Saturday, November 15, 2008

Documented Dismissers of Ill-thought Stances,

My sparse comments seem to link to each other, during the walkout protest of some Celtic ‘fans’ against the Armistice Day of Remembrance, I was captured in a photograph published in the News of the World. I wish some people would leave their politics outside the stadium and attend to watch the game. Their grievances can be dealt with by a letter to their local MP or MSP. I wish I could have featured in a more upmarket publication, perhaps with a more dufferly look of consternation upon my face.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Agrieved Requesters of Silence,

After yesterday’s excellent Bellyaches article, Jim Murphy MP and Secretary of State for Scotland was a guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball. He came across as a decent guy and credit must head in the direction of presenters, Stuart Cosgrove and Tam Cowan, not only for their humour but for the range of guests they invite onto their show.

I listened to the show on the road to the Celtic match, a buzzard almost flew into my windscreen, a routine victory was witnessed, the referee was too harsh on Motherwell but the linesman was too harsh on Celtic, I wish I could say that these things even themselves out, but that cliché is wrong. There’s also a stooshie about Celtic replacing the minute silence with a minute of applause and a bunch of ruffians who decided to protest against any sort of act of war remembrance. I think that politics and football should never meet. For the soldiers of the World Wars, they didn’t really have a choice, they did what they were told, and it was their duty. I would have objected and ran away to Peru. Today, only the men and women who choose to enrol in the armed forces ever have to become involved in our country’s wars. Those who never had a choice should be regarded as highly as possible.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Disregarders of the Chosen Nobodies,

Barack Obama won and Lindsay Roy won. Wunefem DJ Chris Moyles made up a song about one and not the other.

There is little excitement in our politics relative to the glitzy race to the White House just witnessed. It’s merely a symptom of our political system and the way in its covered in the media. In the USA, nearly anyone can run for President, within the two major parties, they have a range of candidates and the best personality comes to the fore – and political experience or status is not always decisive factor. Out with the Democrats and the Republicans, independents can run for the big job, if they can organise their campaign and grab sufficient media attention, they can make a difference.

In our country, a politician has to serve time within the governing political party, then within the cabinet to stand a chance of ever landing the big job. Even when the decision comes to choose the person to take over as Prime Minister, the public do not directly have a say, only their MPs can nominate the leader of their party, and it’s ultimately this lack of public involvement which makes our politics seem boring and detached. In recent times, a few rebel backbench MPs have made efforts to take over the leadership of their parties, but their challenges are never deemed serious enough and are sunk without the candidate ever receiving the media attention they perhaps deserve in order to convey their beliefs. In the USA, a little known governor from an isolated state can be propelled into the position of potential Vice-President quite easily and these bold, unexpected moves characterised the recent US election.

All our members of parliament are elected on the same day, individual candidates may have great personalities but each one will never receive the media attention in which to shine and to prove that our politicians are not all dull. Only after the unwanted circumstances that create by-elections do individual candidates ever stand a slight chance of receiving media attention in which to convey their personality. That’s what the public want: one personality versus another, not one huge faceless collection, versus another – the only way to we ever jazz these up is by attributing to them colours (red, blue, yellow etc).

I don’t have a problem with our political system, it’s the presentation of the personalities and the work that they do that I think can be improved. What if Joe Benton, MP for the constituency of Bootle was a guest on Sky Sports show, Soccer AM or BBC1's Saturday Kitchen tomorrow? Would Joe the MP be labelled as lazy, as schmoozing with celebrities when he should be doing real work? What if Joe the MP took the opportunity to tell people about the work he was doing? What if Joe the MP showed that politicians are not nameless, faceless and dull? An MP, even an unknown constituency MP, is more worthy of a guest slot on some TV shows than many of today’s so-called celebrities in my opinion. Showcasing the work and attitudes of our politicians on our various media outlets is the only way in which our political system can ever hope to match the spectacle and the excitement of the presidential election that has just passed.
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