Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I am not really a political animal but I cant help but be drawn into the pending elections in the UK.It seems that there is no clear majority and that may lead to a hung parliament. In times gone by there were such strong differences amongst the population in Great Britain, mostly created by the class system,that everyone knew where they fitted in and voted accordingly. Upper,middle and lower classes voted Conservative, Liberal or Labour with the odd few (excuse the pun) voting for The Monster Raving Loony Party headed by Screaming Lord Sutch or The Teddy Bear Alliance.
Even the politicians were instantly recognisable as to which party they represented. You identified with Harold Wilson if you were a labour voter because he was all things working class from the tip of his pipe to his thick soled shoes. Labour politicians had gravelly voices, faces carved by hard work and the balls to speak plain English!
Mrs Thatcher on the other hand epitomised the Conservative voter with her carefully coiffed hair, carefully planned wardrobe, carefully controlled emotions and perfect diction. I never paid much attention to the Liberal party - my father thought they were a bunch of 'homos' so they were definitely off bounds.They were the party to vote for if you were a little different.
While watching the televised political election debates - a so 'not British' idea imported from the USA - its hard to distinguish who is actually who and which party they represent. They are all seem to be saying the same thing in a very similar way. They look like a bunch of squabbling neighbours who live next door but love having a dig at each others' opinions in an attempt to elevate their status.
It seems to me that the British are having an identity crisis, have lost their history and are confused. There doesn't seem to be a working class anymore. Tony Blair re branded the Labour Party - 'New Labour' to keep the votes of the previous labour voters who no longer identified with the working class label. David Cameron is desperately concealing his 'poshness' by riding a bicycle and wearing pullovers so as not to appear Conservative and he and Nick Clegg are so similar that they could be related.
So tomorrow should be an interesting day not only as a political landmark but also from a sociological aspect. Voters are not only deciding who will lead the country but also making a statement on the changing face of 'Britishness'.
The process has been very entertaining and the result should be very interesting.