Less than a week to go and this addled election will be over with a muddied campaign producing a muddled result and the country saying to its despised politicians "we can't decide this. You clear up the mess"
So, in a campaign which has confused the electorate, ignored the problems and promised then unattainable the emphasis changes from an argument over ideas to a simple issue of numbers. Who can stitch together the 323 votes necessary to sustain a government and which major party will come closest to the 290 seats it needs as the basic building block for a majority.
With the main polls showing the two main parties neck and neck (meaning a slight advantage in seats for Labour ) everything depends on how well the minors do Clegg, getting more prissy about deals as he loses the numbers necessary to make them should be down to about 25 seats, making him a less attractive (but more demanding) partner than the SNP which may get as many as 40 while UKIP will end up with one (Clacton) and be no use to anyone.
Most of the pundits put Cameron ahead in these stakes. I still think Miliband can make it though In always fear a slight move to the incumbent government as a few electors opt to cling to nurse. This gives Labour a real advantage because an incumbent who can win a vote of confidence cant be thrown out under the Fixed Term Parliament act so Labour should use the opportunity to do popular things;repeal the bedroom tax, raise the minimum wage immediately and start a massive house building programme financed by Quantitive easing while putting HS2 on hold. Then sit it out at least un til after the Scottish elections.
In an election in which the parties have changed roles, Labour to caution Tories to spendthrift, in which all have refused to answer questions like where Tory cuts are to fall or where their eight billion for the NHS is to come from the press has a serious responsibility to push them to answers to explain the problems to its readers and to excite their interest in an important election.
It has singularly failed in that responsibility As a result a confusing election has been worse compounded. This failure has been worse on the part of the quality press, Beaverbrook told the Royal Commission on the press that he used his mighty Daily Express for "propaganda" Murdoch the Barclay Brothers and Rothermere have used their ownership to propagate their own nasty ideologies of neo-liberalism .
No one can quibbled with their right to do this in the editorial columns but such is their power it now permeates everything so that it colours all the news items .Even the columnists instead of offering independent thinking feel obliged to sing from the same hymn sheet.
Thus Miliband can do no right, every Labour proposal points to disaster, capitalism will collapse and the Scots will use their power to tear the country apart and independent thinking columnists to who one looks for new insights take every opportunity to knock Labour. The Conservatives of course can do no wrong,their tax cuts are wise if unfunded and the economy is booming.
You cant have an effective democracy with such a prostituted press. People who don't have enough confidence in the country to live and pay their taxes here should not be allowed to exercise so much influence. Particularly since the cues from the press are all followed up by the impartial electronic media who assume that the prejudices of the press are the issues which concern the people. They aren't.They're the grumblings of greedy foreigners.