On 6 April UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed that the next General Election will take place on 6 May and the campaign is now well under way, but it’s a curious affair. On the BBC radio, veteran political commentator Anthony Howard declared that this was so far the most boring campaign of the seventeen that he has covered as a journalist. The BBC’s chief political correspondent, Nick Robinson, has repeatedly described how, in carefully choreographed events, the leaders of the three main parties are concentrating discussions on very narrow policy areas and activities on the key marginals. In today’s Financial Times, Philip Stephens argues that though the leaders talk about the future, they are fighting in the past. Meanwhile, in his blog the FT’s Gideon Rachman complains about a ‘quite exceptionally dull’ campaign, despite the fact that the race is too close to call and that the polls are consistently indicating a hung parliament. All eyes are turning to an interesting innovation in this election – the televised debates between the three leaders (the first is this Thursday evening) – but unless somebody slips up big time these are unlikely to be decisive and, because of the need for extreme prudence, risk being staid affairs. In his comic column in Sunday’s Observer, David Mitchell wrote that: ‘Everyone is saying how exciting this year’s (election) is going to be because you genuinely can’t predict the result. This is a reason to engage, to enthuse, to speculate – all of which activity, like organising a wedding to breathe life into a failed relationship, disguises the awful truth that we don’t much care any more.’ As they put at the end of essay questions, ‘discuss’.