Monday, 3 May 2010

The 2010 Election. My last word.

Forgive me for another political blog post. Social networking frenzies, televised debates and the prospect of submitting my first general election vote have made me very excited. Well, apart from in the past few days. No, since the last leaders' debate, I've felt quite petrified.

I really shouldn't be. I am confident that this country has enough altruistic souls to vote for MPs who won't cut vital public services. I am confident that this country is mostly made up of people who want all to be treated fairly. I am confident that the people of this country want to see the world flourish. And I am confident that this country is made up of accepting, peaceful people, with the maturity to invest their precious vote in a party who will restore a sense of dignity to our parliament.

So what am I scared of? I'm scared that I'm hoping for too much. I'm scared that all of these brilliant, important and very worthy voters are being misled not only by the presumed safety of familial voting traditions, but by certain members of the mainstream media.

As the papers have shown their support for parties, you'd have to have been living under Eric Pickles' blubber for decades to have been shocked at any alliances.

Also, you'd have to be similarly incapacitated to not realise that many of these publications have been willing to disproportionately represent incidents on the campaign trail long before they pledged their allegiances . Charlie Brooker's
column this week begins with a nod to just one example of how skewed the media's representation of this election has become.

And another more serious example of warped press has been highlighted by Benjamin Cohen of Channel 4 news (and founder of PinkNews). This is the recent non-story of gay-curer Tory candidate Phillipa Stroud who has sent Twitter in a frenzy, yet will never receive as much media lampooning as Brown did during Bigot-gate.

The leadership debates provided the media with another opportunity to manipulate voters. We've been encouraged to pick apart leaders of the party instead of looking to our own local candidates' policies. This would be great if we voted in a presidential system, but we don't. Obama's name has been dropped in this election run-up more times than Katie Price's knickers, and it is useful to compare the US and UK. The pertinent dissimilarities are that we don't vote for our leader, and we're a tiny island. But these just make the similarities all too eerie: we have just as many issues, a similar gaggle of nutcases running for office, and
the same media fatcats in charge of our press.

I'm not disillusioned with politics, but I'm concerned that we're looking to partisan news sources to tell us about the three men most of us will never have the chance to vote for.

The 2010 election is one where we have never before had so much information readily available to us. But be careful where you get it from.


*In case you don't know, this latter incident is when Brown called a spade a spade. I think he should have just called her an idiot and left it at that. If you were to meet the Prime Minister, a man with a fancy education and a right nice suit, with the BBC filming you, you'd surely not think to say something so crass as: 'These eastern Europeans, where are they all flocking from?'

** I put a photo of Paris Hilton up top so you'd pay attention to what I write.

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