Hello folks. If most of you are as avid internet-dwellers as I am, you’ll probably be aware that last night the buzz on the web was mostly related to the leaders debate on ITV, with said buzz being a healthy mix of insightful points and witty comments. I was particularly amused at David Cameron’s attempt to use the force on Gordon Brown whilst Brown was talking, in what I assume was a Ben Kenobi-style “these are not the policies you are looking for.” Look out for it, you can watch the debate again (or for the first time, perhaps) on youtube now. Go to 52:40 to see Gordon Brown pull some Tory policies to pieces, whilst Cameron looks frankly quite lost, resorting instead to a jedi mind-trick at 53:14.
Watching the debate again closely, this isn’t the only time where Cameron looks almost scared, perhaps realising that he can’t rely on shiney-faced posters, his missus being up the duff or blaming Labour for not managing to fix a mess that goes back to the last Tory government. Gordon Brown seemed to me measured and sensible, he didn’t flounder and we even saw a flash of personality as he mocked Cameron’s aforementioned plastic-faced posters.
Clegg seemed confident, after all, he was always going to come out of this well. As has been mentioned already, a Lib Dem leader has never had this level of coverage before. Partly because we have convinced ourself that there are only two ways: Labour or Tory. We’ve resigned ourselves to living in a world where the Tories spend a decade or so running our country into the ground, then we vote Labour in. They spend a decade or so attempting to fix the mess the Tories made. After that decade, a raft of new voters have little faith in Labour and the rest of us forget who it was that “broke” Britain in the first place.
Its as though we have convinced ourselves we only own two pairs of shoes and after we’ve worn one pair and realised they hurt our feet, we swap pairs. Realising the second pair is only a little better, we convince ourselves that the original pair will fit us the next time. But they don’t (aye, so this is aforementioned laboured metaphor). They hurt and they put our feet in a RIGHT state. Back to the red shoes then, the blue ones were shit. What made us think anything would change?
Dubious metaphors and witty twitter comments aside, the most insightful thing anyone said all night, something with seems painfully obvious, but which people somehow forget is this, via lolitician: “Remember guys, #leadersdebate might not be riveting, but if you don’t vote you don’t get an opinion. Register. Decide. Vote May 6th.“
I’ve heard so many people complain about the state of the country, about recession, about the NHS, right down to graffiti and litter. However, when it comes to election, so many of them don’t vote. I understand the feeling of hopelessness, trapped between two political parties who often can only be told apart by the colour of their ties, but if you don’t believe things can change, that things can get better, then they won’t. Every single person’s vote matters.
Which is one of the reasons I think the debate was so important and so useful. On twitter, facebook, all over the internet and I’m sure when I finally leave the house today and stop being such a web-dwelling hermit, people are talking about the election more than I’ve ever seen before. People of my generation are talking about who they’ll vote for and what they think more than I’ve seen in previous years. That, alongside David Cameron looking like a posh, impotent twit (not that kind of impotent, I know his missus has a wee Tory bun in the oven), is about the most important thing about this televised debate. Seeing so many different opinions, so many of my peers discussing and arguing over their political views is exciting and it makes me hopeful.
As for those floating voters, Wee Claire who writes one of my favourite blogs has written an interesting post on her reaction to the leaders debate and she drew my attention to this site. On Vote For Policies, you get an outline of party policies and based on the policies you agree with, it tells you what party best fits your views.
So, even if you’re still unsure of who to vote for, perhaps sites like this can help you decide. The most important thing is that you vote, that you make your opinion heard.
Comments, as always, are more than welcome. I’d like to know what folk think.