To me the one defining feature of this general election campaign has been how little there is to choose between any of the parties, the main parties are the most obvious example of this but even the more “radical” fringe parties exhibit a surprising level of agreement with the main parties just below the surface. Sure they have maybe one or two “big” ideas that make them stand apart from the rest but outside of those key policy areas the differences quickly become remarkably hard to spot. Other people have already down a thoroughly good job at looking at this narrowing of the realm of political discourse – so I won’t go over that ground again. None of the parties as far as I’ve been able to tell have a clear set of beliefs or ideology that would give us any hint as to how they’ll behave in the event of unexpected circumstances. No all we have are endless lists going into the minutiae of what they’ll fund or cut, who they like or dislike and what they’re 6 favourite records are. There little to no underlying philosophy to any of these lists to tie it all together into a coherent system and then the politicians wonder why we find them out of touch and don’t trust them. I can understand that there might be some pragmatic agreement between many of the parties on many issues as they’ve all got the same set of cards to deal with so they’ve got a constrained choice, but there’s little to no imaginative thinking and no vision of the direction they want to take the country in. It’s like being asked to pick a government based on what colour of paper clip we should be using and if we should be paying for them on 30 days or 3 week terms.
I don’t blame the politicians entirely, after all they respond to what they perceive that we want so if we shout down every radical or even slightly inventive idea then we get left with a collection of identikit manifesto’s differing in little more than the colour of pen they were written in.
However fear not I’ve finally found the perfect video to summarize the entire general election campaign and the manifesto’s of all the “significant” parties. I think in just 60 seconds this makes quite clear what choices we’re being presented with and I do include the Greens, SNP and UKIP in this I’m afraid.