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Sunday 5 April 2009

Nothing Much Changes

Well, that’s the G20 over. The circus moves on. Today is, as ever, not very different to yesterday. Will it be any different after a General Election?

Let’s cut directly to the short answer: no.

Not even after the fullest exercising of the democratic process? Nope.

So why all the cheerleading behind the various parties? It’s true, there are good people out there who believe that they can make a difference, and that their parties can too. It’s as true now as it was in May 1997: after that date, and that victory, there was only one way that Labour Party membership was going to go: down. Some stayed on; others realised that there wasn’t going to be change, or not as much as they hoped. If the Tories win next time round, they will suffer in the same way.

More, they will find the probing of the various media organisations will not abate just because of the change of stripe. The spin, leaks, investigations, FOI requests, public disillusionment – all will continue.

On a quiet day at the office last year, I was flicking through the feedback to an article on Guardian Online – whoops, that’s me bang to rights – and there was much adverse comment directed towards Pa Broon. Then, further down the comments, someone put forward the original thought of how long after a Tory victory it would take for David Cameron to be hated equally strongly.

The unusually unanimous view was not just that this state would be reached, but reached in short order.

With this I have to agree: Cameron is good at soundbites, slick presentation, at opposing the government. What he would do when gifted the levers of power I have little idea. What is more, I remain unconvinced that he and his party have much more.

Plus ça change, and all that.

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