Allegations of bloc voting by the East Europeans certainly marred this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with the UK coming joint 22nd with my personal favourite, France. With outfits by Jean-Paul Gaultier they certainly looked the part – cool cheesy – as they pranced around the stage in a kind of Freddie and the Dreamers impression.
Given that the ‘voting pattern on the night would have done credit to an old-style Soviet election’ it does seem that our only hope of winning again is to enter the home nations separately, with the English voting Scots, Scots for the Welsh, Welsh for the Northern Irish and Northern Irish for the English. (If the Balkan states can come to such an arrangement and vote Serbia, given all they’ve been through, I’m sure we can manage.)
It would be tempting to let the Irish Republic in on this arrangement, but even they admit bloc-voting wasn’t what brought them down but a ‘taste gap’ between Ireland and everybody else. That is to say, nobody else is into ‘twidly-dee’ music, even when the lyric sounds like a slightly mistranslated east European saying (try saying this out loud in a Russian accent): ‘You can scare the blackbird… but you cannot stop the Spring.’