It was funny to see how the election isn’t just dominating TV but bizarrely seems to be borrowing from the schedule it’s tied into – the dismal rota of sport, melodrama and lifestyle quackery.
So the biggest teams kick off like the Premier League playing away: Miliband tells the bears in the wood they can picnic in Europe while Cameron goes for the low hanging fruit of men in overalls, instructing them, ‘don’t risk the little (recovery) you’ve got’. Oh, and did anyone notice him hammering away at a barrel in a factory called ‘Thatcher’s…?
Well, this turned out to be the perfect segue to an action packed Punch and Judy show with high street tax dodgers wheezing about ’ Labour-bad-for-business’ in the Tory-graph which Labour instantly parried with a queue of supporters from the ‘all walks of life’ school of extras. The true crime saga of zero hours contracts followed but then it was pointed out Labour MPs have also used them to employ their assistants, and so on.
‘Wow, this is the old left-right politics coming back,’ gushed the media (on cue). There was even an extremely tacky moment of commentators holding their breath as they watched the pound fall against the euro by a completely average fluctuation.
Well, what to make of all this – apart from the fact that Varoufakis doesn’t seem to be the only one keen on game theory…
Is this phony opposition between Labour and Conservative an attempt to help crowd out the potential king-makers in the smaller parties? Yes, but they have to crowd out the king-makers in their own parties too. The truly despicable and fatuous assertion by the pregnant Rachel Reeves that Labour “are not the party of welfare” gives a large juicy bone to Progress, whilst Cameron is clearly avoiding the coastal towns which are no longer quite so safe, and instead stalks the Lib Dem heartlands.
Anyway, tonight the smaller, younger parties will get to stay up late and get rowdy.
Will anyone in tonight’s debate talk about the £177bn of public services now open to tender* thanks to the Tories hand in hand with Labour councils who, up and down the country brag about their ‘efficiency savings’ to their residents? How much discussion will focus on scrapping Trident, or a mass programme of council house building…?
I hope they go for it.
*Open Public Services White Paper, 2014 update.