Monday, May 03, 2010

Pressed for Choice

With election day looming, all the newspapers are scrambling to endorse the various parties. For many, this just means trotting out their tired old 'Vote Tory or it will be the end of civilisation as we know it' editorials. For others, such as the Murdoch press, it means reverting to tradition and endorsing Cameron whilst simultaneously doing their best to undermine the campaign of the Labour Party which, only a few short months ago, they were still happily supporting. Mind you, desperate to show that it is still hip and trendy, even The Guardian has decided to be a turncoat and dump Labour for the Lib Dems. Of course, it is highly questionable as to whether the political affiliations of newspapers actually does have any influence over the voting intentions of their readers. I'm guessing that, by and large, most people with an interest in politics tend to read newspapers they know are sympathetic to their own views. In general, a large proportion of people probably don't care who their newspaper of choice supports - they read it because of other factors: the like its sports coverage, or financial reporting, for instance. The fact is that you can't tell how somebody is going to vote on the basis of which newspaper they read.

The same is true of membership of political clubs. My late Grandmother was, for many years, a member of the local Conservative club. On election days she even used to take advantage of the car service they provided to get to the polling station. However, she never voted Tory in her life, being a long term Liberal voter, (in the days when it was simply the Liberal Party, not the modern Liberal Democrats), mainly on account of the fact that the Labour Party didn't stand a chance in our local constituency. Her membership of the Conservative Club was explained by the fact that they had the best snooker table in town. As for accepting a lift to the polls in the Tory car - why not? In my Grandmother's reasoning, it meant that one less Tory voter could get there. Anyway, finally getting to something resembling a point, with all these newspapers declaring for their favoured parties, is it time for The Sleaze to make an endorsement? If so, for which party? Well, I'd hope that by now my own political affiliations should be pretty obvious. However, I'm not egotistical enough to presume to tell anyone else how to cast their vote. Other than to say, for God's sake, vote for anyone but Cameron. Or the BNP. Or UKIP, for that matter. Or any of the nutters. I think that about covers it...

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