Monday, May 3, 2010

UK elections - How now Brown cow?

A leap from life in sunny South Africa with the entire country betting on the upcoming 2010 World Cup to a competition of a different sort altogether. Thought I'd pen a few of my thoughts on the elections currently being held in the UK this week, particularly given the time I spent in long stint I spent working in Birmingham.

There are just 3 more days on campaign trail left and things are heating up for the parties. It's been quite unlike the US elections in 2008 notably by less intense use of social media. Still, by UK standards certainly more people know about Twitter and Facebook pages for political parties than ever before. I'm finding the BBC editor blogs is a great place to keep track of the latest facts and figures - Rory Cellan-Jones in particular has some great running sentiment analysis in his section.

The polls have been quite inconclusive so far and it appears none of the parties have assume anything is a given at this point. No doubt the next couple of days will be filled with mad campaigning.

David Cameron of the Tories are still to produce their policies on gender equality. His popularity in the polls is disturbingly high though - I still find it surprising that the British still haven't produced much of an orator since Churchill. Judging by Cameron's popularity they must really not value that. After Clinton and Obama, that is really disappointing. I imagine many voters in the UK believe that besides Labour there is no other choice than the Conservatives.

Parties like the Lib Dems (Nick Clegg) have performed better in the polls in this election than before but the concern is that they will fail to break the Labour or Tory mentality of the British public.

So how now Brown cow? Labour still has to outline their legislative priorities but I believe Gordon Brown's quote to labour supporters over the weekend just says it all:

"When we hear the pain of suffering, we're prepared to act. The language that we understand is the cry of a child or someone in need."

Their policies have certainly made the British public weep (although debatable what any of the others could have done to avert the financial crisis in the UK!) So now they have to listen - but will they be given a chance to by the furious citizens. Even cab drivers are discussing the extent of the UK budget deficit and how it compares to Greece. Economic policy has taken a step out of boardroom discussions and is affecting the general public - and they are very concerned about the way out of their current mess.

It is exactly this type of concern that causes havoc in elections. I believe an upset is what the UK needs. Someone with new and fresh ideas to stimulate the country and its minds. And no, I'm not talking about the BNP, especially after I read this Nick Griffin cartoon by Pratish! Makes me feel right I really am right back in the old South Africa with some of points in the BNP manifesto.

If I were a betting man, my money would be definitely be on a hung parliament around this time next week - it's definitely not what the UK needs right now but it's looking somewhat inevitable. At least it would be safer than wasting cash on Silver Sands casino or some other dodgy online casino South Africa! Anyway, I'm sure there's some bookie making a ton working out the odds from this UK election - it's going to be VERY close!

Actually, regardless of what happens I am quite curious to see what the outcome will be - BBC is said to be beaming the results onto Big Ben once they are released (although how they're going to do that on a bell, I have to wonder! ;)

1 comment:

googlyblogger said...

Sizwe I agree with you - given the current set of candidates its no wonder that the UK voters are so apathetic - and don't even get me going on how irritating Gordon Brown is!