Sixteen years ago today, John Prescott punched someone. You probably remember that, but do you remember anything else from the 2001 election? In my mind, it’s always been politics as scripted by Samuel Beckett: there was a lot of talking by bizarre and unreal characters, but at the end very little of consequence had actually changed. Unlike Beckett (or like him, depending on your perspective), there wasn’t any desire on anyone’s part to see it happen again.
Now, this election doesn’t feel like one where nothing much is going to change after it, but it does feel like one that’s been devoid of much in the way of interest. Despite the way I’ve managed to drop a day or two from the numbering of these entries, it’s been four weeks since our collective dull post-Easter Tuesday was interrupted by ‘the Prime Minister will be making a surprise announcement at 11.15’ and yet since then, it’s felt like we’ve all been just going through the motions of an election, and no one’s really that enthused by it. Perhaps it’s because the last two elections came at the end of five-year political cycles and we were all hyped up to fever pitch by the time they happened, or maybe we’re all just tired out politically after so much happening in the past two year or so and enthusiasm is in thin supply. Or maybe it’s just me and everyone else is having a whale of a time while I’m just having a week of busy days and nights with little time to actually plunge myself into the full election madness?
Which is all a long-winded way of me saying I can’t think of much to write about today as even Labour’s manifesto launch feels a bit of a damp squib because we saw everything that was in it last week, and with well-known positions on Brexit being the main theme of the election, the manifestos are somewhat of a sideshow especially as they’ve been rushed together in haste for a snap election, not prepared and tested over time in expectation of a scheduled one.
Even Election Leaflets has been pretty dull this election, probably because the rushed nature of the election means we haven’t got as many fringe candidates as we have in previous years, so I’m forced to pick through professionally produced leaflets from the major parties which provides slim pickings for Election Leaflet Of The Day. So, we’ll go for this Liberal Democrat leaflet, which is recorded as being delivered in Cornwall but has also been seen elsewhere. It appears to come from the Overly Literal Design Agency, where someone’s picked up on the phrase ‘the election’s in your hands’ and run with it, even though the metaphor appears to stop before you get to the copy on the inside, unless it’s a subtle primer to get people to look at Trump and May’s hands together in the picture. Trump’s entirely normal size hands, of course.
And by counting on my fingers, I see we have twenty-three more days of this to go. Never has June seemed so far away as it does now.