Thursday, 28 May 2009

I also at one point used the phrase 'Slight Disimprovement'.

That was dispiriting. I was just called up by ICM, the pollsters. And it wasn't a boring one about how many holidays I take or how much yoghurt I buy, it was a proper one about general elections and the expenses row. Great! Like everyone else, I've always secretly felt it was a shame that these polls consist entirely of people who aren't me, and that they therefore do not reflect My Important Opinions. Now all that would change! Now My Important Opinions would at last be heard. Bring it on. 

Turns out I don't know anything. 

What they asked: 
'On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to vote in the next general election.'
What I replied:
What I thought before I replied:'
'Oh yeah. I'm Mr Responsible Politically Active Citizen. You're talking to the right guy here, my friend.'

What they asked:
'Do you think the MPs' expenses saga is: a major scandal; serious; regrettable but not serious; irrelevant?' 
What I replied:
'Regrettable but not serious.'
What I thought before I replied:
'Great! I already have an opinion on this! And, by lucky chance, my opinion is totally correct. If only people asked me what I reckon about stuff more often. I'm basically a policy wonk. If I was in the West Wing, I wonder whether Josh or Sam would want to be my friend most?'

What they asked:
'Which party leader do you think has been least affected by the MPs' expenses saga?'
What I said:
'Nick Clegg'
What I thought before I replied: 
'Er... hang on... er... I don't know... none of them, really. I mean all of them. Well, technically I suppose Nick Clegg, in that he's least affected by everything, because we still don't really know who he is. I'll say Nick Clegg.'

What they asked:
'How would the following measures affect the political system: large improvement; slight improvement; no effect, slightly worse, a lot worse. Allowing MPs to vote remotely, via the internet or video link-up?'
What I replied:
'No effect.'
What I thought before I replied:
'Oh God, I've no idea, I've never heard of that suggestion before, I thought you were going to ask me whether I thought constituents should be able to sack their MPs, I know exactly what I think about that, they shouldn't, ironically this is based on my general feeling that constituents are easily-lead opinionated idiots who don't know what they think until someone tells them, a theory I am amply demonstrating right now, well come on, think about it, I suppose it would allow MPs to spend more time in their constituencies, less need for second homes, so I suppose it's a good thing, but there must be all sorts of arguments against it, I just don't know what they are, but I bet if I heard someone explain them I'd agree, also going through the division lobbies is an ancient tradition, and my knee-jerk response is always in favour of keeping traditions, oh I don't know, if this was just a news story I was supposed to be coming up with jokes about for the Now Show it would be easy:  'MPs, videolinks, the internet, not a very wise combination, Jackie Smith's husband, haw haw haw', is hopefully the sort of train of thought I'd reject in favour of something better; but actually deciding, on the hoof, whether it's a good idea or not is just too much for me, I'd better say 'no effect' but that's ridiculous, it's a massive change to the system, the one thing it's definitely not going to have is 'no effect'; but still, this pause has already become embarrassing; it's about to tip over into unsettling, I've got to say something, at least that's sort of neutral.'

I'm an idiot. Take away my vote. 


ghijklmno said...

Haha! I was once asked on the street by a person professing to be from the radio to comment on the new drugs czar and various policies and attitudes of politicians to drugs. In a desperate attempt to sound informed, intelligent and yet somehow loftily high minded about the issue I managed to blurt out that 'they should all really grow up!' - *sigh*

Parapluie said...

Thanks for doing the survey. Usually people just hang up :)