2 Feb 2015

The language of war in political campaigning

I can’t remember the prospect of a British general election like it, and I can’t find anyone else who can either. Parties split, policies are compromised by proven behaviour in government – be it Labour, Tory or coalition – and the parties themselves appear to be a strange blur defined by the relative clarity of Ukip and the Greens. Not that either of those parties have policies that are clear, it is merely that they appear to be markedly different from the mainstream parties.

The Prince Of Wales & Duchess Of Cornwall Attend Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony

Then there is the Scotland factor, and the coalition factor. The one seems to beget the other. In other words: the rise of the SNP threatens to take a whole lot of Labour and even one-time Tory seats north of the border and Lib Dem seats out of play.

Into this morass enters the battle to interest the voter. And a battle it is. So much so that Ed Milliband is reported to have threatened to “weaponise” the debate on the NHS and now today David Cameron has said he will wage “all-out war” on mediocre schools.

It is as if the politicians, recognising the drabness of their “campaign”, are deliberately using warlike language to try to invade the airspace devoted to the language of the real wars that dog the planet.

Perhaps it is only a matter of time before mediocrity “fights” back with all the “fire-power” it can muster.

Run for your tin hat!

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