"We are your servants......"
May come across like a sound-bite from a group wooing session gone wrong, but this was one of the many quotes dropped on the BBC's Question Time podium in Leeds, by the political triumvirate begging for our votes, for next Thursday. It was Nick Clegg who came out with this gem actually and it is only appropriate this piece begins with him.
Of the three men, he appears to be the one seen by most (especially the female demographic), as lazy on the eye. His meteoric rise before the last elections, owned more to this factor, than the content of his message. He stood in the middle of Cameron and Brown on that podium, looking like the youngest and most handsome brother in a very average family line-up. It was only inevitable he was to then go on and play a vital role. That was the type of society we had become at the time. Watching America vote in a cool, suave and debonair individual, guaranteed some of the lust for that golden dust, rubbed off on us.
Five years later, having been Deputy Prime Minister for all his troubles, Mr Clegg is on his last legs politically. His recent efforts in Leeds, revealed a man determined to ensure his Order of Songs is predetermined by no one, but himself. At least he would leave a good-looking political corpse.
Next on the list, is Ed Miliband. Looking more confident than ever and seeming to be the only leader who recognised the significance and danger of the size of the "undecided vote". His strategy was simple: I will listen to your question; ask for your name; answer your question by prefacing my response with: "and this is why I believe that".
It looked like it worked for a while, until the banana skin of the "over-spending" question. Worse still, at the end of his allotted 30 minutes, somehow the banana skin had morphed from its literal state into a physical one. If the bacon pictures could garner so much steam, just imagine what the images of a sprawled Miliband would have done for social media and the poor man's political future.
The red tops would have had fun too:
"Ed falls at the last hurdle".
"Red Ed spills blood on the political dancefloor".
"Floored by the public's questions".
I could go on, but it wouldn't leave me any room to acknowledge Mr Cameron. After all, he is the current Prime Minister and the first man to occupy the floor.
The issue with Mr Cameron is simple; no one outside the Tory confraternity believes anything he says. His swerve, on the NHS issue relating to where the requisite money would be generated was in line with educated expectations. His modus operandi during this election has revealed what most of his detractors like myself, have always highlighted.
In brief, here is a man who has been raised to believe he was born to rule, but clearly lacks the charisma, instinct and gravitas required to do the job. He has been the lottery winner in a pool of very unlucky Conservative MPs. For me, this is the problem with the Tories and it is an issue which will haunt them for a while. Of the next generation identified as potential leaders, only Boris has what the electorate want and even he, is one inappropriate joke away from a political scandal. A flaw, that being the leader, is bound to bring to the fore.
So, put yourself in the position of the unfortunate electorate, whom, like a pretty woman being wooed, has to make a decision she has to live with for the next five years and maybe even beyond.
Nick, dashing, but prone to making false promises...Dave, decent chap, but with grand delusions of being the chosen one...or Ed, not an oil painting, but utterly devoted to you, albeit, prone to the odd stumble.
Hmmm....most women I know would probably ask for the real Nicholas, David and Edward, to please stand up. This has been the true tragedy of these elections. Most of us are literally planning to vote according to allegiances and the rest, leant on by a sense of fear. All because we cannot say we really know any of these guys.
My guess is, as the Lady has to make a choice come next Thursday, she will go for the decent guy with the huge ego. One snag though, he will not be allowed to consummate the relationship.
Interpretation: Tory Minority government.