Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A musical joke

It's probably a little unfortunate that Richard Younger-Ross is picking up so much coverage for his idiotic, timewasting early day motion about the Eurovision Song Contest. Since his dogged and determined Parliamentary lobbying against the Iraq War tends not to be reported, the casual observer might just assume that Younger-Ross is a bit of twit trying to draw attention to himself, which isn't the case at all.

Anyway, he has taken time and effort to bring the matter to the government's attention:

That this House believes that voting in the Eurovision Song Contest has become a joke as countries vote largely on narrow nationalistic grounds or for neighbour countries rather than the quality of the song; and that such narrow voting is harmful to the relationship between the peoples of Europe; and calls for the BBC to insist on changes to the voting system or to withdraw from the contest.

Actually, not only is treating the song contest as something worthy of the expense and time of processing an Early Day Motion a shocking waste of our money, but it's clear that Younger-Ross didn't pay any attention to the contest at all.

After all, following the last month or so of tension surrounding the resiting of a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn, isn't Estonia's gifting of twelve points to Russia less "harmful to relationships" and more an affirmation of friendship between the peoples of the nations? And that Serbia can win, despite having been so recently fixed as the centre of evil's gravity in the continent, and entering a rubbish song, says more about the restoration of a sense of normalcy in the Balkans than any number of biographies of Paddy Ashdown.

All this talk of countries doing favours for their friends and neighbours being bad just smacks of the unpopular child trying to wreck relationships because he's got nobody to play with at lunchtime. Is Younger-Ross really saying he wants the BBC to pull out unless they can guarantee Bosnia won't make any conciliatory gestures towards its neighbours ever again?


Sarah Ditum said...

I thought it was pretty awesome that the Netherlands gave Turkey 12 points, given the impression I've had of a rightwards-drift in Dutch politics.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering. Can anyone tell me if this sort of rubbish goes on in any of the other countries taking part? I mean are there any non-english sources of complaints about "political" voting? I guess it says a lot that I just presume that this is a purely British thing.

Anonymous said...

100% of our 19 points this year = political ones.

Someone ( http://chig.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_chig_archive.html#1030149418906230769 ) went and worked out what the result would have been if only Western countries had voted. Serbia won, two Eastern countries dropped out of the top 10 and were replaced by two other Eastern countries, and Scooch were still shite.

Ben.H said...

Webbo, there must be a website somewhere that collects this stuff, but for as long as I can remember the Netherlands and Germany have given their 12 points to Turkey, thanks to the number of "guest workers" in their countries.

Anonymous 1, the French always complain about losing, saying that everyone is biased against them because they sing in French.

The voting's always been political, but any system that put the UK, France and Ireland at the bottom this year must be doing something right.

Sarah Ditum said...

Ah, that makes sense, even if it isn't quite as utopian as my explanation. There's a very thorough study out there somewhere that maps trends in Eurovision voting - I heard an interview with the statistician who did it earlier today. Maybe I should have read that before I got all emotional.

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