The 2010 General Election

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The political dust has finally settled and now, after a tumultuous week of back and forth we finally have a new leader at No.10 in the shape of David Cameron. Make what you will of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat alliance, it certainly has the makings of a very interesting story, the oddest couple since Lembit Opik stepped out with a cheeky girl. But rather than look to the future and what this brand new government has in store for us we decided to look back over the past few months and highlight an interesting point (well we thought so) that the election threw up – people were actually talking about it.

This election was like no other in that the old adage – don’t converse with friends & family about politics – was completely disregarded. 2010 was the year the British public jumped from the fence and proceeded to smash it down. Political opinion was everywhere.

The merits of Miriam Gonzalez Durantez were overheard on the tube, David Cameron’s hair was the hot topic in beauty salons, Gordon Brown’s inability to tell a joke the office tittle-tattle. And it wasn’t just the trivial that were up for discussion, real issues such as immigration, education and jobs were on the tips of tongues. For once people weren’t afraid to air their opinion.

Now what’s interesting is this; is this mass discussion a good thing? Well of course it is, but only if it’s intelligent. Over the last few weeks sites such as Facebook and Twitter have transformed from useful (and fun) social sites to venting grounds for those who see fit to spout their political thoughts – no matter how banal or uneducated. An online speaker’s corner.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but is it really necessary to tweet “Cameron is a posh ****”? Surely this is just a form of showing off – look how clever I am, I’m following the election! Similar activity occurred earlier on in the year when Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time. The aforementioned sites were full of people all too eager to state that they were watching the show, surely proof if anything that they’d never seen the show before. At least most did state what a disgrace Griffin is.

Discussion is fantastic, as long as it is discussion, can we not leave the ranting to the politicians and papers? Social media is free and easy, democracy is priceless.

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