Posted by: John | March 9, 2009

Will ESC help us through the recession/depression?

I’ve often thought that the esteem and dignity conferred on the Eurovision Song Contest (or how it regarded itself) was similar to the same processes going on in the Liberal Democrats.

Like the Lib Dems it was seen by the mainstream as `a joke` – it too has had to suffer the privations of a peculiarly mainstream bully (Terry Wogan) and also had to suffer lack of media exposure. In some ways it was its own fault – by not taking its own esteem very seriously by the way it performed (and it’s not just the clothes but also the songs) it stopped people seeing the really good stuff that is out there in the genre for years.

Saying I was Lib Dem was tantamount to saying that I was a `loony` for years  – imagine saying `I’m a Eurovision fan and like the music`. Again, the insults came `You’re for the salads!` when we were the SLDs or `oh, those ghastly songs` from people who never even listened to them until the night then just tried very hard to find something to laugh at.

The thing is the Eurovisionistas and the Lib Dems have shared values – they are both very open-minded – I have never come across as many broad-minded people when it came to music as I do with fellow Eurovisionistas. You like Zdob si Zdub? Check out this other Moldovan Folk-Rock band. I remember when in Eastern Europe buying a Hari Mata Hari CD (one of the top Balkan Ethnic turbo bands) only to find them coming third a few years later at Eurovision. Indeed I saw them do this live!

It’s the same with the Lib Dems – we’ve had so many brickbats thrown at us that we seemed to have matured over the past years (particularly with the new thinking, policies and Vince Cable on the Economy) and are starting to stand up proud because we’ve been tested and found to know more than the other lot. We’ve been open-minded like Eurovisionistas – Interested in Pupil premiums – how about checking out lower class sizes? We no longer feel we need to take our opponents psychology – the more we win the stronger we become.

Now if someone throws a political punch instead of mumbling `well, you have a point` and leaving it at that I reel off a policy point as a question. We have learnt that being nice is not enough – being sharp and assertive is even better.

It’s the same with Eurovision – the BBC to its credit has really worked hard this year not only in promoting it and lifting peoples saturday evenings – it’s also getting our representative Jade Ewen out there to the other national finals. She’s honing her singing skills and showing off the song. The songs that have gone through show off the genre really well. Yes there are some naff ones – but remember this which other genre parades itself to the world in the same way. No, I can’t think of any either.

One further point to note – If i feel depressed myself I don’t pop a pill I put on the Ipod. A good Eurovision old skool classic, or something contemporary lifts my mood immediately.


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