1980s >> 1987 >> no-995-july-1987

Three ring circus

How did you feel as you waited for the results of the Eurovision Song Contest? Did you pace up and down in a nail-biting frenzy of excitement as one after another authority on music and culture announced their verdict on the cream of the world’s musical ability?

Or were you one of the majority of reasonably sane people who were bored to tears by the whole degrading spectacle, who realised that the banal, sickly, sugar-coated verbal garbage you had been listening to was not going to have the slightest effect on your life and future happiness, and was in fact nothing but a vulgar attempt to create yet another socially useless “Superstar”, and vast fortunes for those involved.

If so compare it — the second largest time wasting non-event of 1987 — with what was undoubtedly the most expensive, spectacular, but phoney epic of the advertising profession that we have experienced for several years. I refer of course to the General Election.

How did you feel as millions of TVs and radios bombarded you with the irrelevant result of this gigantic con trick? If you had previously felt slightly cheated by the vague promise of something a little bit special in the world of song and entertainment, you should have felt a passionate fury and demanded immediate revenge on Robin Day who for the last month had paraded endless parasitical hypocrites before you with the implied suggestion that if you backed the right one, your problems and those of society could be solved. Whether on the morning after the Election as you prepared for another day’s work you felt revitalised, thankfully relieved that all would be well for the next few years, or alternatively, panic stricken, convinced that the end was finally at hand, — relax, nothing is going to change. Tomorrow, next week, next year, the army of unemployed will still be with us, so will the ever increasing list of urgent, socially useful work waiting to be done. Next winter pensioners will die of the cold again, coal mines will go on being closed for economic reasons. Thousands of children around the world will continue to starve to death every day. our newly-elected leaders will still attempt to explain away their obscene actions in allowing vast quantities of food to be destroyed because the starving have no money to pay for it.

A minor shake-up in our political leadership has served no useful purpose whatsoever.

This, the latest farce in capitalism’s comedy of errors, has more in common with the Song Contest than you might imagine. Apart from the false smiles and the pollution of the airwaves that the contestants inflicted on us, they were both totally useless as far as society’s needs are concerned. Neither were run for our benefit although our support was vital for both. Those who did well out of each of them did so at our expense. In short — we were conned.

However, unlike the losers in the song contest who can go away and forget about it, we the vast majority who were all losers in the General Election (whether we realise it or not), have got to live with the consequences.

Nick White