Last night while the News Channels continued to dissect the Joe the Plumber phenomenon Channel 4’s “Dispatches” strand featured a documentary called “Bobski the Builder” which you can watch via their i-player-esque catch-up device here. The programme was part-voyeuristc property show part reality tv as two couples had a home extension each done by respectively an English and Polish builder to test the stereotypes of them as “tea-drinking, crack-showing layabouts” vs  “flexible, hardworker, really, really hardworker” (sic). You could have made an interesting programme about the stories behind the Poles who are offering their services in the building trades these days but this wasn’t it. It’s reductivist logic egged on the couples to make sweeping generalisations about both sides. The result was watchable but wholly unsubstantial/unsatisfying.   

As for Joe the Plumber, or Joe Wurzerlburger as McCain called him, his actual name is Sam Wurlzelbacher, he doesn’t turn over $250,000 dollars a year (so won’t be adversely affected by Obama tax plans), he’s been exposed as defaulting on his current tax-bill and isn’t even is licencsed plumber. He is enjoying his 15 minutes though. According to the New York Times he said on Thursday “I’m kind of like Britney Spears having a headache. Everybody wants to know about it.” Which is weird beacuse McCain, the man trying to expolit this not-so-average Joe for his own ends, once likened Obama to Britney.

Just over a fortnight then it’s all over anyway.

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