Making sense of the political circus

30 April, 2010

Caught up in last week’s travel chaos, I quickly become aware that, despite all the drama, this was one cloud that presented a very enviable silver lining: a complete blackout on the election circus going on back home.

The fear that the population of my house plants might face an unavoidable cull was offset by the realisation I was saved from the kind of incessant media bombardment that makes a night sleeping in an airport lounge almost appealing.

So, while I was travel weary, at least when I returned, I wasn’t yet suffering from election exhaustion.

With all my political senses intact, I was primed with a brain like a new sponge ready to absorb and deliberate on the views of our would-be leaders.

As it turned out, there was really no need. By the time I’d reached terra firma, everyone, including politicians it would seem, had grown so thoroughly fed up of the whole thing that they had taken to giving interviews about what last made them cry and how often they have sex.

It’s come to something when even those with jobs to win or lose at the end of the process would rather share the minutiae of their domestic existence than walk the streets canvassing or go on TV trotting out the same lines about cutting national debt.

Regrettably for voters enjoying the respite from the hyperbole (and who can blame them?) the hiatus was short lived.

Now, as the parties gallop towards the final furlong, the race has picked up.

As we went to press, the three leaders were dusting down their best suits preparing to do battle in the last televised showdown.

Voters are hoping this will give them the depth of honesty many feel campaigns have so far been lacking to enable them to make an informed choice.

The show’s producers need to fire up the grills so that Gordon, David and Nick are unable to sidestep giving meaningful answers on the big issues at the top of the national agenda.

Kick-starting economic recovery is understandably the country’s collective key concern. But for retailers who have found themselves under intense scrutiny from parties of every colour during Labour’s current term, there are many other significant considerations that could sway their voting.

To help you decide which way to go on May 6, we’ve compiled a list of what the MP in your constituency has said on the policies which will have the biggest impact on the business of selling alcohol.

If yours isn’t mentioned, they’re either not seeking re-election or haven’t been vocal on contentious points such as minimum price, the mandatory code on drinks retailing or who’s to blame for “binge Britain”.

It’s important for proactive businesses to try to establish a rapport with their MP.

Here’s your chance to get to know them a little better – and decide if they really are the right candidates to be representing your needs in Westminster.

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