may the sixth be with you

The UK General Election is upon us. Unlike in the US, where the election date is known years in advance and the campaigning goes on for about three hundred years, filling the airways with irritating paid-for campaign ads, British elections are called with only about a month of soapboxing and eggfacing until the big day, and the long swingometer-filled night. Also unlike America, Britain is not electing a President, but a party to govern. We’ve all become very comfortable with being uncomfortable at how ‘presidential’ our Prime Ministers are getting (ie, they brush their hair and grin a lot), so with thought in mind, which of the three below do you think will become our next ‘presidential’ PM?

gordon brown

See, I’m glad Gordon Brown (above) is not a smiler, and has unbrushable hair. Makes him less presidential. David Cameron (below) on the other hand, old Etonian, friendly chap, cheeky grin, America will love him like they loved Blair. Like so many pop groups before them, our PMs probably feel they can only be truly big if they can break America.

david cameron

He has a big forehead doesn’t he. By the way, America, if you’re following the UK Election, Blue means Conservatives and Red means Labour. Red is the traditional colour of international socialism; it’s only the US that has that the other way round, where it means the colour of Limbaugh-loving necks.

And then in the Yellow corner there is the Other Bloke, who by all accounts won the UK’s first presidential – i mean, prime ministerial – debate (it’s not like they don’t already debate in the House of Commons though, is it). These debates mean nothing, the Liberal Democrats aren’t ever going to really win a general nick cleggelection, because they are deliberately ignored by the Murdoch press (the true rulers of the UK). Unless…surely not? Nick Clegg (right) is apparently becoming swiftly popular, and let’s face it, Brits (like Americans, to whom we gave most of our reality TV shows) love nothing more than an instant overnight popular political hero – oh, what am I saying, there is one thing Brits like more, and that is knocking said hero off his perch and dragging said hero through the razor mill of the tabloid press (hello again, Mr. Murdoch). 

No, he’s not smaller because my Murdoch-payroll editors have instructed me not to get in the way of their Tory revival saga (I’m not The Times, you know). More that the sketch simply looks nothing like him, but hey, I don’t really know what he looks like, or stands for. I know he looks a bit like Philip Schofield, David Duchovny, Kilroy and Jim Davison (shuddering at the thought). Time for me to do some reading up on this election. I won’t get to vote, but I also won’t get to live through the consequences, now I’m over here in Obama-world. I do really miss British politics, honestly I do, I want to watch Paxman, I want to watch Dimbleby, I want interactive 3d Swingometers, I want to see eggs on faces and Prescott punches (whoever the modern equivalent of Prescott is), staying up all night and watching the results of Haltemprice & Howden and Cannock Chase and other places I’d never heard of. This election even looks like it might actually be a three horse race (unlike the last few, which were definitely one-horse races). I drew a political cartoon which got onto the Channel 4 web site last time (Goldilocks and the Three Unbearables), I need to sharpen that pencil again (Last of the Summer Whine: Foggy, Compo and Clegg would be a start, cascading down the hill in a tin bath).

At least this time I won’t need to stay up all night. I’m eight hours behind, so hopefully it’ll all be decided by midnight. I suspect Labour may have to do a deal with the Lib Dems to keep the Tories out of Number 10; if not, Brown won’t have a Clegg to stand on. May the Sixth be with you.

6 thoughts on “may the sixth be with you

  1. Alex Zonis says:

    Great portraits, Pete! I loved the post as well, had no idea how British elections happen before. It seems they have a more reasonable system, we here work ourselves into a state of hysteria and spend entirely too much money.

    I was playing with an idea of doing some US senators’ portraits – love old people faces. But I have such a low opinion of the job they are doing that it makes it nearly impossible to put in time the portrait requires. That’s just too bad.

  2. petescully says:

    Cheers! Yes the system is different, and nowhere near the hysterical adverts of american politics (speech may be free in the US but drowing the airwaves with your ominous message is the reserve of those rich enough to afford it). Our dirty politics is done by tabloid editors.

    One job the tabloids do (and the ads as well) is actually to put people of politics, and make them believe all politicians are corrupt and worthless. This then purposely creates voter apathy, leading to fewer people voting “because they’re all rubbish” (undermining the democratic process). People are sick of politicans because of what is told to them in the press. Politicians and MPs who do their job well don’t make headlines. I think this is done on purpose; if fewer people vote, certain parties can remain in power, or gain power, and the Murdoch press knows it.

    On a different note, this is how our system is wierd: if you want Labour to win the election, but you live in a constituency where Labour usually does badly and it’s between the Lib Dems and the Tories, you have to vote against Labour (and for the Lib Dems) in order for Labour to have a better chance of winning the election. Strange but true.

  3. helen says:

    About a fortnight ago John Prescott drove past my window in ‘The Prescott Express’ and shouted on his megaphone that he wanted me to ‘Vote for Labour on May 6th’. I kid you not.

  4. petescully says:

    I see we’ve had some eggs-on-cameron already, and mr prescott is getting in the street-scuffle news again, and the daily hatemail are attacking clegg for not being anti-german enough (they who supported hitler of course), and the tories are having the posters roundly spoofed (including by prescott himself); it’s all hotting up now!

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