British politics: Brains, brawns and absolutely bonkers

Binoculars by Chase Elliot Clark (Source: Flickr)

By Emilia Jansson

Within less of a year since moving to the UK I have found myself amidst a general election. After Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election I am now able to experience everything that goes on during campaigning right until the results. During these past weeks I have noticed several differences in politics here and back home in Finland.

Firstly, what is the obsession with politicians eating food? British people have a reputation for being polite but I was not aware that table manners also showcased how well that person could deal with economic sanctions and funding for the NHS. The amount of scrutiny that Ed Miliband received when eating an innocent sandwich was slightly absurd, and let’s be honest – who can actually say they generally look attractive when eating?

On a more serious note the personal attacks on individuals in British politics is not a common campaigning trick at home. If you have walked to Lidl over the past few days you may have seen a giant billboard declaring Theresa May as a threat. The billboard is impactful, interesting and controversial but not anything I would ever see back home within politics with a direct attack on someone specifically. Sadly, I feel like the viciousness involved in the elections create a negative atmosphere and takes people’s attention away from the politics that matter.

Canvassing would never happen at home as it would be seen as invading someone’s privacy. However, Finnish people are known for being shy so that might not be surprising.

On a whole British politics is more entertaining and definitely a lot wilder than what I am used to. It is impossible to predict what will pop up in the newspapers as parties get creative to receive as much coverage as possible. However, if it makes politics in the UK more efficient is certainly debateable…

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