Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Making great ignoramuses of us all, David Cameron tempts us to the dark side

“I want to tell you what I am fighting this election for — it is the people I call the Great Ignored: they may be black or white. They may be rich or poor. They may live in the town or the country.”

What a load of insipid, nonsensical guff. It sounds profound but is ultimately meaningless; politics ignores everyone on some level - minority or majority. However, because we live in a society we accept it, even if we crave a different balance of who it is getting ignored. Cameron's vow overrides this altruistic fatalism, giving us a glimmer of hope that a Tory government will capitulate to our wildest demands.

It unleashes the 'me first' instinct that Tories know so well - and that we're increasingly attuned to in our 'have your say' culture - giving credibility to our darkest, grabbiest instincts.

Non-voters are technically ignored, but so was I when I didn't specify a Barbie for my 9th birthday and ended up with Sindy's more wholesome mouldings. However futile your request is, by voting you're showing you care about something - whether it's a belief in a party or just democracy itself. Not voting is ambiguous, it doesn't say anything - and it doesn't give you a right to say you've been ignored.

The ignorant get ignored too, with good reason. There's a lot of ghastly opinions harboured by the majority of the population - take the enduring appeal of eating Cornish Pasties on trains, for instance, or Lady Gaga. Tasteless views on immigration are equally prevalent, though most people would be ashamed to admit to them - that is, until someone from the Today Programme waves a microphone in their face asking if they are the 'great ignored' (2mins 52 in). People with backward ideas on foreigners swarming their schools and jobs should feel ignored and unrepresented, especially now Bernard Manning is no longer with us.

I could go on. Basically, everyone can reason their way into the 'great ignored', though it doesn't mean they should now be heard.