Thursday, April 22, 2010

Putting fire into the campaign

The lacklustre election campaign pitched into farce yesterday with Ken Clark ranting against those who might vote in such a way that we end up with a hung or balanced parliament. With his apocalyptic talk of IMF bureacrats touching down in London the day after the election, it's the first time I can recall a candidate threatening armageddon if you don't vote for his party.

Still, it's good to have a titter among the tedium! The thing is that with the prospect of a balanced parliament and a real chance for radical reform of our broken political institutions, the election camapign should be rivetting. Candidates and leaders should be engaging with the real issues of how we can refresh and renew our democracy. Instead they seem to be arguing over who can be trusted least to manage our present less-than-adequate way of doing things.

Back in the real world, it's 100 days since the Haiti earthquake but the suffering of a nation seems to have dropped off the radar - you really have to search hard to find anything on the BBC news site (though the Today programme featured a report on the continuing relief effort that contained the good news that immunisation of children has prevented epidemics of water-borne disease).

And Obama is making a speech about banking regulation in New York later today. Let's hope there are some radical proposals to regulate the excesses and even support for the Robin Hood Tax. Such a tax on every transaction of every financial institution across the globe could raise more than $300 billion for poverty-relief and front-line services in every nation where banks operate.

As Alexandr, the meerkat, would say 'schimple'

I wonder if it will feature in the prime ministerial debate this evening....

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