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Nothing serious; hell, yeah.

ANOTHER WEEK HAS passed and the election machine still seems stuck in neutral.

At one point, before the “Question Time” “debate“, Miliband thought he might score a few votes by acting hard and claiming Cameron had blood on his hands for being so gung ho about toppling Gaddafi and thus contributing to the flow of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean. Labour’s PR machine had hardly got its first morning frappalattemochaccino down its metropolitan throat before the press were all over it reminding Miliband that he’d supported Cameron in this venture so he should share the blood. Hell, yeah.

All this debacle did was provide Cameron with the chance to strut about the European stage in a more statesmanlike manner than Ed could ever manage, promising to send HMS Bulwark to help. Not the sort of gunboat Katie Hopkins (“the most hated woman in Britain”) had in mind, ie one to send the migrants back to Libya’s shores, but rather one to pick them up and dump them in the lap of the Italians. Cameron might just have well said to the Navy “bring ‘em straight back to Portsmouth, lads,” because Blighty is where a lot of them will end up.

The Libyan immigrant crisis came and went. All that’s left in social media are a few washed-up hashtags. Life is cruel.

ALL OF WHICH was forgotten overnight when the earthquake happened in Nepal. The media had a new set of victims and dropped the boat people and we’ve heard nothing about them since. All that’s left in social media are a few washed-up hashtags. Life is cruel.

It was, however, the only time that anything to do with foreign affairs had cropped up in the election battle, which has come to resemble the trench warfare of the Great War, with neither side seeming to make much headway in the opinion polls.

Likewise there has been nothing about education, crime, defence, the economy, transport, energy or the environment. It’s all been about how the government can spend more of our money, mainly on public services. Even the debate about the possibility of the SNP propping up a Labour government centred around scrapping the phantom of austerity and spraying the walls with borrowed money.

The pressure of election increases the stupidity of politicians and their advisers, which is why Cameron nearly came a cropper during one speech by pretending to be Man of the Terraces and making a joke about a football team. The press instantly picked up on this because he said West Ham or something when everybody knows (apparently) he’s an Aston Villa fan. My own view is that it’s beneath a Prime Minister’s dignity to be talking about football in public. Cricket you could probably get away with but football, no. It’s not serious enough.

Miliband has tried a similar populist ploy by being snapped emerging from the east London residence of The People’s Millionaire, Russell Brand. The sea-green non-voting incorruptible conducted an “interview” with The Wrong Brother, who agreed to do it because the campaign was so boring “I thought it would make it more interesting.”

Cameron rightly brushed this off as the pathetic nonsense that it is but Miliband may have got something right. In today’s world the media loves giving airtime to a conspiracy-promoting airhead like Brand. That’s because there are plenty of airheads out there who think Brand “has a point”. I’m sure the interview when it appears on YouTube will score an immense number of hits. It could be the comedy highlight of the campaign. Hell, yeah, we could do with a laugh.

Michael Blackburn.

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