Fas­ci­na­tion of bla­tant po­lit­i­cal fix

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

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.

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