Thursday, 29 April 2010
This election is getting to me, but we also need to learn
This election is getting to me. Perhaps that's because I'm a hard-working and experienced independent candidate and have been meeting 'real' people since I started canvassing seriously several months ago.
The sad fact is that some real people are ignorant, some real people are unintentionally (or intentionally) hostile to callers they don't know, and some real people are bigoted (aren't we all, in some respects?). It is a tonic to have an intelligent talk on a doorstep or in a front room but it doesn't happen as often as one would wish. I sometimes leave a house thinking (or, indeed, saying under my breath) to myself, 'Good God, these people each have a vote, just like real political students, real intellectuals and real thinkers, and they (the person or the people I have just met) are so b****y stupid.'
And the whole election now seems to hinge on the respective leaders' performance on TV, which should not be important but which now is, and on unpredictable incidents caught on tape unawares. It is now a competition, not between individual candidates putting across individual ideas in individual styles in individual constituencies, it is a beauty contest between two pretty boys, the glamorous but shallow Cameron and Clegg, and the graceless but substantial Brown.
Of the three, I prefer Brown, though I am independent, because we still need some people of substance to get us out of the mess that we were initially got into by some NINJA loan-lending shysters in New York.
We also need to learn lessons from history. What happened in the dire financial circumstances of 1931? Why, Mr Ramsay MacDonald (Labour) and Mr Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) formed a National Government with MacDonald continuing as Prime Minister and Baldwin effectively as deputy prime minister. The government had a limited agenda - to get the country out of the dire financial circumstances of 1931 with the very large backing that only Labour and the Conservatives could command. And it worked.
Let there be the same lessons learned today. Despite what happened in Rochdale (was the late Sir Cyril Smith always as discreet as he ought to have been?) yesterday and despite what might happen on TV tonight, I'd back the graceless but substantial Brown leading a Lab/Con coalition, but keep Clegg out of it, for all of our sakes, for the local Lib Dems do not impress round here. They are profligates and incompetents.