Such stuff as political careers are made on
- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. He is participating in the Reuters Election 2010 politics live blog during the leaders’ debates and on election night. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The veteran Channel 4 presenter, Jon Snow, lamented to the Guardian on Wednesday that the fire has gone out of the election campaign because of the televised leader debates.
His view is that instead of a month of constant policy analysis and scrutiny by the press and public alike, as politicians race across the country in coloured coaches, we have a news lull between each televised debate.
And I do have some sympathy with his views – debate does seem to peak every Thursday. It’s been a one-month campaign running up to the election on May 6, with three leader debates on ITV, Sky, and tonight on the BBC.
Snow joked that Channel 4 also wanted to host a debate, but the politicians were not impressed by their plan to allow cheeky chef Jamie Oliver to ask the questions.
Yesterday’s ‘bigotgate’ is an example of what Snow is talking about. It’s not really a major event when compared to John Prescott punching the egg-throwing electorate, or former Prime Minister John Major calling his cabinet ‘bastards’ in a similar microphone-left-on gaffe.
Yet, immigration is a hot topic in this election, so the bigoted-woman saga has been elevated to front-page news.
But who is the real winner from all of this?
Step forward the chief political commentator at the Observer newspaper, Andrew Rawnsley.
His recent book ‘The End of the Party’ documents the past decade of the British government, focusing intensely on the relationship between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The book makes specific allegations that Gordon Brown cannot control his temper and has even physically attacked his own aides.
In all the comment on ‘bigotgate’ I’ve read dozens of references to Rawnsley’s book, I’ve heard it discussed on the radio and on TV, and I’m sure his Twitter stream is going crazy this morning.
Political writers dream of this stuff and Andrew Rawnsley must be smiling a lot more than Brown today.