Does Simon Cowell have the political X-Factor?

No, is the basic conclusion of my article on Comment is Free today:

In reality, the X Factor could only dream of having as many voters as we take for granted in UK elections. Ten million votes may sound like a lot, but it is only two-thirds the number of people who voted in the European parliament elections this year and a third the number of people who voted in the 2005 general election. The campaign to get Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In The Name to deny Joe McElderry the Christmas No 1 also suggests that the X Factor can alienate the public as much as any MPs’ expenses scandal.

Read the full article here.


  1. I’m surprised this hasn’t drawn more comment across the blogosphere. Or maybe it’s just the ones I read

    As well as saying he has never voted one of the questions he said they could consider was “why are we still in Iraq and Afghanistan” – slightly missing the point that we aren’t in Iraq anymore.

    He also seems to think that issues easily split into a for and anti vote. Afghanistan certainly doesn’t, probably the nearest would be capital punishment but even with that there are some gradations over capital/non-capital murders.

  2. I am pleased that Simon Cowell has expressed an interest in politics as I believe we do need a change. Did you know that most of our MPs come from a background of Lawyers, Barristers and Solicitors. Whichever party gets in they (the lawyers, barristers and solicitors) alwys have an outright majority.

    A talent show is an ideal place for a singer to display their abilities but for a budding Politician viewers will only be able to get an idea of what they think about a contestant, they will not be able to get such an accurate account of what a politician might be capable of achieving whereas it was obvious to many people that this years X factor winner (and last years as well) were both really good singers.

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