Posted by: Natalie | April 16, 2010

Happy Slapping

This is a very different kind of happy slapping – this is a type of entertaining violence that everyone can take part in, from the comfort of their own living room!

While watching the live election debate on ITV last night, Steve came across this awesome website: Slapometer. This allows you to “Vote with the back of your hand.” It was originally created last October when a certain BNP member took his place on the Question time panel (any one else remember watching with a slight air of disgusted hilarity?!) in order for the general public to register their ill feeling towards the man. The fundamental idea is that you use a moving hand to slap the politician, and the public obliged, slapping Nick Griffin 20 million times in 5 days! The site had to be pulled due to the creators receiving more than a few threats from the far right-wing.

However, it has been reborn! It now features the leaders of the big three parties. Even though you can go along and slap them regardless of time or day, the tool is designed with the debates in mind. It was really interesting to see the statistics produced as we watched the show, particularly as they seemed to mirror our own thoughts and feelings.

Nick Clegg came out of this by far the best, both on the debating platform and the slapometer. This is the first real occasion he has had to demonstrate the beliefs and personality of the Lib Dems and it worked. According to the site, he only received 12% of last night’s abuse. David Cameron however, was beaten about the face 50% of the time. The confusing thing is, watching Newsnight and again the BBC news this morning, they seem to feel that the Conservatives came out well from the debate. I really beg to differ. I thought the Tory leader came across impersonal, sleazy and very flustered. I don’t think he was as composed as the other two candidates. And I am still convinced that if he were to turn round you would see the face of Lord Voldermort jeering back at you!

Gordy (38% slaps) I think struggled a little. He looked uncomfortable at times, and his smile is a little disconcerting. But, personality wise he was . . . ok. It is difficult for him anyway as no matter what he says or does, the other two parties have a very quick and convenient comeback – Labour have had 13 years to address these issues, so why haven’t they?! What I did find entertaining was the way that Gordon Brown was trying to ‘steal’ votes from the Lib Dem quota. He is fully aware of the potential this debate holds for that party and Labour have portrayed them almost as an ally – if they can convince the floating voter that both Labour and the Democrats want the same ideals, they will unite against the tories. True? I am no political analyst so I have no idea. But it is the impression I gained. It was as if Gordy was trying to ‘tag-team’ the conservatives. “Love bombing” the BBC analysts called it in their own review. But Nick Clegg stood his ground and attempted to clarify the fact that he and his party were a clear and different option.

I know very little about politics, I have steered away from it most of my life because, at the end of the day, they will all make promises they can’t keep and there will always be an army of people waiting with pitch forks to condemn the already condemned. But I found last night’s debate fascinating, and so much more due to the Slapometer. But you have to also think about who is using this online tool. Do we think, stereotypically, the blues will be using it? Do we believe that the landed gentry and daily mail readers are online whilst watching? I am not so sure.

So, even though the genius Slapometer cannot give us an accurate poll as to what may come our way following May 6th, it is great fun! The second debate is on Thursday next week. I recommend you tune in and get your happy slap on!

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