Fascination of blatant political fix
Heartening though it is to hear that our fortunes in the Eurovision Song contest could be on the up with the news that Andrew Lloyd Webber is to be involved in penning a song and picking an act this year, there is a part of me that is slightly disappointed. There was a time, when I was about 10, that watching what seemed like several hundred bands and singers picked for their singular lack of musical ability was a highlight of the TV calendar. Strangely, I was always greatly bored by the part of the programme involving the votes being cast. Now, however, the situation is reversed and the highlight, I use the word loosely, is to be had in watching the judging. There is something rather compelling about seeing such a blatant oldfashioned political fix unfolding in the name of light entertainment and it seems rather a shame that organisers are endeavouring to put a halt to it by introducing an allegedly fairer system that presumably will give Malta, and whoever Andrew Lloyd Webber chooses, the chance to compete on an equal footing with the might of the Eastern bloc. The brazen way in which votes are cast and the complete lack of any attempt to disguise the fact that things are being rigged in a way that even Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe just might consider sails rather too close to the wind, has a certain fascination. If members of the Chinese politburo ever watch, they must be full of admiration. Creating a level playing field in which the UK entry stands as great a chance as any other country ending in several vowels just seems to go against the grain. It’s not just a case of being deprived of seeing the Eastern bloc gang up on Western Europe. It heralds the end of that long-standing tradition of seeing at least one country, usually ours, compete for the glory of receiving “nul points.” That really is too much to bear.