Written by Heather Ferguson
As you almost definitely know the UK general election is fast approaching. All the while there seems to be a bit of a media paradox going on at the moment, as it scrabbles to paint all the potential future prime ministers as comedic figures. More and more figures that entertain us for a living – comedians and musicians – seem to be jumping on to the political band wagon. But is the power to entertain actually what they are missing?
One of the things seen as the main cause for political disengagement is the lack of empathy many believe Westminster’s politicians have for the average Brit’s situation, with most of them coming from the same school yard, or at least similar backgrounds. Even the views of the politicians seem to be quite similar, and dare I say quite right wing – a political stance that more young people oppose then take themselves. Those darn lefties, eh?
But comedians and musicians have less of a problem with the empathy, with both groups selling out Wembley with their relateable observations whether through punchlines or lyrics. Many put emotional connections into their songs in particular – and let me tell you if I thought David Cameron knew me as well as Bombay Bicycle Club he would be getting my vote. It shows that when people are emotional about an election they will vote. This point is also backed up the Scottish referendum.
A video of the American President making stupid faces has gone viral this week. As well as highlighting his definite swagger, it has raised the question how comical these figures really should be. It has divided opinion. Some laughed at him. Others were critical, asking “shouldn’t he be trying to solve some the horrific problems some of his citizens experience?”
Most of the comedians and musicians are only half serious about their campaigns, but there is one political figurehead young people are listening to. That being Russel Brand. But the thing is he doesn’t actually vote himself and encourages people to not vote. He is looking for “alternate political systems”. This idea of a revolution, taps into the natural rebelliousness of the youth.We are taking a lot less drugs and having a lot less sex than our parents did anyway.
The only thing is that the alternate political system hasn’t been invented yet, or has it? I use it. Mr Brand uses it. All with one common goal: to share our opinions and hear that of others. But when politicians take to the internet we tend to cringe. The satirical comedians have a field day. Once Ed balls tweeted, “Ed Balls”. It has had thousands of retweets. But that could just be down to the fact his surname literally means testicle.
At least it all adds to the wonderful world of satire. But maybe the only thing they cant entertain is the wishes of a majority?