Despite the neck-and-neck polls, and the magical appearance of a whole new political rainbow, 2015 promises to be one of the most tedious general elections to date. Politics is no longer about rallying behind ideals or policies, but slagging off the opposition in a desperate bid to deprive your enemies of votes. Members of all parties, from left to right and old to new, seem to be interested only in firing shots at other parties, which are met with comebacks that are cheap, old and exaggerated.
So here are four simple changes that would fix all of that.
1. Political parties shouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge each other’s existence.
Wasn’t it just better when they used to ignore each other?
Like supermarkets used to do in the old Brand-X Advertising, no political party should be allowed to mention any other. This would immediately stop all direct slurs, forcing parties to be more subtle in order to argue against their opponents. Subtlety is a Great British Value that has been dumped by the wayside in our political system, and it’s high time parties claiming to stand for British interests learnt this ancient custom of backhanded insults.
2. Politicians should be forced to speak within the rules of Just a Minute.
How sick are you of hearing the phrases ‘hardworking families’ or ‘Britain can do better’? You’d only have to hear these things once more, and then they’d be forced to change the bloody record and come up with something else, say, for example, some policies.
If every political speech avoided repetition, deviation and hesitation, they’d be so much easier to listen to. The deviation rule immediately stops any politician from lying. The ban on hesitation ensures our leaders will be quick thinkers, who don’t stumble or make mistakes. And, best of all, we’d only have to listen for a minute to each of them and then we could enjoy The Archers.
3. All percentages should be realistic.
We’re fed up of outright lies. Mathematical impossibility comes up too often in political discourse, and should not be tolerated. Not only is it impossible to have anything over 100%, 100% itself is outrageously overused.
For example, Tony Blair claims to back Ed Miliband ‘100%’. Oh do you really Tony, do you spend every hour at his side assisting his every need? Do you not sleep, so you can review his speeches for him overnight? Do you make him breakfast in bed every single morning? Is your love for Ed Miliband tearing your family apart? I don’t think so. At a generous estimate, I’d say Tony Blair probably only backs Ed Miliband 2 or 3%.
We wouldn’t stand for it if all restaurants were 5 stars, so why allow politicians to constantly express their interests or passions as 100%? Wouldn’t statements like ‘We’re about 30% sure we don’t want a coalition with these guys’ be so much more honest and understandable?
4. Question Time needs to include playground questions.
Ignored by the Eton-Oxbridge political elite. Did you know that not one person in parliament is under 15?
At least 8 million people are under the age of 10 in this country, but the concerns of these young citizens are completely overlooked by politicians. They might as well not exist when it comes to politics.
Politicians need to step up to the plate and answer some of the important issues on these people’s minds. Who does Labour think would win in a fight between Ben 10 and Kim Possible? Would David Cameron rather have a bum for a face or a face for a bum? And where exactly does Nigel Farage stand on Freddo prices these days?
If these four rules made it into law, elections could once again inspire the nation. But until then, we’ll be left with the same old spiel every single cycle. So please do back me on this, not just because I really want to know the answer to the David-Cameron-bum question, but because it’ll relight the political flame that so desires to be ignited in all our hearts.