What this election needs is a face off
We are four weeks into a seemingly never ending General Election campaign, one which is only creating excitement among avid players of political bingo.
Although, until last week’s Chuckle Brothers-esque leaking of the Labour Party manifesto, the countdown to June 8 has been a dull fest, there has been plenty for political geeks to tick off their score cards.
We’ve had the car crash interviews, the endless rhetoric, the awkward photo opportunities (something which our Prime Minister appears to specialise in) and the battle buses.
But one of the key narratives of the first month in the race to Westminster has been the disconnect between the politicians and the electorate. While this is nothing new, much has been made about the ignorance of those who are being asked to choose a parliamentary representative in three weeks.
There have some journalists who have taken to social media to mock the lack of understanding from those who care little about the machinations of Government. One reported on social media how a woman he interviewed said that ‘politics isn’t my thing - I think I voted for Labour at the Referendum’. This prompted much harrumphing from those who expect their fellow Brits to take the same level of interest in party politics that they do.
Nick Robinson, the BBC’s former political editor who now presents the corporation’s flagship current affairs programme, Today, has taken to the road to meet real voters.
Last week he was in Halifax to interview a group who identified themselves as working class and it was clear that politicians couldn’t be further away from their world.
One demonstrated how little he had been paying attention over the past 11 months when he asserted that Theresa May clearly doesn’t want us to leave the European Union. I don’t know how many times she has to say the words ‘Brexit means Brexit’ for it to sink in but his rather odd take can be explained.
It isn’t, as some snobs have suggested, evidence that there is a sub class who only care about chicken nuggets and Keeping Up With The Kardashians but is further proof that the ruling classes are unable to communicate with a large rump of the electorate.
The major complaint about this campaign is that it is one of the most stage managed in history, a campaign where journalists are kept at arm’s length from the PM and her cabinet members. And we’ve all heard the ones about some reporters being asked to submit their questions before press conferences and briefings.
Even David Dimbleby looks more bored than he usually does and if the journalists aren’t engaged, what hope is there for the rest of the British public? What this election really needs is a senior cabinet member smacking a man with a bad mullet on the nose. Unlikely, I admit.
It is easy for someone like me to sit on my sofa and blame the nationwide outbreak of apathy solely on the politicians. The media needs to play its part too and I think more pressure should have been heaped upon Mrs May to encourage her to take part in a head to head debate with Jeremy Corbyn.
While both leaders will be quizzed the cameras in the immediate run up to the election, they won’t share the stage. It promises to be tepid at best.
As long as this campaign shuffles along at its current pace, millions of voters will continue to live in ignorant bliss.