Friday, April 16, 2010

A debate with 60 million losers

I hadn't been planning to say anything more about the leaders' debates (for a while, anyway!), but that was before I saw this headline on Nick Robinson's blog -

"And the winner is...the British electorate"

Given the very real anger out there about the way this process has from the start been driven solely by the self-interest of a narrow metropolitan political and media elite, that is an astoundingly provocative observation for someone in Robinson's position to make. His particular delight in the prospect that this could set the mould for countless similar debates to come will cause more than a few people to shudder. I left this comment -

"I'd have said the British electorate were the principal losers last night, presented as they were with a debased, false choice between three men who agree with each other on 90% of policy matters, with alternative voices (including mainstream parties with substantial parliamentary representation) cynically silenced. Forget the high-minded spin - this was a retrograde step for the democratic process, and if it does indeed set a precedent it's one we could well have cause to repent for decades to come."

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