Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Marina Hyde - Best Election Pundit So Far


So, on Monday I wrote about David Cameron's Party Political Broadarse. Today, by way of a chance to take a second slurp at the tempestuous tannins of the UK election (the cup is slopping onto the saucer), may I treat you to a recommendation?

I may? Excellent.

Well, on the strength of current form, I'm endorsing Guardian columnist Marina Hyde as my favourite UK election pundit. Just like I endorsed the lovely Michael Tomasky in the run-up to the US election, way back yonder.

In the last 4 days alone, Marina Hyde has written three absolutely superb pieces on the election, combining (in various ratios) humour and insight.

Of the two more comically inclined articles, the first draws an inspired religious parallel between Cameron's campaign team and Jesus' disciples, whilst the second masterfully skewers George Osborne like a quivering piece of diced chicken thigh, ready for the barbecue. Very funny indeed.

The third, as well as being funny (one standout being a reference to 'Westminster villagers who've spent a decade masturbating to the West Wing box set and rather tragically imagine the debates have finally made them a central character in the UK version of the show') also makes an extremely good point about the political use of wit. I thought the following was an excellent observation (in reference to the dearth of jokes in the leaders' debate):

Yet as time goes on, if you don't "own" the humour, then someone else will. People want to laugh, and failure to provide the laughs means they'll find them at your expense. No matter how righteously repulsed one was by Tony Blair's faux-self deprecation, when Cherie was overheard insulting Gordon Brown at a Labour conference, the then PM still managed to defuse an increasingly toxic story with a simple line. "Well," he said, "at least I don't have to worry about her running off with the bloke next door."

Very true.

So, Marina Hyde. Officially endorsed by the Intellectual Hooligan. Now that's something to perk up her journo-CV, innit?

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