“Simon who?”

There were blank faces all round as a panel of experts at Demos’s event last nightseemed to shrug “Simon Who?” in response to a question about the X-Factor Tsar

Westminster’s online movers and shakers were left stymied when asked about Simon Cowell’s plans to X-Factorise politics last night.

There were blank faces all round as the panel of experts at Demos’s “Is the internet really changing politics?” event seemed to shrug “Simon Who?” in response to a question from Left Foot Forward on Cowell’s widely publicised ideas to re-enfranchise the public.

Former Minister for Digital Engagement Tom Watson and the Tories’ Head of New Media Rishi Saha – both of whom have been tasked with getting more people involved in politics – hadn’t a clue about the planned programme, which would involve instant red-button reaction and text votes on a range of big issues with a hotline to number 10.

Outlining his proposals in an interview with the BBC, Cowell had said:

“If you went around the country now there would be five or six big big issues which i think are really really important in people’s lives.

There could be some kind of referendum-type TV show where you can speak on both sides and then open it up to the public to get an instant poll as to how they feel on the hot topics, that kind of show would interest me.

“It’s the sort of thing I’d like to watch beacuse now there are so many really, really, really hot topics and I think, well, for instance, should we or should we [sic] be in Iraq and Afghanistan? If you actually asked most people in the country why are we there, I, I couldn’t even tell you.

“I’m not sure why we’re there. I knew why we were in the falklands, I don’t know why we’re there.”

Left Foot Forward suggests that, if it ever came to pass, he’d probably have to amend a few of his famous put downs.

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