We are facing the most important elections of a generation. I believe that democracy is under threat. There are also the issues of the NHS crisis, an education crisis, a housing crisis and wealth, race and social inequality. So, I thought I would look at how the media are holding politicians to account in the first election week. Buddha says don’t have expectations, to avoid disappointment. I should have paid better attention. The headlines were sex, sex sex and Jeremy Corbyn.
Sex Sex Sex
Controversy followed LibDem leader Tim Farron, who is a practising Christian. He did not say that gay sex was not a sin. He has since categorically said so. Why Farron was singled out for his Christian view and not Theresa May has me raising an eyebrow. May’s record is equally questionable. St Theresa since taking office has been inserting her Christianity into politics. I am not sure how this movement of ‘religious nationalism’ squares with modern British politics that are undoubtedly racist. For Jesus was a Jew, but I digress.
Meanwhile, UKIP, a racist party, is changing its tune. Or not. After targeting Muslim women as security risks for wearing the burqa, they want to save females from FGM. The policy is for girls from certain countries to have their vaginas inspected! Literally. That is a gross indignity and incredibly sleazy politics. I would rather they check the well-being of the gorilla. For UKIP candidate, Gisela Allen says she is sexually attracted to them.
Boris Johnson made the headlines for calling Jeremy Corbyn, a ‘Mutton-headed old mugwump’. Boris has a lovely turn of phrase, but it is not a government policy that will improve people’s lives. Buried in the Corbyn attack was the government intention to support America’s war on Syria. But without first obtaining Parliament’s permission. It is that important detail that should have been the headline.
So, the attack on Corbyn is a taste of how the Tories will be conducting the election campaign. It will be heavy on insult and sound bites like ‘Coalition of chaos’ and light on policy detail. As the Australian Lynton Crosby is managing their campaign that is not surprising. His strategy is to attack the opposition personally and avoid talking about policy.
British Election Week One
Our headlines have been sensational but meaningless for making wise election choices. Policies like Labour’s housing plans were widely ignored but Johnson made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Instead of sensationalising his attack on Corbyn, there should have been questions on Britain supporting Trump’s war on Syria. Especially as the Tory plan ignores the lessons of the Chilcot Report and Iraq.
I would like to think that the media will hold politicians to account. It is their job. In the interests of personal safety, I will not hold my breath.
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