Tuesday, 6 April 2010
So its day one of the UK election 2010 and I’ve set myself a challenge: to blog on the election every day.
This will not seem out of the ordinary in this media filled election month, but unlike the rehearsed political commentators I’m a first time voter who only cares about politics most of the time, rather than all of the time.
After watching Gordon Brown’s announcement of the – oh what a surprise – May 6 election date and the opening speeches by the three main party leaders the question of which way to vote became more pressing in my day to day life.
David Cameron’s audience of supporters, clearly made up of the majority of his office, actually looked pretty bored during his ‘vote for change’ speech. Proving not be the rent a crowd that he had hoped for.
While the usual suspects turned out with Brown looking like they’d already spent a month campaigning.
Nick Clegg meanwhile made the mistake of giving the media the oh so predictable line ‘this isn’t the old politics of a two horse race’, which unfortunately commonly is responded to by the cynics with ‘yes it is’. Maybe he should wait for the results before running with this again.
The election announcement got a space on ITV’s Loose Women where one panelist said voters should look at policies and not vote a certain way because they feel they have an affiliation to a particular party.
This seems logical, but in fact I am very troubled by people taking such an attitude. Every single party, whether a favourite of mine or not, has manipulated facts and truths for their manifestos and no one is saying what they really mean. I know it is always said that politicians don't speak the truth, but this seems more significant now than ever before.
I am sure that the lack of straight talking will be the most frustrating factor in the build up to polling day. It is, in reality, either a question of which party voters believe is using the least spin, or which party manages to use spin so successfully that voters don’t notice it. I am sure that it will be the former.
It is, of course, not only the Loose Women who are discussing the election. All the major media outlets let their correspondents, commentators and graphics free today - they have been lined up ready for election coverage for quite some time.
I was shocked to see the presenters on BBC local news tonight live on location, something they rarely all do simultaneously. I’ve become accustomed to the reporting format, but it seems that all the usual styles have been ditched for special election time news. It’s only been one day, but I am already cynical; could it be said that the media are more excited out the next month than the politicians?
Also, and in an awful way, I am already feeling somewhat fed up of hearing, reading and watching the same coverage, the same analysis and the same jokes about the figures in the fight for Downing Street. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some fresh issues to debate......