Diary of a first-time non-voter, 31 May

Tory meltdown: 'Contests just aren't very interesting if there is only one contender. And they can't be won either.'

Ray Crowley

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Topics Politics

Much as I dislike the Conservatives, I was kind of sad to witness this week’s Tory meltdown.

Despite the Tories’ ‘Carry on Election’ antics last week, Labour are further ahead in the polls than ever. People are already asking if William Hague should resign after the election, and the Conservative Party is more like a mess than an electable opposition. In my first election, there simply is no contest.

Somebody once said to me (rather cruelly, I thought) ‘You can’t have a good battle of wits with an unarmed opponent’. ‘Ha’, I said as I stomped off, ‘And with no opponent you can’t have a battle at all’. And how right I was. Who would be interested in watching Liverpool in the FA Cup final playing against themselves? Nobody I know: contests just aren’t very interesting if there is only one contender. And they can’t be won either.

So what does Labour do, to make the Tories look a bit more like a party worth beating on 7 June? They make the most of Margaret Thatcher still skulking around, and print some posters of William Hague with her hairstyle stuck on. I thought I had regressed back to childhood when I saw Maggie Hague all over the TV and newspapers. When I was little, living in a Labour area, I remember how parents taught their kids rude songs about Thatcher to sing in the playground.

I wouldn’t have guessed then that by the time I was old enough to vote, the newest leader of the Conservatives could only be associated with authority or power when pictured with Thatcher’s hairstyle.

Russell Crowe probably could still have got people excited about Gladiator if he had stood around in a leather skirt waving a sword at nobody, but I don’t think Tony Blair could pull off the same thing. He needs an opponent to bolster his position. It’s a real shame that the only one he can find resigned while I was still in primary school.

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Topics Politics

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