Well, I've been reading and catching up. I've come to the following conclusion:
When I was a kid, I heard a story (probably apocryphal) about a bicycle race at a village fair/fete/carnival in the inter war years. I'm a little sketchy on the details. In essence the story was about a farcical race between the menfolk of the village. There were prizes for first, second and third places, and the second prize of a canteen of cutlery was more attractive (to the wives of the men at least) than whatever it was that was on offer to the victor. As a result the field jockeyed for position right up until the conclusion of the race where everyone did their level best to be second. It was a race where no-one wanted, or perhaps more properly no-one dared, to win.
This to me seems exactly what is going on with the current election campaign.
It is most likely that Gordon will go and see Herself at some point this week and ask for this rotten parliament to be put out of its misery. We will then be without a government. To me this is a thoroughly desirable state of affairs and I see no reason to rush and hold an election after parliament is dissolved.
Everyone is expecting a dirty campaign, but the evidence of the past few days suggests that it will instead be a parade of politicians of all hues taking it in turns to blow their own feet off with ever more powerful firearms. Somewhere around May 4th we may actually see someone launch a tactical nuke against their own foot.
I'm not going to link to many of these stories as they've been covered ad infinitum in places linked to on here, but it really is a most startling display of stupid, wrong and hubristic soundbites and stunts. It really does make me wonder if it is on purpose, because surely no-one can be that stupid, can they? If they can, it doesn't bode well for May 7th.
In no particular order, we have the Labour party who decided that it was a good idea to compare stand-for-nothing, bland as American cheese, plastic man Cameron to Gene Hunt. No, you see, the whole idea of launching poster campaigns featuring your opponents is to make them look bad. Why on earth would you portray them as as cool, entertaining, decisive and admired a character as exists in popular culture today? The reason Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars have been so successful is that the main character is the complete antithesis of the double-speak spouting faceless and charismaless figures we have now. What were you thinking?
Then Mandleson launches a frankly amazing attack on the head of Barclays for his salary and/or bonuses. This is a bank which has remained stable and taken not one penny of public money. In other words, Labour attack one of the few successful financial companies this country has for their very success. What? Still, at least he didn't say something along the lines of 'he's taken 63 million pounds not by building business or adding value or creating long-term economic strength, he has done so by dealmaking and shuffling paper around.'
Oh hang on, that's exactly what he said. Tell me, my noble Lord, how did you make your cash? Hmmmm?
The BNP, threatening to have a break through election, have now decided that the best way to cement 5th place in the polls is by threatening to kill each other. That's either a PR masterstroke or their levels of swivel eyed lunacy is beyond what I'd thought possible.
Then there's Chris Grayling, shadow Home Sec. He saw fit to get involved in the spat that blew up ages ago about some Christian couple who didn't want two gay men staying in their B&B. For what it's worth, I quite agree with him. It's their bloody house, it's their choice. The fact it marks them up as arseholes is neither here nor there. But really, why is he getting involved in this? It is this sort of thing which is none of government's business whatsoever. Keep your nose out. Private business, which means none of your's. And really Chris, what did you think was going to happen? Of course the Righteous were going to point their fingers and scream and stamp their feet. Witch! Witch! Burrrrrrrrrn him! You'd have been much better keeping your mouth shut there, old chap. Still at least he sort of pointed out the obvious when he revealed 'secret' Labour plans to get shot of front line immigration staff.
Well, colour me surprised. Firstly, the irony of Labour effectively promoting their open door policy as a tool of social engineering coupled with an explosion in the number of staff paid from public funds to errrrm, not control the people coming in. I wrote about the PCS strike recently, and how the compo package for those shown the door had been cut. Of course jobs were next. Really, Tories, if this is a secret to you, you can't have been paying much attention, can you?
Obviously Cameron isn't trusted because as far as I can make out, he isn't being let out to speak, or he's being very clever in realising people just don't really get him and so it is better to let others do the talking.
People like Johnson Beharry who talked about wanting to knock Gordon Brown out. Well, join the queue old chap. The thing being he actually had the chance to do so. If he'd done that, he'd have been odds on favourite to win every election going. Especially leader of the Labour party.
The Limp-Dims have also been strangely quiet. This is a good strategy. Not because it will win them any more votes or seats, it's just best all round if they say nothing. Everything they say is ridiculous, and it seems that they'll be perpetually happy with their 35 to 40 seats, no real power, no real responsibility but their own carriage on the gravy train. Result.
Apparently, a hung parliament would be disastrous for the UK. Really? As opposed to the current situation which is Panglossian in its brilliance. The politicians are being very coy. The truth is, this is an election that anyone with any designs of a long term future would do well to not win. Cameron and Brown will have personal disasters if they lose, but neither can afford to win. If we're lucky, we'll see a cull at the top tables of the Big 2 when the dust settles, and we'll see the parties turn to people like Carswell and Field who are well positioned in hiding behind the barn as the shit starts to fly.
A little bit of destruction is good for the soul, and those who stand to be destroyed deserve it completely.
My prediction? Boris to jump into the first half-way safe Tory seat that comes up at by-election. Whatever the result on May 6th, we're going to see a bigger change in the Tories post-election than we will in Labour, unless the polls are hopelessly wrong and the Tories are heading for a big majority, which I doubt.