GE2010: It has begun
The starting gun sounded this morning for the 2010 UK General Election, affectionately known as GE2010, or #GE2010 to be a little more precise. The election of the twitter age is upon us and the parties have begun laying out that which shall be analysed, tweeted and re-tweeted for 4 weeks. I saw the speeches from Cameron and Brown this morning, and here’s some first thoughts.
The choice of companions for the big announcement was interesting. Brown stood amongst a school-photo-esque line up of the cabinet, with its much improved number of women alongside the men. The WAG-factor was on hold (unless I missed something) as the PM emerged with his two closest fellow troops, the chancellor and the deputy PM. Was this because he’s unable to govern without them? Possibly. Is this a good thing? You bet!
Cameron was amongst a clearly select bunch of cronies eager for their moment of fame. Surely if this was a public announcement, in a public space more accessible than the already highly accessible corridors of Westminster (I’d like to see someone Green Card Cameron in that private building, pointing over the water to that public building) why did no one manage to find a placard to wave behind him? And the horizontal banner in Trafalgar Square as Brown was driven to see the Queen, what was that all about?
Nowhere could I see the people Cameron wants to have run the country. The man is on a mission that his friends can only destroy, be they the total liability Chris Grayling, or the childish imposter Osborne. The fact is, they aren’t going to win him points. They’re airbrushed out, instead replaced by his entirely a-typical wife. WAG factor to 11, a Britain of men flanked by their charming, cupcake baking wives.
I realise all of this is just cheap politicking, but the fact is, Labour are bringing a team worth electing, and Brown is proud of them, committed to them, ready to motivate them to each to do their best. Cameron just doesn’t inspire that trust. And given “its the Economy, stupid”, why not show us who’s going to run that. This election is as much about the Chancellorship as it is about Prime Ministership. Its about electing 649 Men and Women to represent, and not just the one person who will wear the hat of Prime Minister.
And the speeches? Interesting how Gordon put Jobs before Prosperity. Interesting how Cameron seemed to want to offer almost nothing in assurances to people who aren’t hard working Britons because there’s no work for them to do. In credit to Cameron, he said all the right things, but the words fell from the wrong lips. It would be like McDonalds claiming to have the answer to world hunger. His Privilege oozing from him, he tried to cast himself as someone we, the attention-paying-public, know he isn’t. Its the effect Isaiah would have had had he arrived on a war horse in full bling to tell the rich of Israel to stop abusing their workers; truth, but oh so jarring.
Gordon made the three promises we knew he was going to make: the economic, political and social change we expect any politician to promise. Its not ambitious, it promises only to make the decisions that need making. He promises a new economics, but we know that economics cannot honestly mean better behaved bankers; Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, the Bankers are lining up to vote Tory. If the public want better behaved bankers, they should vote against them. No one is offering a change in the economic system at this election. Either they are offering to play the game on behalf of the rich or attempt to balance it out for the poor. Elections are not about system change, and they’re rarely about tackling the privileged head on. They’re about getting the people who will do the day-to-day management the right way.
Brown proudly showed us who his team will be, Cameron found them too embarrassing and instead chose to bring along his wife as a sort of alpha-male’s trophy. Which would you rather managed your office? Which would you rather steered Britain through the next 5 years?