THERE are now just 28 days to go to what could be the first General Election of 2010.
I say first, because whoever wins on May 6 might decide to have a bash at strengthening their Commons majority by holding another, most likely in October.
I’ve been around the block a time or two and it’s a long while since we’ve had a national call to the voting box upon which more has rested, and upon which less passion, so far, has been aroused.
The UK voting public is a reluctant beast at the best of times. If we’re not sure who to vote for we tend to stay at home.
This time we’re really unsure.
“They’re all tarred with the same brush,” you hear again and again. “All snouts in the trough on the whistle-stop gravy train.”
And indeed, it has been a bad time for politicians. They have replaced lawyers and estate agents in the snide jokes, and the only people more despised at present are bankers.
The whiff of greed, corruption and spendthrift stupidity follows them like a mucky cloud.
For me, the worst thing about our present politicians of any stripe is that they seem untouched and unrepentant, either for themselves or the sullied and bruised political system of which they are a part.
Nobody yet has stood up and said: “We have made mistakes. We will learn from them, and not do it again.
“It’s true some of us are in it for the power, the money and the kudos, but they will be going on May 6, and you can rest assured a new broom will be applied vigorously.
“This time we will co-operate with our colleagues to form the best government possible to get us out of the present mess.
“In the coming campaign every candidate has been told that they will be disqualified if they bend or break the truth in any way.”
The first one to promise anything remotely like this gets my vote, but it does feel like whistling in the wind.