Why, after 13 years of an increasingly unpopular government with very few friends in the British media, have the Tories got nothing more than spurious statistics, dodgy data and idealised ideas on which to base their election campaign?
I was pleased with Gordon Brown’s speech this morning as I thought it succinctly summed up some pretty damning fuck ups of the Opposition. My personal favourite has to be the claim earlier this week that a whopping 54% of girls in the most deprived areas of Britain get pregnant before they turned 18. Crikey. Britain, much like the big, flappy vaginas of those young ladies, must truly be broken.
Hm…not quite. As you might have guessed by that preposterously large figure, the actual stat turned out to be a significantly less frightening 5.4%. Oh, and this has dropped by 6% from 1998…
To be fair, everybody makes mistakes and, while I find the scale of this error particularly funny, on its own, the 900% misrepresentation doesn’t necessarily undermine their message or their competence. What really does make me distrust Cameron and friends, however, is that they’re repeatedly struggling to find evidence to back up their “broken Britain” theory. They clearly adopted this “strategy” because it’s an approach they believe (probably rightly) would resonate with floating voters and are now trying to grab headlines to justify their point.
This annoys me because it’s a waste of time. The energy the Tories could be investing in studying data and picking out the areas that clearly need work is instead being spent on a marketing strategy.
Similarly, refusing to take part in important talks about social care for flimsy reasons and stirring up hyperbole of “death taxes” reeks of shallow politics of the Sarah Palin variety.
It’s still relatively early days, so David Cameron could surprise with a clear, sensible and valid vision of the future that is based on more than just ‘what feels right’ and ‘common sense’. Personally, I don’t think he will. If he continues to carry on as they have been, playing the safe ‘fear and morals card’ with the support of the British media and national ignorance, the Tories are expected to scrape a narrow victory. I think Britain’s moved further from the right than most conservative commentators would like to admit, meaning David Cameron risks alienating a significant chunk of voters by exposing his true-blue 80s Tory values.
What does this mean to the voter? This is going to be another election in which at least one of the major parties stands to gain if attention is drawn away from policy and principles. This is going to turn many voters off and encourage some to vote based on single issues or personal prejudice.
What does this mean to the country? We could all wake up the morning after voting day to see David Cameron smiling smugly outside the door to number 10. Then what? Corking the fannies of teenage girls, cutting taxes for the wealthy, avoiding the advice of experts (in terms of the economy and care for the elderly), allowing the murder of foxes and paying people to get married?
Here’s a slogan:
Change: it doesn’t have to be anything you’ll care much about either way.