Friday, April 16, 2010

Indecision 2010

This side of the Atlantic, there is some kind of election happening if you haven't heard. One that I can actually vote in apparently. In a constituency where it might actually matter (as the incumbent Lib Dem MP is stepping down). More relevant to the post, we have a TV now. It came with the house. So yesterday evening, I prudently decided to watch the leadership TV debates (the alternative was to try and calm down the very fussy monkey so it wasn't much of a choice) and tuned in promptly.

First, transplanting American style TV debates to this country seemed a little off. Comic, really. All these people on TV were trying to sound enthusiastic and over the top forgetting that those traits don't exactly come easily to the British. Both Clegg and Cameron were trying to be Obama (Brown just was boring Brown which is apparently his selling point) which was painful but entertaining.

For those of you who watched this thing, a couple of questions:

1. Why was Brown wearing a pink tie and Cameron a blue one? (Only Clegg seemed true to yellow)

2. Was it just me who thought that: boring Brown sounded like someone who has been doing boring parliamentary debates for ages, Cameron tried a little too hard to sound transparent (though he didn't repeat his points like the other two), and Clegg sounded like he is the captain of the university debate team? I read today that apparently people thought that Clegg won the debate. Really? Politically, yeah, I fall right into Lib Dem territory but that's besides the point.


Abi said...

You write about Indecision 2010, but don't bother to say anything at all about J.K. Rowling's utterly devastating take-down of the Tories?

I'm surprised.

blackmamba said...

like Abi said, the Rowling piece seems to be getting a lot in the rest of the world.

blackmamba said...

a lot of coverage, I mean.

Cheshire Cat said...

"One that I can actually vote in apparently"

Really? That I did not know.

The TV will also come in useful in keeping the monkey occupied. Which isn't coincidental, I'm sure...

Nowhere Man said...

Ya Veena..spill the beans. How exactly you can vote ? And how does one check whether one is eligible to vote?

Fëanor said...

Any Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK is allowed to vote in all UK elections.

Abi: Rowling uses her own experience as evidence that the social support works. It worked in her case. Unfortunately, there are generations of people in the UK for whom living on benefits is preferable to getting a job. She doesn't address that aspect of it at all.

Veena said...

Abi, BM: Don't think the piece is getting that much coverage here but what do I know?

On the article itself, I am not a fan of Tory policies esp on the welfare side of things. But lets not forget that Rowling is one of Labour's high profile campaigners and laughable as Cameron's marriage money is, not sure what else in the current Tory manifesto that merited this outrage.

Cat, Nowhere Man: Of course you can vote. The magic word apparently is Commonwealth. Commonwealth citizens who are legal residents should be eligible. Tomorrow is the last date for registering to vote, so please go register.

Cat: If monkey wants to watch TV, I am likely to throw both monkey and TV out of the house. I am sure it can find other things to occupy itself.

Veena said...

Feanor: Don't disagree that there are a large number of people living off support but do you know where one can find decent stats on this? Especially on people doing this for generations? Some amount of freeloading in any welfare system is unavoidable but by all anecdotal accounts, this has crossed all reasonable extent in this country and I am curious to see the numbers behind this.

(Also, if this is across generations, don't see why only New Labour is being blamed. Especially since there does not seem to be anything in the Tory manifesto that will help the situation)

Fëanor said...

There was an article last year in (I hate to say it) Daily Mail that quoted 5/6 million such folks, and that was from a Tory policy paper which used census information from 2001. I wouldn't be surprised if they double-counted creatively somewhere (see, e.g. here) and misattributed. Since then the problem may have worsened in view of the recession, but again, I've not been able to find any non-partisan source to corroborate or disprove.

What will the Tories do differently? This is something they said last year.