Given that an election tends to exist in a crowded little bubble all of its own and that there are now ever more ways of competing for attention, with iPhone apps, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and the like being utilised by every politico going, journalists are going to have a harder time than ever getting to the heart of the matter – policy – and the election is likely to be run on stunts.
We’ve already had one hysterical moment, with David Cameron turning in a karaoke version of Obama when he rolled up his sleeves yesterday. He may have been trying to look hip, but looked more like the sort of embarrassing school teacher who apes trends remorselessly – two years after they’ve come off the boil. Unlike embarrassing teachers, Cameron made the news.
There’s also likely to be a lot of spoofing going on. Political comedy and spoofs need to be good if they’re going to work. In fact, they need to be funny and to the point. But, if the Lib Dems’ “Labservative” attempted satire is anything to go by, the signs are not good. You cannot crowbar something in and hope for the best. That is not, of course, going to stop anyone from trying.
As a consequence of all this, I have decided to bring back Stuntwatch for the duration of the General Election. Starting this Friday, I will be rounding up the best and the worst of the week’s electioneering stunts. It’s going to be a long, strange four weeks…