Politicians are so desperate to get your votes says Richard

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Credit: @itvnews/Twitter

I had some entertaining online abuse last week after I wrote here that Prime Minister David Cameron should be credited for giving a straight answer to the question on whether he’d consider running for a third term.

Regular readers of this column will know that I am just as likely to take a pop at the PM as praise him.

But that didn’t stop the folks in Internet Crazy Corner from telling me I was “tory scum” and worse.

As I say, I find online abuse more amusing than unsettling, mostly because of the hilarious spelling.

I had death threats during the Scottish referendum last year from cybernats after I dared to consider both sides of the argument, but so what?

It was the spelling and syntax that could be really shocking.

Death threats are two a penny on Twitter.

BBC boss Tony hall had one from some fruitloop after sacking Jeremy Clarkson and now has round-the-clock police protection.

Bit over the top. C’est normale, mate. Anyway, back to those rants about me being a Tory toe-rag.

As it happens I’m apolitical, I’m fascinated by politics but I have no party loyalty.

In my time I’ve put my cross next to both of what we used to call the “main” parties.

I always vote for the one I think has its collective head marginally more screwed on than the other.

One year I thought the lot of them were barking and didn’t bother voting.

But what’s interesting about this election is that it’s clear that both Dave and Ed are terrified of us, the voters.

They’re desperate not to put a foot wrong and offend anyone into voting for someone else.

Some hope. Millions in today’s Britain now give themselves permission to take offence at just about anything.

If one of the party leaders had swatted a bluebottle during Thursday’s dreary TV debate animal rights tweeters would have been in uproar.

Dave uses a variety of terms to define his core support including the catch-all “working families”.

But Ed’s always banging on about them – it’s “working families” this or “hardworking people” that and occasionally, the biggie – “honest, hard-working people and their families”.

So who exactly are they? Road diggers? Psychiatrists? Park keepers? accountants? Oil rig workers? Bankers? Website designers? Shopkeepers? hey, what about yours truly?

I left school at 16 and I’ve been working my bottom off ever since.

Of course, what Ed really wants to say but can’t because it would sound ludicrous, is “working-class people”.

But the definition of working class has changed beyond recognition.

We’re all working class now, unless we’re skivers but Ed clings to a quasi-romantic notion of Labour’s old heartland: the noble working class, be they toiling at the lathe or down the pit.

Of course, the old working class was by definition low-paid.

So Ed should more accurately refer to “honest, low-paid people” but that would sound daft.

Because what about honest, well-paid people? Doesn’t he want their votes too? Oh, and how about pensioners?

They don’t work so presumably they don’t count. It’s that stupid.

As to who will win the keys to Number 10 on May 7, we already know the answer.

Ignore the choppy polls, just check out the bookies’ odds.

I went into my local William hill on Thursday. “Who’s favourite?”

I asked the friendly couple behind the counter. “Tories.” “are you guys ever wrong about elections?” “Never.

The punters always know. They got the last EastEnders murderer down cold, too.”

So I put a tenner on blue in honour of vox populi but I still don’t know how I’ll vote next month.

Push off, Prof.

Read Richard and Judy's Daily Express column in full here.
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