Selective comments on the very recent, and very chaotic, general election.
The British Public has voted. And what has happened is a vote of no confidence, clearly. I know we are all desperate for something concrete to happen, (Who didn’t cower on election night when a sleep deprived David Dimbleby barked that he wanted to know what the next step was, aside from “everybody getting a good rest”?) we all want answers, right now; turnout was so much more than expected people had to be turned away. (In a stressful rather than empowering way, mind.) Not for years has the election been filled with such anticipation, yet I can’t seem to shake off a vague unease: is the call for a solution right now pushing a decision too hastily? “I didn’t agree with Nick just so he could change his mind and agree with David”, complains one “tweeter”; it’s absurd, especially considering how few seats the Lib Dems actually won, how much power Clegg actually has right now.
From this increasingly overwhelming mire, I have collected a few thoughts:
1. No one likes a cling-on. Would people stop using that phrase, please? Gordon Brown is one, Nick Clegg is one, Cameron is so scared of being one he is apparently pretending to have forgotten how the election process actually works. Be a sport Dave. For the first time in decades Britain is suffering from a hung parliament; the prodigious PM title eludes everybody, and I think the situation has gone a long way towards exposing the facade present in this Americanised campaign in particular, as it begins to resemble something like a children’s playground game gone awry, with ungracious shouts of “it’s mine!” echoing from all directions.
2. Desperation is key. The fleetingly heroic Nick Clegg has become ever so slightly embarrassing, titillating the other parties with his obvious desperation; the whore of parliament: renting himself out to the highest bidder/ whoever will have him. Like the smalls bargain bin in Primark: scrappy ends hashed together that nobody particularly wants, but gets anyway because they’re cheap and serve a menial purpose.
3. I<3 Gordon Brown. I do think that he should have called an election when the public still felt like they were choosing him, but his steadfast solemnity is charming in my eyes. On hearing the news that he is to step down I feel genuinely saddened at the extent one man can go to shoulder the blame for a globe’s worth of crises. I realise it comes with the territory, but it is such a marked contrast to the PR smokescreens that litter Britain’s politics. I love his utter hopelessness at pretension, and think we would be wise to remember it when David-”The Slick”-Cameron comes to town.
4. I think Britain can find some consolation in this limbo: turnout may have been dogged with frustration but that was because we collectively surpassed our own expectations, and when do we ever do that? It is a Britain alive with debate and opinion, vibrant with choice. Let’s just hope we don’t get bored before we have to do all this again in 6 months time.
5. And one more thing, which to my mind has so far been mistakenly overlooked: David Dimbleby and friends, I salute you, still going strong at 2pm the afternoon after the night before as i hauled my leaden body off the sofa to go to work.