Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Disillusioned with politics and politicians

It's never been my intention to use this blog to post political views but I've just been watching the 10 o'clock news on TV and seen an exchange between David Cameron and Ed Milliband at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons. It was yet another example of 'yah-boo' politics with no meaningful debate and no real outcome. It's not really any wonder that ordinary people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with politics as we watch our political leaders play to the cameras and bend and sway to the whims of the media and  corporations.

I've recently finished reading Damian McBride's book, "Power Trip: A decade of policy, plots and spin". McBride was Gordon Brown's press officer. In other words a spin doctor. Regardless of your political views it is a fascinating insight into the world of policy, and government decision making.


In the final chapter McBride, who was forced to resign in 2009 following revelations about his rather questionable practices, reflects on the current state of British politics. Setting aside any views of him personally,  I think he summarises the situation perfectly:

"Our political system is set up to expose human frailties.....  It's the cut-throat competition to be selected, elected and promoted, and the macho bear-pit of parliamentary debate; it's the booze-fuelled largesse and the late nights of Westminster, and the ever growing distance from the people that put you there; it's the worship of money, praise and favour, and the desperate kowtowing to those - including the media - who dispense them; it's the short-term motives behind most decision making, and the partisan impulse to disagree for disagreement's sake".

What a damning indictment of modern politics that is.

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