I came across this note which was my immediate reaction to the last UK General Election (2010), written one week after the event. I’d forgotten about the televised debates!
Well, here we are. The week after the day after the long night and morning before. There is no doubt that interest in this general election had been raised if only because of the sun rising on Nick Clegg’s persona: what tie he wore or his leanings in the case of a hung parliament. On reflection it would appear that my vote was of very little importance to any of the political parties. Not one of them knocked on my door during the run-up to the election or at any other time during the past five years: though I did have an abundance of literature pushed through my letterbox in some futile attempt at changing my mind from some remote marketing office. My Corby constituency ballot paper contained only four party choices, one of which was the British National Party. My major disappointment surrounding the televised debates was the laughable concentration on the people that lead the three major parties and not the three men vying for a job with more influence over government spending than any other office: the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The second Lord of the Treasury. During the entire election campaign it seemed that these people didn’t even exist. Yet, there they were in the shadows, each knowing full well the true extent of the black hole that’ll need filling over at least two parliamentary terms. That’s a long time and a great deal of money to find. I wanted to see and hear Darling, Osborne and Cable justify their experience that would guide the British economy out of its share of a global financial disaster. Sure they had a token appearance, but they then melted away under the explosion of air-space and column inches focussed on the leaders. You see, no matter how deeply in debt our country is, along with just about every other economy on earth, finance isn’t sexy in the modern world. The election itself gave us all another opportunity to forget our future tax commitments. So much so that I was genuinely surprised that the BBC, ITV and Sky missed a trick in not having X-Factor style telephone voting during their much rehearsed debates. Mind you, they did get as far as having the ‘squiggly-line’ graphic which, to be honest, seemed an exercise in ‘because we can!’ Frankly I found it quite embarrassing. Then Clegg, who won relatively little, was negotiating with Cameron, who won just about everything in England, who both ignored Brown, who won the whole of Wales and Scotland. Some first time voters were disappointed when they discovered that the names of all three leaders were missing from their ballot paper, such was the emphasis on national personality issues. Perhaps we’re sleepwalking into a future Presidential electoral system just to appease the media-savvy youth of today. Yet, here we still are, just one week later with the ‘government’ of our choice (if you could get to vote: how ridiculous) under the current Representation of the People Act.