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Fighting Talk

Posted on 21st April 2010. No Comment

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Laura Bulbeck isn’t impressed by the constant  political bickering …

I don’t want a Prime Minister to be elected simply on the premise that he is not Gordon Brown.

As May 6 looms closer propaganda, speeches and vaguely retro-looking TV debates are everywhere. Party leaders have hopped on their tour buses, like rock stars, to travel the country. Yet the main thing I seem to have gleaned from the various political campaigns is, irritatingly, why we shouldn’t vote for the opposition. “Change” seems to be the keyword for many and while I understand that media spin and various slurs are inevitable but, though it is fair to point out faults in other parties’ policies,  I don’t want a Prime Minister to be elected simply on the premise that he is not Gordon Brown. The run of Labour prime ministers in recent years may well and truly be challenged next month because faith in Labour seems to have dwindled. The economic recession and the Iraqi war have certainly contributed to that. However, as I said, I do not think that simply distancing yourself from your opponents, as the other parties are clearly using as their party lines, is enough.

The Conservative party have sent round lorries with billboards campaigning against Gordon Brown. They carry a picture of Gordon Brown next to slogans such as “I let out 80,000 criminals early” (As one comedian put it: that’s secured 80,000 votes then!) and “I took billions from pensioners”. The Tories have sniped that since Labour failed to make use of Gordon Brown on their posters, they would do it for them. Similarly, the Labour party compared David Cameron to Gene Hunt in a poster, although the popularity of this character may have backfired on them. Some younger voters will not even remember the eighties and what the Conservative party was like then; money could have been spent better advertising Labour’s own priorities.

For many of us this will be our first opportunity to vote in a general election.

I am vaguely aware of Conservative posters highlighting a couple of their policies, although my awareness stems more from viral corruptions. The posters show a family, with the slogan “I have never voted Conservative before but…” but I am more aware of the altered endings: “I have never voted Conservative before… because I’m seven and like the Power Rangers.” Also, lorries carrying messages against the Labour party may travel around making their point, but the posters enforcing policies receive far less publicity; surely this is the wrong way round.

For many of us this will be our first opportunity to vote in a general election. I would like to know what the key policies of each of the parties are, and I would like them set out to me clearly. I know that politicians are not bound to every pre-election promise, but should we not be judging them on what advantages they at least hypothetically will bring to running the country?

I am not averse to doing my own research, and I know of the various manifestos but I would appreciate more straight talking and less time spent discrediting other politicians. I want to be told more than what party leaders will not do if they get into power.

Laura Bulbeck

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