Christmas may now be a distant memory and the May 2010 elections even more so, but as we see the last of our Christmas flab fade, the ramifications of votes cast in April aren’t so easily shed…
It was business as usual for X-factor this Christmas as Matt Cardle’s record When We Collide was crowned Christmas number one. Not even a carefully coordinated mass purchase could stop the X-factor machine this year, despite conjuring up the best attempt ever seen at substantiating the phrase ‘selling ice to the Eskimos’ as John Cage sold the public 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. But as Biffy Clyro’s original version of the Christmas number one snuck its way into the chart we were left with a perverse situation: two versions of the same song, yet nine chart places separating them?
Whatever one’s music tastes no one can claim that Matt Cardle’s cover was 9 chart places superior. Sure he has a pleasant voice and the production was executed professionally like you’d expect, but nine places does seem a little bit generous.
The real reason for Matt’s success is instead that he is a ‘nice guy’. We have all followed his journey on the telly and feel the need to congratulate him on his success by making him a success. The record itself becomes a little irrelevant. There is no need to take a look at the substance of a record. It is easy to settle with the X-Factor and support the man you have actively had a part in transforming from rags (or painters overalls in this case) to riches.
But fear not, Cardle seems to be all but gone from our radios a month on, and we can enjoy ten months of joyous relief until Britain’s next hidden gem shines forth.
One person who you will be hearing from for the next year and onwards however is Mr Nick Clegg. As the Lib Dem popularity has fallen to its lowest since the party was formed in 1989, it’s clear that there are many that are regretting their vote. Back in April 2010 the Nick Clegg show was in full swing. ‘Say goodbye to broken promises!’ he declared, ‘Yes please!’ we replied. But now as Clegg has all but given up on making excuses for the ridiculous promises he and his party made in April; the question begs to be asked: How did the public fall for it?
Probably for the same reason that the public fall for buying an unimaginative record to number one each year: judging style over substance.
Nick Clegg seemed like a nice guy and he probably is, but this is as far as many of his new voters got to when deciding to vote for the Liberal Democrats last May. Support for the Lib Dems surged during the TV debates as Brown and Cameron bickered, whilst Clegg was pampered with ‘I agree with Nick’, a phrase that the public lapped up. Charismatic Clegg basked in the calm as the other candidates found themselves in the eye of the storm, and came out looking very good indeed.
Now though in a cold, dark January, Nick Clegg has lost his novelty value for many. The complications of a coalition government are becoming more and more apparent and the reality of the Lib Dems’ manifesto is starting to shine through the shiny gloss that blinded many voters in May. The X-Factor voting style that many adopted is beginning to come unstuck.
So whilst the next time we hear from Mr Cardle will most likely be on the ‘Identity Parade’ round of Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ in ten years time, regrettably for many the coalition government is here to stay.