Matt's Crow Country: Debates lead-ing the way to trial by television

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 May 2010

I M sure I m not only one who is sick of the build up to the general election. It s been dominating the news agenda for weeks, and the hype-machine shows no sign of slowing down before we all go to the polls next week. And yes, I realise I am now adding t

I'M sure I'm not only one who is sick of the build up to the general election.

It's been dominating the news agenda for weeks, and the hype-machine shows no sign of slowing down before we all go to the polls next week. And yes, I realise I am now adding to the massive body of articles already written, but bear with me for a few minutes.

The pointless posturing is sure to continue until May 6, and I have to say the worst part about this campaign for me has been the televised leaders debates.

If you ask me this is part of the continuing X-Factor-risation of our society: we seem to be moving towards a world in which every event is subject to trial-by-television.

Because after all there's no point worrying what the parties views are on the NHS, or education, or defence, when you can concentrate on which leader is wearing the best tie. When you see Sky News bigging up their debate as being "in high definition, so you can see every bead of sweat", it's obvious that politics is playing second fiddle to entertainment in these programmes.

The debates have over-shadowed every other aspect of the campaign, like some kind of super-dull soap opera; as soon as every exchange between Brown, Cameron, and Clegg has been analysed (in high definition) the build up to the next one begins. And it's not as if they even tell us very much, with the leaders preferring to speak in generalities and take swipes at one another, rather than revealing too many policy details.

It's a shame that people are so fed up with politics that this is the only way they can engage with the election debate. But I hope that when people do go and cast their vote, they will back the party they think will be best for Britain, and not the leader who has the best hair cut.

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Elsewhere in this edition of The Crow you'll see that a group of students from The Meridian School have won a £500 prize in the Hertfordshire Young People of the Year awards (YOPEY).

The students were rewarded for a project that involved producing communication passports for members of Royston stroke club.

I've been lucky enough to meet the group twice - once at the start of the project, then at the launch of the passports earlier this year - and was hugely impressed with their enterprise on both occasions.

They have obviously put a lot of time and effort into producing these booklets that will make a genuine difference to the lives of stroke club members, and richly deserve the award they have received.

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