On May 6th the Brits will be voting in a general election to choose themselves a new, or extend the current, government.
Although there are other fringe choices, the fight is as always between the incumbent Labour party (not sure if the are still “New”) run by Gordon Brown, a man for whom the country has never voted as he slid in on Blair’s exit slime. David Cameron, heir apparent (according to most) who runs the Conservative (tory) party, that of Thatcher fame and lastly the party that is never taken seriously, Liberal (Democrats) run by a guy called Nick Clegg.
(Brown, Cameron, Clegg)
The theory, based on ancient history, is that Labour are left and look after the working class (not that there is one any more). Tories are right and look after rich people and the Liberals are somewhere in the middle doing nothing because they hardly ever win.
I’ve been catching up with old issues of The Spectator, which describes itself correctly in the April 10th edition as “the world’s leading conservative magazine since Wellington ran the party.”. It comes as no surprise therefore that their usual trickle of pro-Cameron text has been building to a frenzy over the past months. They have had two general themes:
1/ Cameron is great – but needs to do this or that to ensure victory.
2/ Brown sucks and everyone knows it.
Sadly for the Speccie, what they should have been adding to that content is:
3/ And don’t bother voting for Clegg because……..
They were arrogant and short sighted enough to assume that this was a two horse race – Brown versus Cameron. In all the build up editions of the magazine, such as the April 10th I am now reading and that is pictured at the top, Clegg is not mentioned at all.
“David Cameron, with breathtaking arrogance, is already measuring up the curtains for No 10 before you have even voted.” Nick Clegg
“There has never been an ounce of complacency in my body and there isn’t now, and there is everything left to do.” David Cameron
“I’m fighting for my life because I am fighting for the future of this country.” Gordon Brown
What changed everything was the series of live televised debates between the three leaders. They happened second half of April. This is the first time in the history of the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy that such debates have happened.
I didn’t watch them but it seems that neither Brown nor Cameron stole the show and Clegg did rather well. This opened the public’s eyes to the possibility of telling both the current AND future government to “naff off!” by switching their vote to Clegg, an altogether unexpected turn of events. Sadly for Clegg, if this popularity does translate into votes it will be more of a protest vote against the other two than a pro-Liberal vote and rather than making Clegg the next Prime Minister is most likely to result in a hung parliament.
Telling the gov where to shove it is something I’m very much in favour of after the expenses scandal that was so lamely dealt with by the whole of parliament. Swept under the carpet in a way that I found quite insulting and I don’t even live there or vote any more.
It was therefore highly amusing to read the Speccie edition of April 24th as it frantically tried to catch up on demolishing Clegg knowing it had no more than a couple of editions left in which to tell people what they should be thinking about this man before they go to vote.
It will be almost as interesting to see how this election turns out as it will the Presidential election in Poland.