If you switch on the television or radio or surf the internet at the moment you might be forgiven for thinking there are only three things happening in the world right now – the UK’s pending withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit which never seems to end); Christmas (even though November is still in single figures and the powers-that-be can’t even wait until after Remembrance Sunday before beginning to assemble the Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens) and the election across the pond which will determine who will be the next President of the United States of America.
At the risk of sounding like Simon Cowell, if I’m being honest with you, I’m thoroughly weary of all three – particularly the tedious daily spat between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump which is constantly on our television screens like some shockingly bad soap opera. 2016
ITV’s breakfast offering, Good Morning Britain – or Good Morning England as I prefer to call it, given the scant attention it pays to Scotland (or northern areas as they refer to us when they do give us a mention) – broadcast live from New York on Tuesday morning. Presenters Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid were positively drooling with anticipation about the pending US election. Clinton said this, Trump said that, blah, blah, blah. Numerous political analysts were dragged on to give their thoughts on what might happen. It was almost enough to send me back to bed. The BBC, at least, had more measured coverage but, in our household, Mrs Smith does prefer ITV of a morning so I had to wait until my beloved departed for work before grabbing the remote control (now I realise why this device is called the remote – it’s kept as far away from me as possible…)
Frankly, I couldn’t give a Trump who wins the election. But it does peeve me that our broadcasters deem such blanket coverage of a foreign election to be absolutely essential. I can’t recall Good Morning England Britain giving anywhere near the same attention to the Scottish Parliament elections in May or even the Independence Referendum in 2014.
In my humble opinion, it’s all part of the increasing Americanisation of this country. When said Mrs Smith and I go out for a meal we are invariably greeted with ‘Hi guys’ by staff. It was Halloween recently and, while I am aware of its Scottish origins, it has become a huge event in the good old US of A. And now this country, naturally, just has to follow suit and do what the Americans do and celebrate to extravagance.
The plethora of sports channels now show American Football, baseball and basketball on a regular basis. When bad weather strikes the States, you can be sure it’s headline news over here and our weather forecasters will begin their broadcast with a forecast of what is likely to happen across the pond.
Social media is also going into a frenzy as the polls open across the water. Twitter has the hashtag #Election2016 – they don’t even feel the need to say US election as they clearly feel it’s of crucial importance to all of us. Likewise, Facebook, although I was heartened to see that the changing of a size of a certain triangle-shaped bar of chocolate was higher up the ‘trending’ list than #Election2016.
You may have gathered, dear reader, that I shall not be staying up all night to watch the relentless television coverage of the election results on Tuesday night. I shall be in my scratcher alongside my ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ contemplating how I will try to avoid the inevitable hoo-ha on Wednesday morning. ITV4 will be showing a 1974 episode of the situation comedy Man About the House at 6.00am – I may try and persuade Mrs Smith to watch that instead.
Although if the result of the US election means it will be a Man About the White House, I may just go back to bed….
The views of this grumpy old man are not necessarily shared by The Edinburgh Reporter