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April 23, 2010


One of the things I really miss about England is the political stuff.

I know all the parties have pretty much blended into one another and any intelligent, dry-wit debate has metamorphised into lowest-common-denominator throwing of sticks & stones ... but there's still something quite exciting around election time - if only to hear all the false promises being made or the amazing focus on insignificant towns/cities that are suddenly thrown into the spotlight after being deemed "electoral gold".

Whether you loved or hated Thatcher [and I am in the latter camp], at least she made politics a staple of everyones conversation everyday - now it's reduced to a few weeks every 4 years ... but I still miss not being there to hear and see it.

As some sort of geek on politics, I both love and hate elections.
I love them as a time when people actually talk about politics, which affects us all, like it or not.
I hate it because the real facts and debates are hidden behind a wall of soundbites.
For example, I think the TV debates are a good thing, not least for the way they've forced the two party club to discuss the the third party and think about how mad our electoral system is, but the focus on the personalities and 'who won the debate' has actually got in the way of actual policies.
And,despite the current habit of big parties blatantly changing their minds every time a focus group tells them to, there are fundamental differences between the parties that don't get exposed enough.
There are more questions to ask about who we are, what this country is about and what it's future will be, than there has been for a long time. Someohow it feels more significant even than 1997. This time it's not 'well, you're not the other lot' to 'we can't be doing with either of you, but you've got away with too much for too long'
That said, it will be facinating to see how things pan out the closer we get to voting, when it becomes a little more real, I just wonder how many people will stick to what they know.

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