Suffragettes demonstrating in London* early 20thC
My friends at Hope not Hate yesterday published a link to a story in a local newspaper commenting on the fact that the UKIP campaign for their General Election candidate in the Castle Point [Essex] constituency has apparently been paying local businesses to display UKIP posters, placards and banners. And to make this story even more humorous, UKIP representatives are apparently trying to get away with the least possible amount of payment as small business owners are depressed to find that their neighbours may have been paid more [see article]
Well, in over 50 years political campaigning I have to say I have never heard anything like this! OK, political parties pay to advertise on advertising hoardings and other public advertising spaces like buses etc but not like this. I will be displaying a placard for the Labour candidate in my constituency as always. But - as they say - free, gratis and for nothing other than the belief that he is the best candidate. UKIP are apparently pouring money into the election campaign, flooding householders with multiple letters and leaflets in the Castle Point area in the belief that they can in this way induce more support. Someone should explain to them that this is not the way that *real* politicians act. And also to make friends and influence people, UKIP 'bargaining' over what price they will pay to get posters etc displayed is really very funny! All rather desperate really.
Meanwhile, several newspapers and other media outlets have published a letter signed by 5,000 business people supporting the Conservative party. As can be seen in this clip it is however a Conservative party 'production' which it asked these 5,000 'supporters' to sign. Some are not even business people. Again all rather desperate really.
Believe it or not, I got so bored with these shenanigans that in the writing of this I nearly deleted it all. Where are the good old days of good old political debate when candidates argued vigorously but relatively politely? When party representatives appeared on our TV screens to be interviewed and actually knew the answers to the questions they were asked? [Unlike the poor chap in the clip above. I almost felt sorry for him. Andrew Neil had such an easy job in that interview he must have hankered for the good old days when it was much harder and therefore far more satisfying to make a politician squirm]
Roll on May 8th when all this posturing will be over for another 5 years. Oh unless the law is changed again when no-one is looking and the 'fixed term' for the life of a parliament is changed again. Supposing this was to happen every year! Or the politicians decide to hand it all over to the civil servants and the country be ruled by referendum?
And now for the [possibly] boring bit. I say this at every election, but it is important. Next week on May 7th everyone registered to vote will have the opportunity to select their preferred candidate. Please don't waste this glorious privilege. Many of our ancestors, especially women, died to get the vote for all of us.
*Photo courtesy of http://secretsofabeautyaddict.co.uk/articles_and_interviews/articles/100th-anniversary-emily-davison/