Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Over the last few weeks I've driven pretty much the length and breadth of England, from at least Newcastle upon Tyne to Exeter, as well as across London a few times, diagonally across Wales from Hay to Merthyr Tydfil and out into Essex.
Whilst not comprehensive coverage, there's been notable aspect of the political campaign evoked by the roadside posters. They are nearly all for Conservatives, nearly all the same style and usually applied in clumps around road junctions.
By comparison, there's a few Lib Dem, an occasional Green and even a few Independent/specialist parties.
What I'm not seeing in any quantity are Labour placards. Often, when I think I've seen one, it turns out to be an estate agent board or something else.
Okay, and a few of those rogue posters on bus stops and tube trains which are hard-hitting hacked anti-Tory facsimiles. Subvertising, I think they call it.
I've looked at the betting too, which is showing odds around 1/10 for a Conservative victory and 9/2 for it to be over 400 seats. Conversely, I'd get 6/1 for a Labour win or 1000/1 for any other party.
So it seems to be in the bag. Many people don't pay that much attention to the details, so the broad brush waffle that is being used to win the campaign probably suffices. Or a shiny bead topic thrown in to help the undecided have a reason to vote.
There's plenty of proper questions that remain unanswered like: where's the money coming from? how much will tax rise? how much would we need to pay the EU ongoing? what else will be privatised? which segments will be turned over to get more money? where will further cuts occur? and so on.
Annoyingly, the general response from May and her gang is vague using oft-repeated track selections. For any topic it's about selecting the right tune from a playlist. Spotification of Politics. Spolitics? Or, if there's a really contentious point, run fog and haze across it to occlude the issue.
I'm not convinced that May really has any proper backup for what she is saying. Maybe there's strategic backup for a) winning b)changing the electoral boundaries and so on, but for the operational needs I'm finding her words increasingly hypocritical.
Like many, I gave May the benefit of the doubt once in position, after the disastrous Cameron/Osborne combo crashed the UK into wall, aided and abetted by Gove and BoJo.
May was dealt a rubbish hand to start with, but doesn't seem to have progressed with any proper operating detail since that time. Even the "Brexit means Brexit", yet "Good deal or no deal" are oxymoronic.
And can I trust her words? Sadly No, based on recent track record - at least partly by the way she is being fed policy by bunglers. And I suspect this point is not lost on the EU negotiators.
They say we get the politicians and results we deserve. I wonder whether that is really true, when much of the debate is skewed and cynically kept lightweight.