“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 27 March 2015

Policies, Not People

I've just sat and watched the Head-to-Head That Wasn't; the programme on Channel 4 in which Jeremy Paxman interviewed David Cameron and Ed Miliband in turn, and each politician also answered questions from the studio audience.

And it was dire. It all seemed to be so set up, so fake. And the fact that there was no debate *between* the two men was a disappointment.

But what really fed me up was the personalisation of it all, particularly in the case of Ed Miliband. At one point the Sky presenter, whose name eludes me, asked him whether he thought he was the right person to lead the Labour Party into this election, and whether his brother David would have been better. She then asked some totally irrelevant personal questions about Miliband's family - had the leadership contest caused friction? How did his mother feel? It made me feel sick.

I wouldn't usually use this blog to comment on political matters. But it seems to me very sad that members of the British public are deemed by the media and the politicians to be incapable to making up their minds about who to elect to lead them for the next five years, on the basis of what policies each party espouses (or allegedly espouses, because we all know that to promise something in a manifesto is one thing; to deliver it once you have been elected is quite another).

It all seems to be about personalities. MPs and MP wannabes are out and about, making the most of photo opportunities, while the smallest and most irrelevant details of their private lives are hauled up for public scrutiny. Of course, I'm not saying that our Members of Parliament should not be people of integrity, with honest, upright lives. Of course they should. But I cannot believe that how Ed Milliband eats a bacon sandwich (for example) is in the slightest bit important, or should have the least impact on voter choice.

It's a funny old world.

I for one will be reading the campaign leaflets that come through my door (if any - I live in a safe Tory seat) and looking on the websites of the parties concerned, in order to make up my mind. Or I'll check out the website Vote for Policies, which will at least give me a chance to evaluate what the different parties *say* they believe in. And yes, I will be voting - it's my duty.

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