Merry fucking Christ, the media launched their election frenzy as full pelt. From now until May, probably longer, we'll have nothing but tedious bullshit on the news, in the papers and in various partisan blogs.
After the hundredth dreadful and tenuous metaphor on BBC News last night I gave up interest in the early coverage. That's not to say I'm not interested a t all, but by comparison 'The One Show' seemed like a fucking documentary. Let's hope that the party leaders don't decide that Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley's sofa is the place to campaign, although wedging them between items about leeches and diseased cat shit would be quite fitting.
I'll probably regain interest once it stops being so fevered and ridiculous. Or should that be 'if'. Actually who am I kidding, I won't be able to avoid it without getting rid of TV, burning the modem and barricading the doors.
They're trying to turn it into the media circus that the US elections are, making it all about imagine and personalities rather than policies. And there's probably a section of the population that likes this sort of shit, but not a big section. At a time when trust in politicians is at an all time low (and that's saying something) it's going to be hard to stomach a month of wall to wall lies and spin.
There's every chance I'll watch the live debates, in the same way I'll slow down to have a gleg at the scene of an accident. The fact that it was Sky News who did most of the bullying to make it happens tells you a lot about how they feel it will go, considering News Corp have already come out in favour of the Tories. Cameron is probably the most media savvy of the party leaders, and it's going to take a sterling performance from the other two to make any headway. He'll have been watching Obama's performances from 2008 on loop. He's not as cool a customer as Obama though - he makes it look easy and natural, whereas Cameron always seems to be trying too hard (WebCameron anyone?). Clegg is a bit of an unknown quantity (quite literally for some people), but it's Brown who will mostly likely struggle under the glare of the studio lights.
Considering the hatchet job the papers have done on Brown and Labour in the last few years it comes as a surprise that Labour are anywhere near the Tories in the polls. It would be nice to have what is constantly referred to as a 'hung' parliament, or what the rest of Europe calls a coalition government. There's a fair few countries who operate quite nicely with such a thing, such as Germany. I'd rather the Lib Dems were keeping one of the others in check, and I think Vince Cable probably has more public trust than any of the parties leaders or cabinet and shadow cabinet members - him as Chancellor in a coalition government is probably the best case scenario.
I tend to vote for a candidate as much as a party, since that's how our system actually works (note to tabloid editors...), although that's increasingly difficult in this day and age.
Last time around I was in the Withington ward, where John Leech ran a nasty campaign for the Lib Dems mostly involving lies about Christies, a specialist cancer hospital, being 'closed by Labour'. And they were outright lies, the sort of 'make the bastard deny it' shit that has been used in politics for too long - it became the agenda, and it worked, outing the sitting Labour MP who've been there since the 80s. It put me right off him, although he's not done a terrible job since getting elected. If I see any such bullshit this time around my few readers can expect to see an angry post about whichever lying bastard is responsible.
What I'm not going to do is tell you who to vote for. I'm not stupid enough to think a lone voice on a blog with a tiny readership will make a difference.