Saturday, 17 April 2010

You pays your money...

The newspaper reaction to the Leaders' Debate can be summed up by Alexander Pope's couplet in his Essay on Criticism:

'Tis with our judgment as our watches, none
Go just alike, but each believes his own.

So the Sun and the Mail thought Cameron had come out on top, the Mirror Gordon Brown and the dear old Guardian Clegg. The Sun's verdict on Cameron is doubly worrying (even trebly worrying, if there is such a word) in that, although their own opinion poll showed Clegg the "winner" by a huge margin, they managed not to mention him in most of their reportage, and, of course, were Murdoch still supporting Labour, there is no doubt that Brown would have been declared the victor.

So we all of us (including me as a Guardian reader going right back to the days when it was the Manchester Guardian and you got it a day late if you lived in London) rely on our newspapers to re-enforce our prejudices.

Thank goodness then for the BBC, which can still be relied upon for relatively unbiased news and views. And if there were no other issues, here is the reason for not voting for the Conservatives. It would be naive to suppose that Murdoch's change of heart has not been gained by a Tory promise to chip away at the BBC and add further power to the Murdoch empire, thus further diminishing the quality of our democracy.


  1. Also had forebodings about the wisdom of holding a TV debate bewteen the 3 party leaders BUT since Clegg came across so well,I'm re-assured.
    My dilemma,like that of many would-be Lib Dem voters,is:"Do I risk letting the Con in by voting Lib Dem instead of Lab?" In 2005, the figures for my constituency were,
    Lab c.18,000; Con 12,500; Lib Dem 5,500. Any advice?

  2. Thanks JW

    This is a dilemma that faces a lot of people. In my view you should vote for what you believe. For Liberal Democrats a massive national vote (which after Nick Clegg's success in the first debate seems a possibility) will make the case for electoral reform unanswerable. Once we get STV, which is surely now only a short time away, the need for tactical voting will no long be there