Election Loving

Posted: May 4, 2010 in Politics

Originally in my Wiltshire Magazine Blog

The upside of a living in a Tory safe seat and why the General Election is a lot like internet dating.

The only good thing about living in a Tory safe seat is that there’s almost no chance of bumping into a politician during the run up to an election – or at any other time for that matter.

In more contested seats, hopeful MPs walk for miles around towns and villages in an effort to win votes. I’m told they do more walking in one day than the average parking attendant does in a week!

As if that wasn’t hard enough, they have to shake hands with people too. Imagine that, shaking hands with strangers all day. You can bet David Cameron washes his hands with bleach after a hard day campaigning.

And then all the smiling and general enthusiasm. If you met anybody else who was that happy to meet you and that interested in what you had to say, you’d think they were trying to steal your wallet.

Or worse still, trying to ask you out on a date!

Now I think about it, trying to woo voters is very much like dating. What happened to Gordon Brown in Rochdale for example, could have happened to anyone on a first date.

At first he and Gillian Duffy were getting on well. They chatted about things they both enjoy, like walks in the park or movies about superheroes. Brown was feeling confident; perhaps he wouldn’t need the car ride home after all.

But then they started talking about politics! Before she knew it Brown was out the door. “I might be desperate, but not that bloody desperate,” he probably thought. Of course we’ll never know because the spin kids wisely chose not to shove a microphone into his brain.

What we did hear was his analysis of how the date went, and he was less than flattering.

I’m sure we’ve all done it though. “God, that went badly,” we think, and then call a friend to describe in detail why we definitely won’t be seeing that person again. Most of us probably don’t wait until the end of the date, but send a sneaky text midway through.

In case anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not defending Brown’s actions. It was a very stupid thing to do, and I’m sure if they did succeed in planting a microphone in his brain – to show how honest and open he is – we would only be able to hear static.

But then I imagine that would be the case for the other party leaders too. The only exception would be David Cameron, whose brain waves would sound a lot like this.


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