Friday, May 21, 2010

Absence of blog...

I haven't really been blogging much lately. I haven't really been on twitter either.

That's because I've been working silly hours on the new series of Genius and by the time I get home at night there's only really been time for sleep.

The show is going to look and feel very different to the first TV series and should see us getting through more ideas in each episode than we've ever managed before. But we'll see. On Monday. And again on Tuesday.

I won't be doing the radio show this week. After 21 days of working every day I need a couple of quiet days to prepare my head for the first recording on Monday. I'm looking forward to it. We have some great guests lined up for this series and while I haven't seen all the ideas our audience have sent in - and couldn't possibly remember all of those that I have seen - they are definitely a highly creative and inventive lot. It should be fun.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

There's that election thing today, yeah?

As I write this I genuinely don't know who I'm going to vote for. I've got it down to two parties but that's all I know.

But I am going to vote. And I hope that if you're a member of the electorate you do too. I'd love it if there was a high turn out for once. The theory is that a lot of people don't vote because they think there's no point because "politicians are all the same" but there's at least the possibility that voting this time might lead to electoral reform and that, even if this lot are all the same, that means next time things might be different. They might not. But they might be. And if you want them to be, you'd be foolish not to vote and find out.

That's not an endorsement of any particular party by the way. You might just as well want there to be no electoral reform... in which case there's just as good a case to be made for you to vote. And of course there are all sorts of other issues too.

It'd be great if I woke up tomorrow morning and discovered that most of my fellow countrymen had voted the same way as me. But I'd hate it if I thought anyone had voted that way because of me. I couldn't cope with the pressure. What if I was wrong? How Simon Cowell could write a front page for The Sun telling people how to vote is beyond me. Regardless of who he backed (and the fact that it was in The Sun should make it obvious) imagine being given the chance to wield such influence. I couldn't do it.

Of course there are lots of opinion pieces by lots of writers and there's no reason why Simon Cowell shouldn't throw his opinion into the mix. So maybe my point is that it just shouldn't be on the front page of a newspaper. It's not exactly the news is it? Oh, I don't know.

Look, here's a piece by Johann Hari from today's Independent. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But it hasn't persuaded me how to vote. Yet. Like I say, I genuinely don't know what I'm going to do yet.

But the key phrase for me was this: "democracy isn't a twice-a-decade trip to the polling booth, but a constant ongoing process of monitoring and pressuring your government."

I like that. I wouldn't dream of trying to tell you how to vote. But I do think this is good advice. Whoever you vote for you should stay engaged in politics after the election. You never know, it might make it easier to choose how you vote next time.