I really find it hard to avoid revulsion from the election. Bland inanities and staged photo-opportunities, minutely stage-managed encounters with real people in situations where their behaviour is strictly controlled, like their employment.
Yesterday it started so awfully I thought it could not get worse. Brown walked through St Pancras station, past groups of people we were supposed to believe were just the general public who chanced to be there, who remarkably kept bursting into “spontaneous” and enthusiastic applause of Gordon Brown and stepping up to shake his hand as he passed.
The chances of Brown being greeted by near unanimous applause among a genuine random sample of the population are nil – even in Kirkcaldy. I have never seen such obviously stage managed nonsense. There was one surprising glitch from the New Labour people planting machine, and I rewound the Sky box to make sure I was right. There were virtually no black people, or obvious Eastern Europeans. One nice oriental lady who seemed the only “real” person there, put her shoulder down and determinedly barged past Brown.
Now the chances of any group of a couple of hundred people at a public transport location in London being uniformly white and middle class are bugger all. Interesting New Labour thing, this – the bussed in enthusiastic “ordinary people” crowd waving union jacks that lined the street for Blair’s entrance to Downing St in 1997 were almost all white too. By comparison Cameron yesterday was pointedly with two black Tory candidates.
Anyway, I was in a TV studio this morning and Mandelson was on screen in the background the whole time, so haven’t been able to face turning on the TV today in case I throw something at it.