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TV Election coverage and Result

From: Etienne
Category: Art
Date: 06 May 2005


I never meant to stay up til 3.30, but I was hooked. The events of the night may have lacked anything as electric as the Enfield 'Portillo Moment' or as maverickly mixed-up as Mandelson's speech in 2001, but the end product remained compelling.

I am a Beebophile in all things, but their coverage of the main event was pallid compared to the usually pathetic ITV. Even Sky/Channel Five outdid Channel One. David Dimbleby is a half-thinking man's Ann Robinson, haranguing guests to no apparent end and with anodyne impact; Peter Snow a parody of the popular pundit of the past and Paxman peripherally pointless. The talk was tedious, the debate dry, the heavy touch humourless. By contrast, frere Jonathan was waspish and the guests entertaining and engaging (particularly Hattersly and Portillo). ITV's graphics games grated almost as much as the Beeb's, but were more illuminating and accurate. Only the awful Alistair Stewart undermined their efforts. Both sides showed schmoozing celebs slurping champagne in patchy parties. ITV's biggest advantage was the speed of its statistics, about a quarter quicker than the others, being bold enough to call contests before declarations, yet avoiding any Florida Fuck-ups.

Sky was less slick but statistically sound and smarter than the state set-up and imposingly informative. Only boorish blue-boy Bruce Anderson pooped their party.

Enough about the etheral, what about the substance? The result is not very good but not very bad. I am an anti-war labour-leftie and losing a landslide majority will lead to less life-enhancing legislation, but it should freeze the freedom-filleting frenzy. That the Lib-Dems gained seats is good; that they lost out to Letwin and co and failed to take Tory territories a tragedy. Middle Britain is regressing to its retrograde, reactionary roots: eight years is too short to change a country's culture.

The worst aspects: intellectually dishonest, bullying apologist Galloway grinning his way to victory; the people failing to detect the hypocrisy of a hardline rabid rightwing press that persistently peddles porkies on its front pages indicting a decent (but wrong)man for alleged, unsubstantiated utruths. Labour loses out for trying to justify its war in the terms of the laws and obligations it believes in. A Tory governement would have given less than lip-service to the legal loopholes letting them fight, and the Mail, Express and Telegraph would have portayed peace-lovers trying to challenge the troop deployment as seditious stalinists, treacharous trotskyites and lesbian leninist lawyers. The British people were told 'Liar Liar' by a mob of mendacious magnates so many times that they assumed it to be true. The pack of press pricks who control this country need never tell the truth nor will they ever be called to account.

If you read it here, it must be true.

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