Here are ten words that I predict will receive very few mentions in this evening’s leaders’ debate on ITV – the only scheduled televised confrontation in the run-up to the UK general elections on 7 May.
Not random words of course, but things that you might reasonably expect the parties represented to care and differ about. Things that voters ought to know in order to make up their mind.
I suggest using them for election debate bingo this evening. In some circles this has become a popular game: listing words or terms that participants are likely to use, and crossing them off as they are said. I thought we could make that game a little bit more interesting for this evening by suggesting ten words that, despite their political relevance, are likely to remain in the margins. Write them onto your bingo form and there will be suspense until the end of the debate – can one of them please mention…?
2. Drugs. Past governments have wilfully ignored evidence that the UK policy on drugs is ineffective.
3. Ukraine. Escalation of this conflict will have repercussions all over Europe and the UK cannot afford to remain a bystander.
4. TTIP. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – this deal between the US and the EU would see corporations getting much greater power to get around national legislation.
5. Gender pay gap. The most prominent of a range of gender equality issues that have the UK trailing other European countries.
6. Mental health. The achilles heel of the NHS.
7. Palestine. The re-election of Netanyahu in Israel implies that the road to peace remains long, while the wounds of the latest Gaza war haven’t healed at all.
8. Cycling. Prevention is the easiest way to reduce the cost of the NHS and the public health benefits of cycling are uncontested.
9. Flooding. A constant risk to many areas of the UK with far-reaching economic (as well as human) consequences.
10. Airport expansion. The grotesque PR war between Heathrow and Gatwick distracts from greater strategic questions about the north-south divide and climate change.
Crossed them all? Tweet BINGO to @DialoguebyRemco to claim your prize.