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: anna.maciulewicz@eusa.ed.ac.uk.  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.

The Obama Westminster Election Drink Off

Between the Scottish National Party‘s minimum pricing and Labour’s possibly more canny/sleazy, but now dropped tax plans for strong, cheap booze, alcohol policy has been bandied about a lot recently.  While this area will not match in prominance economic and military issues in the upcoming Westminster elections, the debate will surely continue nevertheless.

So to celebrate the ongoing Cameron/Brown rivalry (with a bit of Salmond and Clegg thrown in), I give you the Election Drink Off!!

The game

The rules are simple and flexible.  Teams are formed and each must represent a political party.  The easiest choice is to have three teams: Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems.  Maybe for Scotland you could do SNP, Labour and Lib Dems, it’s up to you, but a good choice depends on the next feature of the game.  

You must choose a medium through which all parties will represent themselves in real time – the obvious choice is the leaders’ TV Debate on this Thursday, 15th April.  Offcom and the Electoral Commission will ensure that the game is fair: political parties will be allowed equal exposure time.  A referee is required.

And now the twist: once you have your disgusting, strong beverage of choice laid out for armageddon/the debate, all teams will listen attentively for political utterances plucked from the vine of Obama spin!  So, for example, drink when you hear any of the following:

change, hope, audacity, audicious.

This blog strongly recommends that your own, no-rules political debate be held in the immediate aftermath of the drinking.  The best bit about the game is that whoever is on David Cameron’s team will end up sh*t faced.

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