The UK election campaign is grinding towards the vote on 6 May and as usual, foreign policy in general and development in particular won’t get much of a look in. If you want to do something about it, then visit ‘Vote Global’. Last night’s TV debate (which I really enjoyed – sure sign that I’m losing any remaining links to normality) between the leaders of the main parties was restricted to domestic issues, but hopefully we’ll see some foreign policy and development topics discussed in the remaining 2 debates.
It’s not just the make-up of the next government that makes this election so important – it’s the make-up of the next parliament. We’ll have a huge turnover of MPs in safe seats thanks to a large number of the current lot retiring and – if the polls are right – there’s likely to be a number of seats swapping hands between parties. Oxfam is preparing for the new intake, so if you want to put development issues firmly on their agenda – do it here.
One of the reasons for development’s relative invisibility in the campaign thus far is however, positive – the extraordinary level of consensus in UK politics on aid and development (for example they’ve all pledged to reach the aid target of 0.7% of GNI) makes it a non-story for journalists.
All three main parties (Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) have agreed to address poverty this Sunday (18 April) and here c/o the ONE campaign, are the three leaders gamely setting out their stalls on youtube. Enjoy (if that’s the right word……….)
and Nick Clegg
finally, Political Climate has some thoughts on the parties’ (and their supporters’) stance on climate change