In a U-Turn from his opposition persona in 1987 where he called on the Evil Fascist Witch then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to accept the invitation from Labour leader Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown had said that it was right and proper for the British people to see the two protagonists debate each other. However when responding to David Cameron’s recent request for such a debate his response was that it wasn’t necessary as there were plenty of opportunities to question him at the weekly Prme Minister’s Question Time in Parliament. It is true that in 1987 Parliament was not televised and therefore PMQT was not accessible to the public as it is now, however Cameron also pointed out that in an election campaign there is no PMQT and therefore there is not the same opportunity to call to account.

Now, leaving aside my reservations of whether or not the current Parliamentary opposition are either able or willing to properly demand of the government due justification of their actions, the point of accountability and, almost equally critically, its perception is a vital one. It seems at best ostrich tactics and ambivalence toward the electorate and at worst complete disregard and contempt for them and their perception of politics and politicians. In an age where we are seeing barely 35% turnout for General Elections and at times as low as 20% for local and European elections it is baffling as to why politicians would not be bending over backwards to accommodate anything that might reawaken the public’s interest.

However what is mentioned less often in current news reports and not at all by the supposedly incandessant Tories is that Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Menzies Campbell has been calling on both leaders to join him in a debate for some time now and Cameron has not been campaigning for this tri-partite platform nor told Campbell that he will debate with him alone even if Brown is not to be drawn. Cameron instead is choosing to portray himself as the instigator of the idea and therefore the snubbed party who can take the moral high ground on camera it is the same cynical political points scoring as Brown appears to have been engaging in 20 years ago.

In a rather sublime piece of irony, which I feel cannot have been lost on the Newsnight interviewer Jeremy Paxman, the Conservative spokesman put forward for Newsnight was Michael Howard, the man who infamously ducked Paxman’s question 12 consecutive times on an interview in May 1997.

The Tory spin machine has had problems of late and been bogged down in details which they have hitherto sought to avoid at all costs, polls have been showing that in fact Brown looks to have a majority although how they can claim this when two thirds of the country won’t even vote I am not quite sure.

In the respect of the election Brown will be mindful of former Prime Minister Jim Callaghan’s mistake in not calling the election early in 1978 choosing to wait until the end of the governmental term in 1979 which meant he was held politically culpable for the Winter of Discontent and lost the election to the Evil Fascist Witch then Conservative leader of the opposition Margaret Thatcher. Hence the frenzied political correspondents speculating on the possibility of a snap election later this year. Frankly I believe Brown will not leave it to as much chance as an election in the current climate would be, Blair is too fresh in the memory and there are too many troops still being killed in Iraq, not that Cameron would have done any different but he does benefit from not being the one who actually sent the troops in and sadly the British populous are not known for their in-depth political comprehension.

However it’s not all doom and gloom, in the process of researching this I found this which was the funniest thing I’d seen all week! Who the feck is that geezer? Can there be a Mexican or Central American politician called Gordon Brown based on some bizarre twist of emigration fate such as the reason some Uruguayans have German names!

Song Of The Day ~ Last American Buffalo – Fon

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