Political points to ponder – or not

Posted on March 9th, by geoff in CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Living in one of the 4% of households in the UK which doesn’t have a television, I care very little whether or not David Cameron takes part in a televised debate.

Too much hangs on how politicians perform in front of the cameras and microphones. Think of Natalie Bennet – one bad radio interview on an “off-day” and the entire Green Party’s credibility plummets in the minds of the masses, and think what you like about UKIP but Mr Farage has to tread a media gauntlet ready to pounce on the slightest hint of inconsistency as he answers questions on the hoof.

The minor parties (and for all the media noise, UKIP remains a minor party in terms of seats in Parliament) are easy targets for journalists in search of a story. The major parties are given a much smoother ride in comparison and it seems we will forgive them anything, no matter how corrupt their practices, how vague their policies and how egregiously they break their promises.

Given the ageing demographic, one would have thought there would be ever increasing support for a “Grey Party” but clever Mr Farage seems to be pre-empting this by garnering the grey vote to his own faction – in late February he said UKIP would spend an extra £3bn a year on the health service, with a commitment to invest £650m by 2020 in dementia research – double the amount set out by David Cameron. Music to the ears of my Great Aunt Mabel – if she remembers to vote.

But, given his desire for an Australian-style ‘points system’ to regulate immigration, I wonder how many points Mr Farage would accord to the qualities of caring and compassion which immigrant social care workers bring to the nation’s care homes.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 responses to “Political points to ponder – or not”

  1. Tony Stein says:

    Politics, like many aspects of modern life, is more about celebrity and the ‘soundbite’ than it is about consistency and integrity. Why do the media want the debate? Because they feel it makes great entertainment rather than because they genuinely feel it will add to the important electoral decision-making process.
    Does it follow that the person that performs best in a televised public debate will make the best leader? I hope for the good of us all that that isn’t the basis upon which May’s decision is made.

  2. Bob Ferguson says:

    Living in one of the who knows what percent of households in the UK with a television set, I wouldn’t dream of wasting time my valuable viewing time on a televised political debate. No more would my vote be swayed by, for example, how a party leader wrestles with a bacon sarnie.

    The last time I looked in the mirror I was part of the so-called “Grey Vote”, but I wouldn’t dream of being bought off by wild promises from that dangerous populist Nigel Farage. I have no sympathy at all for the waifs and strays in the minor parties. It’s about time these people felt a bit of heat; usually they get a free pass to wave open cheque books without so much as a single awkward question. Let’s not forget: this is a general election not the X Factor. (Note for Geoff: the X Factor is a TV talent contest.)

    I am much more concerned by the gross imbalance in the national press, the vast majority of which cheer-leads for the Tories. I doubt that anyone in the Labour party believes they get a “smooth ride” from them.

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