Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oh yes, it is an election (1) - Politics on the Box

Despite the low attendance in the polls, politics is an emotive issue in the UK. You see, we love to hate our elected representatives. On the one hand we are immensely proud of our political freedoms and on the other we absolutely hate the establishment that these politicians represent. Go figure, but on this small island, we definitely have some disjointed thinking.

So here are the party political broadcasts. Thankfully we here in the UK are spared the endless adverts that characterise an American campaign. Instead, we have five minute slots after the news on television. This is normally the time when the nation decides to make a cup of tea, but in this world of Video on Demand, youtube etc, we can now see party political broadcast in their entirety whenever we (don't) want to.

And so it begins, the great horse race. On television. Online. And ready for parody. I expect to see a lot of parodies of these videos, but that will be for another blog post.

So here they are. Firstly, the Conservatives. They are currently he opposition, but are favourites to win the election.

They have not kick started their videos/party political broadcasts yet, but these posters are everywhere in the marginal seats of London. And yeah. Not really that great. Name calling in the playground. To be honest, the Conservatives just have to sit back and let the Labour Party trip up, they could really steal this election. But posters like this bring back memories of the 1980's and the divisive politicking of that era. In my opinion, this kind of campaigning does not tell me, the floating voter what your policies are about.

The next vid, from the Labour Party, the current government and if there is a hung parliament, they will probably emerge as the largest party.

Okay, this is slick. I do not see a politician, I do not see glorification. I see something which actually reflects what is my own big fear. The economy. And let me say this is slick stuff. It almost convinces me. Almost. But 13 years is a long time, and I do not agree with the current economic set-up as basically I have not been benefited from it.

Finally come the Lib Dems. Again, they have not got their video out, but their leader did come on air to be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman (to non UK residents, he has a reputation as a fearsome interviewer). Unlike Cameron or Brown, Nick Clegg did have the balls to be interviewed for half an hour and to be honest, Paxman is an absolute savage.

Newsnight Interview on the BBC website.

Or here are the highlights on youtube:

Unlike the other political leaders, he was willing to come on air and have his policies and his statements scrutinised. No hiding behind jeering posters nor slick commercials. This was a simple: here I am this is our policies and this is what you are get if you vote for us.

And Clegg came out of this interview unscathed. In fact, he came out clearly explaining what he wants to do for the UK. An honest politician? Is this too scary a concept to contemplate...

Roll on May 6th...

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