What do we do with the washed-up politicians?
I have a dilemma about the future of politics. I don't know where it's going. Will we be forever stuck in the gutter, with politics and politicians run down and political campaigns seen as a litany of one-upmanship? The reason I ask, partly after having read this article by George Trefgarne, is because I can't see the way out of the vicious circle we're in. At the moment we see one party put forward a policy (in the latest instance the Tory spending plans), the other party explodes in a frenzy of overstatements and misrepresentations, both are condemned as politicking by the third party, who then go on to politic with their own alternative in slightly less convincing terms, and we bemoan that this is debate.
As I have written below, I do think part of the responsibility falls upon us as the electorate. We are fickle enough to electorally bin a party which doesn't assert itself in this way (look at the assertions in relation to Iain Duncan Smith in the UK: for all his faults he did try to strike a better tone) and in a recent poll said that lack of trust would not influence how we would vote. Do we really want the same thing to happen but for everyone to engage in platitudes about "always talking straight so we'll be honest here"? Or do we, in the great British tradition, just like to moan? It's almost become a national refrain for the unthinking to slur against all those in politics. Politicians have perhaps become the scapegoat of our age because we cannot engage with their inner-minds in the same easy way we can with all sorts of other people in this electronic age. The problem is I worry we're here for the long-run. We just want to be careful no party ever tries to grab the powers they might think they need to deal with every problem in the country, many of which they're blamed for.