The Electoral Matrix

Honestly, I must move on from politics soon and get on with matters more aesthetic and sublime – we’ve all got the Guardian, Times, BBC News, etc covering this election anyway.

But I want to make one vaguely aesthetic or cultural point about this election’s media coverage, and to make this point I shall marshall two pieces of evidence:

1) The BBC’s coverage of the election in general; and

2) Derek Jackson from Land is Power, the so-called Landless Peasant party, who has already become a facebook hit since holding a Black Land is Power Salute behind Gordon Brown during the PM’s entire Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath election victory speech.

As my friend Gareth observed during our election extravaganza last night, don’t you think there’s something seriously Matrix-esque about both features?

We spent all night watching Beeb presenters walking through virtual Commons, virtual Number 10s, floating over electronic UKs.  And then we have Derek, resolutely sporting his “peasant” look with a pair of indoor shades and a carefully sculpted goatee.  Is he supposed to be some sort of activist Agent Smith?  Look at him there!

Give us a change Nick!

Wow!  So the Guardian is in total, enthusiastic editorial support of the Liberal Democrats and on Friday told us that they would vote that way if only newspapers had a vote.  A little conceited, if you ask me, as surely newspapers account for thousands of votes, but I know what they mean.  Just a bit of artistic license to tell us how they’re officially set for next Thursday’s general election.  Well, the Comely Banking Crisis has received voting papers, and along these lines, I thought I’d write a brief, open letter to the Lib Dem’s great and mighty leader, the one and only Nick Clegg:

Dear Nick Clegg,

This week is election week.  I’m sure you’re very busy running around the country scraping up those last few votes you can beg, borrow or steal – and let’s face it, out of our first three UK ‘presidential’ candidates ever, you’re the one who needs to do the most work.

However, I hope that in the midst of the final tumultuous week on the campaign trail, somewhere between rallying exhausted supporters and eventually having your photo taken at the polling booth on the big day, you might find a minute or two to contemplate the following (Bad Religion songs are, in fact, very short and so eminently suitable for the listening to during a quick breather on the campaign bus):

Yours, etc,

The Comely Banking Crisis

A chance to vent your spleen at electoral candidates in Edinburgh

Make-up backstabbing: the Kennedy-Nixon debate

Tonight’s prime-ministerial TV debate promises some watered-down, reheasred action (unless you consider joining in our concurrant election drinking game).  In the UK we’ve already reluctantly revisited the famous 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate several times in this morning’s dreary breakfast info-entertainment, but what they don’t tell you as often is, it will be nothing like that!  The days of a) secret make-up, b) being embarassed about TV make-up and c) on-air 4 o’ clock shadows are long gone.  But as this is a first for a UK general election, no doubt we’ll all watch with interest.  I can’t understand why stammering Brown would agree to face those two handsomer, more articulate chaps, but let’s see what happens.

Edinburgh hustings

But moving off the national and on to the local, this morning the GuardianEdinburgh blog reports that a general election hustings event is being hosted tonight by The English-Speaking Union Scotland at its Atholl Crescent gallery in the West End.  Candidates have been invited from the four main parties in Scotland, but alas, it will be to an invited audience only that they will be giving their excuses, making the same old accusations, saying the oil would pay for independence, saying it wouldn’t be enough, etc.

If you’re absolutely gutted and disgusted by this closed-door policy, don’t despair!  GuardianEdinburgh will be tweeting and recording the debate.  But better still, there’s another hustings event with more parties represented and an OPEN-DOOR POLICY!

Look no further than to the Edinburgh University Students Association to deliver when it matters.  Their event takes place on Monday 26th April at 6.30 p.m in the George Square Lecture Theatre, George Square.  The panel consists of Neil Hudson (Conservatives), Ian Murray (Labour), Fred MacKintosh (Liberal Democrats), Sandy Howat (SNP) and Robin Harper (Green candidate for Edinburgh East).  Apart from Robin Harper, all candidates are contending for Edinburgh South and the event will be chaired by Dr Mark Aspinwall, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations.

Questions will be taken from the audience, but should be emailed in advance to:  A higher education agenda will likely dominate the discussion, so if you want to ask about anything else, like “What the f*ck is going with Trident?”, then get in touch.  No doubt tonight’s leaders’ TV debate will give you a few ideas.

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