spiked-geist: Day 24

Big Brother; Be part of it. (Please.); Tories: things can only get worse

Various Authors

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Big Brother

According to a recent poll, more young people are likely to vote in the Big Brother telephone evictions than in the general election. But what about the Big Brother contestants themselves? Famously hidden from the world and not allowed any outside contact ‘except in emergencies’, will they be allowed to vote on 7 June?

According to Channel 4, ‘arrangements have been made’. The issue was raised with the 10 contestants before they left reality for ‘reality TV’ – and six of them will be voting by post, one by proxy, and three of them won’t be voting. The plan is that the six postal voters will fill in their ballots in Big Brother‘s diary room, to have some privacy from the other contestants.

So will Big Brother make an exception to the ‘no newspapers, no magazines, no TV’ rule and allow the contestants to catch up on election news before they finally cast their vote – just in case anything dramatic should have happened since their being cut off from the world? No.

Will the contestants even be told who wins the election? On this question, Channel 4 is still undecided. If they tell them, they’ll be breaking the gameshow’s rules, but if they don’t they might be denying the contestants ‘essential information’.

‘We just haven’t worked that one out yet’, said a Big Brother press officer. BON

Be part of it. (Please.)

At this morning’s seven-days-to-go Labour Party press conference Tony Blair said ‘It’s not just about winning the election. It’s about the country giving…us a mandate to put that investment into schools and hospitals’. Finally: our vote revealed for what, in this election, it really is.

Everybody knows the election will be a walkover for New Labour. But Labour is also aware that the lack of voter interest raises questions about its authority in the coming second term, and is desperate to get our blessing – formally, at least. As the publicity slogans say, ‘Our vision for Britain: be part of it, vote Labour’.

Judging by this morning’s press conference, Labour seems to have resolved that the only way to get us to vote is through pleading or cajoling:

You might regret it if you don’t vote: In the morning after the election you will wake up either with investment in public services or with cuts (Blair).

Don’t you want to be heard?: ‘On polling day, we ask you, each of you, to make your voice heard’ (Brown).

Labour wants you: Labour will ‘specifically be targeting first-time voters with personal letters in each seat’ (Margaret Beckett).

We will try really hard: ‘If we’re elected we will work with all our hearts, all our energy and all our strength to achieve those goals in years to come’ (Blair).

Oh, please. JA

Tories: things can only get worse

How have the Conservatives entered the final week before the election? Fighting tooth and claw, or grimly resigned to defeat?

This morning, party chairman Michael Ancram launched the latest Conservative billboard advertisement: on a barren, windswept stretch of A-road just off London’s Vauxhall bridge, with nobody in sight but a gaggle of journalists. The few taxis and TV vans parked on the roadside made the place look more like an accident scene than a press conference.

Did the Tories have anything new to say for themselves? No. The grand new billboard simply said ‘Seven days left to save the £’ (with the symbol ‘£’ coloured in as a Union Jack). Ancram had nothing to add, and hung around for barely a few minutes before heading off. The billboard may as well have said ‘Seven days left to save the Tories’: it would have been just as convincing. SS

Read on:

Torn Tories, by Sandy Starr

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Topics Politics

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