health budgets, to not hesitate from wielding the sword of Damocles over the populous; Gentlemen who certainly do not waste time on donkey sanctuary photo opportunities or meeting the latest tragedy-of-the-month to attract the ghoulish sympathy of the channel 5 watching public.

Why the hypocrisy? Well a scant glance around the commentary detritus that stands in for intelligent political discourse in this country revealed that many see MPs as out of touch with the common man (“I bet they don’t even pimp out their liquored up children” a man from Liverpool probably didn’t say), that they don’t understand what it’s like in the ‘real world’. So in an attempt to redress this all parties clearly drilled examples into their respective leaders heads. And what was the response of this attempt to show MPs are not hiding behind their gothic towers? To show they do listen to the concerns of individuals on important issues? Entirely negative.

Exhibit 2: Tax rises and benefit cuts
This example comes from Nick Clegg, regarded as last nights winner by pretty much everyone. Which in itself is an achievement given the seamen stains both Cameron and Brown left on his trouser leg. However the main ‘dip’ monitored by those horrible twisty-knob focus groups they set up occurred when he spoke about cutting the Child Tax Credit; for those who don’t know the absurd gifting of $250 pounds to an individual for the achievement of being born. The pretty coloured-line graph plummeted after this was mentioned.

Why the hypocrisy? Because vox-pops over the previous weeks have said but one thing “We’re clever people, we know sacrifices must be made”, yet they respond oppositely when someone finally identifies one. I suppose at one level we’re all NIMBYs, services and benefits should be cut, but yaknow, not the ones I enjoy. It’s not a surprise, a political family friend regularly reports meetings and correspondences between themselves and the pox-stricken electorate where both lower taxes and more public services are mentioned in the same paragraph, but each example causes my faith in humanity to die a little bit more.