Not the usual writerly stuff, but thought I'd get a bit topical and mention the 'Leader's (so-called) Debate' that was on ITV1 last night. Not that I watched all of it (or indeed most of it - well, what do you expect, it up was up against 'Outnumbered' on BBC1) but I thought the polictical commentary on it was so startling that it deserved a mention. All the pundits this morning were not discussing policy, or what will happen to the economy if Buggins' party gets elected or anything that actually MATTERS, they are all concerned with 'who did best'. And again, that is not 'who did best and will pull this country away from the brink of a double-dip recession without decimating the NHS in the process' but 'who did the voters like best'. Well, pardon me for getting a bit shouty, but is this what it's come down to? Trench warfare with no actual policies but the winner being the person who got their coloured worm to climb the highest up the ratings for the greatest amount of time??? It's no wonder we have an apathetic electorate. Probably including myself, here. I am aching for some debate, some issues, even - to hell with it -some vision that can inspire us and get us debating and talking about stuff for the first time in years, not all this bunkam about what are, in effect, political beuaty pageants. Where will it all end? Sam Cam and Sarah B staging a cookie 'bake-off' for the media as they do in the USA? Arggh.
Actually, I'd probably just settle for a return of that 80s staple, 'Spitting Image'. Apart from the pleasing prospect of a David Cameron puppet dripping with slime (an homage, perhaps to the Kenneth Baker snail of the later Thatcher years) at least SI had the knack of getting right down to the substance of the matter and presenting it in a way that cut through all the spin-doctoring and political mud-slinging.
Or perhaps that's the problem: there simply is no substance any more and the most important issue in the election will be who has the cleanest shave and the best tie.