Thursday, April 08, 2010

No Wonder Voters Are Bored

Election weary-voters are bored, already. And there's still 28 long days to go. Where is the big issue to set the country alight and set tongues wagging? Instead voters are being treated like children. The election is turning into a lack-lustre campaign left to turn on cock-ups and gaffes.

Capturing and controlling the political agenda is at the heart of the parties election campaigns. Now reduced to stage-managed sham shows with 'the people' almost an afterthought, used as stage props.

But it is voters who should drive the election agenda not politicians nor the media. After all, it is voters who will decide what kind of country they want come election day. But they are being denied the chance.

A Politicshome poll reveals a stark truth: Two-thirds of the public find the campaign a "tiresome and long-winded process". Or to put it another way: They're bored out of their skulls.

The reason is quite simple. The election campaign began months if not years ago - ever since Bottling Brown famously bottled it with the 2007 'election that never was'.

Since then cunning Brown has spent his waking hours thinking up ways to wrong-foot the opposition and cling onto power. The crafty plan to Brown-beat the public into submission has left voters cold.

The economy is taking centre stage. But for voters it's not the economy per se that's important but the fear of losing their jobs or trying to get one, trying to make ends meet, the cost of goods and services. These are real world economics which worry voters.

New Labour is desperate to move on and move away from a highly damaging NI jobs tax row. But that issue has rattled the cage and chimed with the public. And it's not the economy, it's the fear of a tax which could hit jobs.

The election may be about the real economy. But "poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population," Labour's Fearless Frank Field has warned time and time again.

But the party consensus is to not make that a 'big issue'. Immigration never gets the traction the public want it to have. Even though the vexed issue regularly comes out top in the minds of voters. Instead it's nibbled away at and buried.

The Mail had a stab at it today - splashing the shocking statistic that virtually every job created under New Labour has gone to Johnny foreigner. A straight lift from Fraser Nelson's detailed analysis in the Spectator and the conclusion that "Brown has used it [immigration] to cover up the extent of his failure."

Immigration figures alone are hardly earth shattering news in the wake of the deceit of 'open door' immigration laid bare in Nethergate with backdoor immigration by deception. And the smoking gun of a shameful 'unchecked' immigration policy as part of a vote-rigging scam to puff up New Labour's share of the voting cake.

Porkie Brown's lies over migration figures just made matters worse. But put 'immigration' and 'jobs' together and this becomes an election hot potato, too hot to handle.

So the issue is dutifully noted and then, like the Mail splash and the Speccy analysis, dutifully ignored.

Instead New Labour is relying on a compliant media and its commentators, banging on about the big yawn of 'constitutional reform' as a big issue. Wetting their knickers over a deliberately spun 'hung parliament' con. But the public can see through the sham of a media class kowtowing to a political class to ram 'narratives' down their throats.

Trying to set the agenda by dodgy polls which are now coming thick and fast is a lazy way to reflect what voters want to talk about. Polls come with a health warning. Using a misleading uniform national swing (UNS) from a small weighted sample to predict an outcome, when it's marginals that count.

Political parties need to up their game if the election isn't going to end as one big turn off. The disgrace and shame of greedy MPs won't go away. The election will be won by the politicians who can find a simple, honest way to connect with voters and chime with what they are thinking and worried about.

Still weeks to go and some weary political hacks are becoming increasingly hacked off. And that makes for a dangerous beast to have around.

Bored stiff, seizing on any old 'event', cock-up, gaffe and heckler to liven things up for readers and viewers. And politicians will only have themselves to blame.

No comments: