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Simon Campion-Brown wishes a plague upon all their houses

I’ve never hidden my limitless cynicism about those that inhabit the world of politics but, as the daily readership of the Rust soars ever-closer to the 500 million mark, for the benefit of any new readers, let me lay my heart upon my sleeve.

I’ve never voted in any political election and – if voting became compulsory via legislation – would opt either to spoil my ballot paper or vote for candidate least likely to win. To those who would or have criticised my position (“What about all those who suffered or died to give us our democratic rights?”), I’d point out that included in those rights are presumably my freedoms not to vote, nor to take politics as it is played in Britain as anything more serious than a corrupted game.

Today published on the website of The Independent are the results of the latest polling exercised conducted by Tory grandee and VC historian/collector Lord Ashcroft – see here – THE INDEPENDENT

It purports to demonstrate that, as things currently stand, the result of the General Election on 7th May this year is likely to be a dead heat between the Tories and Labour, probably combined with a near clear-sweep in Scotland giving the SNP an effective ‘balance of power’ role.

No wonder that the Tories are frenetically pressing the panic button – so far apparently without much happening. The way they spin it, after taking the hard decisions and making the hard yards, they’ve just about got the UK economy not just back on track but going in the right direction and …. Boom! … along comes a General Election … bringing with it the unfair and unjustifiable possibility that an ungrateful nation will now throw them out of power and thereby let the terminally-incompetent and beyond-proven-doubt wasteful Labour party back in.

milbandNaturally that is not the way the Labour party sees it.

For them, the Tories, as usual, have simply spent the last five years toadying up to their crooked hedge fund donors and rushing through all sorts of “We’re all right, Jack” type legislation which enables then and their public-school educated cronies to avoid (or is it evade?) the degree of taxes they should be paying – meanwhile, elsewhere, the downtrodden, defenceless and vulnerable masses have been consigned to the scrapheap … reduced to living off food banks, their benefits slashed, the public services they rely upon decimated by swingeing and unnecessary – politically motivated – cuts with all sense of hope and aspiration stolen from them.

Elsewhere the Liberal-Democrats (not my favourite party) are doing their best to keep their heads above water in the general shouting match by seeking to claim credit for everything positive about the Coalition’s time in office … while simultaneously distancing themselves from everything unpopular that it has done. Their election strategy – insofar as I can detect they have one – is to present themselves as the ‘Sensible Party’, i.e. the one that the voters should vote for in order to prevent the Tory and Labour parties from their natural instincts [as in ‘The Tory Nasty Party’ and ‘The Labour Marxist Tendency who will piss away everything gained over the last five years’].

cleggLast night, watching BBC1 television just before 7.00pm, I caught (for the second time) the current Lib-Dem party political broadcast, presumably running because – in the run-up to the General Election – we have reached the point where each of the parties, well those who have been deemed by those that decide these things to be important and popular enough, get a chance to address the nation. For me there is no greater joy in life than letting our lords and masters condemn themselves out of their own mouths, in which context this Lib-Dem effort is a stand-out Grade A masterpiece.

See here, courtesy of YouTube – LIB-DEM PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST

I’d recommend readers, if they can force themselves to this degree of masochism, to watch it twice – first as it was intended and then with the sound turned down. For me, Nick Clegg’s stock has sunk so low that his earnest, sanctimonious delivery-style is an instant turn-off. You just know that this vacuous snake-oil salesman is peddling crap by the yard …

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time (the 2010 General Election) as political party leaders’ televised debates were first introduced, when Clegg was new, fresh and different from Gordon Brown and David Cameron. In those distant days nobody had given a thought to the possibility that letting the ‘third’ party into the debates – especially in the form of Clegg – would have the slightest impact upon the outcome. But it did. Probably and precisely because, deliberately or accidentally, Clegg came across as new, fresh and different from Gordon Brown and David Cameron!

I don’t think even the British electorate will be fooled twice.

Nevertheless, worried that they could be, David Cameron and the Tories, as the incumbents, have become super-skittish about taking part the 2015 Election televised debates.

They don’t want to take chances and (probably rightly) they reckon they have very little to gain and much to lose. Unless, that is, they can bugger up the process, e.g. by getting six, seven or eight ‘minor’ parties into the mix – which will have the benefit of making all of them look stupid, not least the Lib-Dems. Unless, like Natalie Bennett of the Greens, they don’t do it themselves first.

Remember that it’s all and only a game, folks. The best we punters hope for is to enjoy the ride while it lasts …





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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts