Is anyone interested in the election?


Is anyone interested in the election?

By Andrew Marr
Political Editor, BBC News

Imagine the scene. On the theatre stage is the most amazingly energetic show - singing, dancing, fights and magic tricks. But out there the seating is half empty and the auditorium, silent. No-one laughs. Nobody claps. There's scarcely the energy for a boo.

Manifesto launches have failed to excite voters

This is how the first week of the election campaign has felt. On stage, as it were, we have had the three main party manifesto launches. We have had ferocious, detailed and important arguments about whether the tax and spending promises add up, or are slick frauds on the public.

We have had political amusements, such as the fiddling with a photograph that caused the Tory candidate in the marginal seat of Dorset South to go into hiding; and the strange game-show-come-revivalist rally used by Labour to launch their "little red book" manifesto; and the equally lavish public display of mutual affection from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

We have seen "outside" stories impact on the politicians - everything from the London terrorist trial, to the happy arrival of young six-pounder Donald Kennedy, to a sceptical report from the IMF.

Could the 'can't be bothered with it' party win another huge advance?

The air above Battersea heliport is constantly battered by whirlybirds with political leaders on board, heading for marginal and photogenic parts of the country. The desks of every political journalist are piled high with rebuttal documents, sly accusations, briefings and counter-briefings.

My personal favourite so far is a complaint from the other parties after I'd referred to the Liberal Democrats as having, rather than a black hole on spending, a "black puddle". No, came the rebuttal papers, it was surely deeper than a puddle...

Parallel universe

In short, sleep-deprived and existing in a strange parallel universe fuelled by pizzas, coffee and white wine, the political classes are having the most wonderful fun, working all the hours of the day and busting our often considerable guts.

And yet... frankly, none of it seems to have mattered very much. One poll puts Labour up a fraction, another has the Tories briefly bobbing, but in general the party ratings have barely moved.

Immigration and asylum could be a vote winner for Mr Howard

No-one has achieved any kind of breakthrough. If the audience is out there, and still watching, their arms are folded, and many are yawning.

Some small signs of movement are reported from doorstep campaigners and telephone canvassers: asylum and immigration are playing very strongly, particularly through the English south and east.

One senior US pollster who is over here studying the campaign even thinks fears about immigration could give Michael Howard his breakthrough issue - except that, for that to happen, the Tory leader would have to turn up the volume so high he'd be bitterly attacked by the national media.

The other possible trend is a drift by disillusioned former Labour voters back to the fold - Labour "likely to vote" numbers are rising, the pollsters think. But campaign teams on all sides urge caution about this.

'Can't be bothered'

At the 2001 election, general apathy about politics and an equally widespread assumption about the outcome, helped produce a turnout of just 59%, the lowest for any general election in Britain's general election history.

Donald Kennedy made his entrance in the campaign's first week

This time, the inflaming effect of the Iraq war and the foxhunting ban, and a perceived revival in Tory fortunes under Mr Howard, surely ought to increase participation.

Yet the first week has been strangely quiet, out in the country. Could the "can't be bothered with it" party win another huge advance?

The cluster of London streets from where the campaigns are being fought have few moments of calm. But when a momentary lull descends, the fear that our democracy is failing to retain the interest of a nation of shoppers is there in the background.

The stage is bright and loud; the theatre's quiet and dim.
I can see why the electorate is pisssed off, can you blame them?????
Question? Who read fully any party Manifesto? Page to page?

And understood it?

not me, If you do you need to get out a bit more...
Awol said:
dui-lai said:
..even my web address below :oops:
Dui-Lai, any party that uses colours that awful on it's website doesn't deserve to share the planet with the rest of us, let alone win an election. :D

Are you a fecking woman :roll:

Next you'll want us all to wear pink as it's non-aggresive :wink:
Aggressive is fine. UKIP Vomit and phlegm all over my screen isn't. Although I doubt if either of the UKIP voters could afford a website designer.

PS My 4 year old daughter has produced better work than that at playschool, shall I see if she can knock something up for you? :wink:
Awol said:
Aggressive is fine. UKIP Vomit and phlegm all over my screen isn't. Although I doubt if either of the UKIP voters could afford a website designer.

PS My 4 year old daughter has produced better work than that at playschool, shall I see if she can knock something up for you? :wink:
Please do as we could do with the freebies :wink: ...after RKS left, we lost so much money :roll: ....all those tanning booths :wink:
Politics is only interesting to those who are prepared to ask more than 'What do I get out of it?' Mrs LWM has told me on a number of occassions now that the majority of her colleagues in a National Company have absolutely no idea who to vote for in the Election because no one has bothered to explain it to them. Frightening? yes because this is not democracy its Government by Apathy.

When I was a younger (by a bit) and I lived in London (which I now dont) we used to walk to Speakers Corner and listen to the various nutters spouting off; to be honest some of them were fantastic orators and they held a crowd; their political thought might well have been at odds with your own but they were at least engaging on a level you could appreciate.

You might ask why so many of todays voters cant be bothered or are so uninformed, perhaps the Political Parties themselves might like to shoulder the blame to a certain degree. It is my humble suggestion that if there were a return to old fashioned campaining then there may well be a return of interest. IMHO there is far too much reliance on Television to get 'The Message' across, people get bored and turn over or, turn off. There is no personal engagement no opportunity to heckle or ask questions, I have not yet seen a canvasser, flyer or election poster here where I live so if I had no TV or were a student tuned constantly to MTV and re-runs of the Simpsons from whom am I to get my Political views?

A friend has been studying as a mature student at a college, their tutor has progressivly fed them a socialist agenda, comments here and comments there, if politicians really want to excite the younger voters interest then they should be out there campaining not chasing a TV News editors deadline. Politics is being taught by teachers but not being explained by Politicians.
Oh god that UKIP site is awful, my eyes :eek:

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