Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Election Notes

The Mediterranean boat people aren't exactly David Cameron's fault but they do point up the futility of his Libyan policy. Dropping a few bombs and walking away was neither helpful nor responsible. Mind you, I don't know what the alternatives were. Do nothing? Send ground troops to keep the peace? I don't suppose Ed Miliband has the answer either.

We're living in an age of mass migration and we need policies- global policies- to manage the chaos. At the moment all we're getting is knee-jerk reactions. Go after the traffickers, burn their boats, pick up the refugees and dump them back in Africa. It would nice to have leaders who could think beyond the next headline- leaders with a sense of history.

Cameron has been told he isn't being passionate enough, so now he's haranguing his audiences like a football coach. O dear.

All the real passion in this election is coming out of Scotland. Everyone else is just going through the motions. Ed Miliband has been bullied by his enemies into saying he'll never form any kind of alliance with the SNP- an undertaking he'll almost certainly have to break if he becomes Prime Minister. He thinks the English public is afraid of the SNP because the Daily Telegraph has told them the SNP is evil and dangerous.. Is that really the case? All the members of the English public I know would love to have someone as dashing as Nicola Sturgeon to march behind.

I supported Ed Miliband at the time of his election to the Labour leadership because he wasn't his brother.  That now seems a very poor reason. A leader has to lead- which means looking and sounding good on a podium and having some sort of vision. Ed fails on both counts. Has any British political party ever gone into an election with such a wet noodle in charge?

It's been noticed that neither Cameron nor Miliband is willing to expose himself to the unpicked electorate. They go from photo-op to photo-op, deliver speeches to audiences of party trusties and tour facilities on industrial estates where the workforce is on its best behaviour (with the bosses looking on) and they can be guaranteed not to be accosted by an angry pensioner or a disrespectful child. It's pathetic. In the good old days a candidate was expected to show his mettle by facing his public. For instance, there's an election in Trollope's Dr Thorne where both candidates address the crowd from the balconies of coaching inns. One gets his frilly shirt front soiled by a rotten egg  and retires in confusion, the other wards off a dead cat with his stick and goes on talking. The dead cat man wins- and quite right too. This trial by voter continued until quite recent times. Remember how John Major used to plonk a soap box down on random street corners? That seems heroic now. How far we must have fallen for John Major to seem heroic. How far and how fast.
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