Before I launch into my recent observations, firstly an apology. I mentioned when this GE2010 stuff all kicked off that I hoped to record my opinion here on the general tirade of politics, campaigns and faux pas regularly. Life, however, got a little in the way.
This time next week we will be mere hours away from finding out who is going to be in charge of our country for another five years. Will it be Brown, Cameron or Cleggy? Who can really tell? Polls announced after tonight’s debate suggest Cameron could hobble into 10 Downing Street come May 7th. However, just as likely, we could have a hung parliament with various collaborations clamouring at the infamous black door next Friday. It could be anyone’s race.
Over the last couple of weeks the Liberal Democrats have managed to do something no one truly expected they could and turn an old boxing battle between to bitter rivals into a three-legged race. Whatever you think of Nick Clegg and his pals, the Lib Dems have come out reasonably well from the televised debates. So much so it seems people are considering them as a serious contender for control of Westminster.
But while Brown apologised for a misplaced comment – bigotgate – which threatens to cost him dearly in the opinion polls, Clegg came unstuck just a day later when a student in Birmingham slated his party’s plans to put young people into training courses if they’ve been on jobseekers for 90 days or more. Cameron, aside from his pregnant wife, Samantha, not wearing a seatbelt, hasn’t yet put his foot in it quite so spectacularly but there are still seven days to go. Anything could happen.
The debates have been interesting, although the best moment has to be the yawning man in the sky news debate audience last week rather than anything any of the politicians have said or done. It was hoped the debates would encourage the British public to vote. It has certainly been an unprecedented move, and something I for one think should continue in future general elections.
What the debates have shown is politicians uncanny ability to not answer the question presented to them. I lost count of the number of times I found myself yelling at my TV during these debates, telling one or other leader to actually answer the darn question. A little over-involved perhaps?
For me at least the debates have not served to leave one clear choice. I am still yet to be convinced by any of the parties. Having grown up in a Tory constituency where there’s about a much point not voting Tory as there is straightening your hair before you go out in the rain, I’ve been brought up with at least some Conservative values. It’s been inevitable. Then for the last 13 years of my life I’ve been subjected to a country controlled by a Labour government. I can’t say that’s left me terribly optimistic for a Labour future. Frankly I’m bored of them. Then there’s the Lib Dems. Well, quite. I keep wondering if I really want Nick Clegg running my country.
Vince Cable, now he’s a man I think I wouldn’t mind controlling my country, even if he does look a little like Yoda. As for the rest of them? Darling looks like he shaved off his eyebrows and then decided to replace them with a couple of caterpillars superglued to his forehead. George Osbourne. Err?
I hoped that by now I would have an idea where the x on my ballot paper might lie, but to be honest, it still hovers over ‘I don’t know’. Perhaps if there was a box entitled ‘None of the above fill me with enough confidence to let them run my country, can I have a go?’ I’d know where to mark my paper.
Regardless I will be making my way to the polling station next Thursday. I might even have worked out who I’m voting for.
For now I leave you with a link to a clip from an old episode of Mock the Week and the hope that I’ll be able to pop back here and comment on the social media side of the election. The fact that BBC’s Newsnight did a breakdown of the Tweets and Facebook comments surrounding the last leaders’ debate, has sparked my interest.