Looking at our front page this week, you could be forgiven for thinking we forgot there was an election on next Thursday. A splash on a dubiously funded-scholarship, a survey of Oxford’s sexual orientation (see the editorial here), and only the smallest nod to the most important political event in years by means of a roundup of an interview in the Books & Exhibitions section.
For the last few weeks we have all been saturated in politics and party slogans, polls and commentators. Some have updated their facebook statuses. Many have tuned into the leadership debates and read the summaries of manifestos. Most have been arguing among ourselves.
And what could Cherwell tell you the Guardian or the Telegraph hasn’t already? We can’t offer a scoop on ‘donations’ to Clegg, and sadly we don’t have enough microphones to leave one clipped to Gordon Brown’s shirt as he drives off from a meet-and-greet.
We’re not going to make a grand sweeping statement on the need for a hung parliament, the need for a Conservative government, or the need for any sort of government. Firstly because we’re arts undergraduates, and secondly because the Sun we ain’t, and blind party political allegiance isn’t our style.
So let’s, just for a moment, undergo a totally artificial brainwash and forget the national side. We know this isn’t how British politics works. But looking at the candidates for Oxford East – where the majority of us will be voting – the Liberal Democrat’s Dr Steve Goddard is the clear choice.
And we know what you’re saying. Tutting under your breath words like “bandwagon”. Telling us that they promise the world, without really knowing how to deliver it.
And yes, his video on Youtube might feature him pretending to knock on a door; it might have in the background what sounds like a car crash involving Zadok the Priest and an 80s Casio keyboard, the least catchy slogan British politics has ever seen resounding over the top of it. He might have a beard and probably wears socks beneath his sandals. But we like him.
He’s open, enthusiastic and ready to listen to student and more general concerns. And his policies aren’t bad either. Andrew Smith, the Labour candidate, may have been a brilliant local MP in the past, but speaking now you get the impression that 23 years in Parliament might have been enough. To coin a phrase: it’s time for change.
Unfortunately this is all we can offer you. We don’t have any exclusive polls or sleaze scandals to break on the Conservative candidate. We can’t say what a hung parliament would really mean. We know nothing, but at least we’re honest about it. Vote Goddard.