Inspire us with some new tunes

As the UK election campaign gets off to a non-start, spiked editor Mick Hume proposes a few bullet points for Tony Blair and William Hague to put on little cards and give to all their candidates.

Mick Hume

Mick Hume
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Topics Politics

As the UK election campaign gets off to a non-start, spiked editor Mick Hume proposes a few bullet points for Tony Blair and William Hague to put on little cards and give to all their candidates.

— Remember, a general election is for grown-ups.

Politicians might win more respect if they stopped looking on the electorate as sulky adolescents. The implication of their obsession with voter apathy is that voters are too stupid, lazy or uncaring to tear themselves away from their PlayStations to vote.

— Make politics a political football.

Not long ago, the appeal “Don’t turn this into a political football” was heard only in relation to Northern Ireland; now we hear it everywhere. Of course people don’t want to listen to MPs swapping petty insults in a phoney war. But it is the lack of a genuine contest between competing visions that makes politics such an empty exercise.

— Can we have fewer laws, not more?

The restless New Labour government has embarked on a programme of rolling intervention in new areas of life. It now has such an itchy legislative finger that it cannot resist firing off new initiatives in response to daily events. It used to be said that hard cases make bad law. Now the government seems to believe that hard cases make bad headlines, and that a bad law is better than no law if it at least makes Labour appear to care.

— Don’t just listen, lead.

To mean something worthwhile, politics must involve taking risks. If you believe a thing is important, you have a responsibility to speak out, even at the risk of annoying some (or even most) people. So forget the emotional platitudes and the cheap appeals to public sentiment. Please don’t try to feel our pain, and we promise we won’t feel yours.

Reproduced from The Times (London) 8 May 2001. Read the full article:

The Times, 8 May 2001

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

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Topics Politics

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