Two weeks to go to polling day and last night (Feb 11th) saw the first televised leaders debate on TV3 and Newstalk radio. I was undecided whether to watch or not as generally I don’t find the debates that interesting or useful when it comes to deciding how to vote. However influenced a little bit by commentary on Twitter, I decided to give it a whirl.
I should have stuck to my gut feeling and watched some more Netflix. I won’t waste my time or yours rehashing what was said, apart from Gerry Adams telling Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin (separately) “catch yourself on” and Micheal Martin telling people they had a brass neck. Honestly, you’d get a higher level of debate in sixth class.
I do wonder why media and politicians think these debates are a good idea. I’ve watched some British ones and some Irish ones and I’ve almost always come away fed up of hearing our political leaders shout over each other, not really listening and really engaging with the issues, of hearing them just spouting a load of frequently meaningless lines. Last night was no different. Now maybe some people do find these events useful when it comes to deciding who to vote for, but not me, all it has done is reinforced my decisions who NOT to vote for.
14 days and counting……..
Its just about 8.30 on the morning after the UK general election of May 2015. I stayed up til 1am last night after a very long day yesterday and didn’t see most of the results come in. Having woken up to the news that the Conservatives are on course for an overall majority, I am trying to gather my thoughts.
What I feel at this stage (619 of 650 seats declared):
Thatcher’s Britain is back. I actually can’t find the words to explain how this makes me feel. I grew up in the 1980’s, I saw what that era did to the country I grew up in. Its happening all over again.
Scotland -the SNP have taken nearly all the Scottish seats. I don’t know enough about the details of internal Scottish politics to comment thoroughly but from my perspective I’m wondering was this a pro SNP vote (which makes me think of Ireland in 1918 election) or an anti Labour vote. Cameron is saying he wants to govern over a United Kingdom. Its already clear that the UK is a very different place.
UKIP. The rise of UKIP scares me, I’ll be honest. Are people voting for UKIP because they like their policies or in an attempt to keep other parties out? I hope its the latter. I don’t care what Farage and his coterie say, when I look at UKIP I see fascism. And that is utterly terrifying.
As a history student in the early 1990’s (A level history) I read Dangerfield’s The Strange Death of Liberal England. I think I need to read it again. Is England now irrevocably a 2 party system?
As I finish this, I hear that Boris Johnson has won a seat. There are no words. This has been a terrible terrible night. Part of me wishes I had stayed up to bear witness, but the rest of me is glad I got some sleep. I don’t live in Britain any more but the fight against stupidity, sloppy thinking, inertia, apathy, fascism, narrow mindedness, it goes on in every country.
Rest up comrades, the fight continues.