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How did politics alienate a nation?

The country is full of educated and insightful people. They will discuss the length and breath of politics with ease because the policies do contain variety and the political figureheads do appear to present different characteristics from time to time. There is often lively and passionate debate and the news stations fulfill their due diligence by giving the run up to elections their share of footage.

But, an underlying issue that has been growing for some time now, has remained unresolved. The majority of the British people have lost all faith in politics. They have no respect for the individuals campaigning and even less hope for an outcome in the general election that will actually benefit anyone but the politicians themselves. We can dance around this issue by raising these educated points:

  • the policies are becoming too similar – left and right wings have become murky waters as politics seems to be occupying central territory
  • There are no powerful public speakers or stand out leaders among Cameron, Miliband, Clegg, Farage that can sway public opinion with any gusto
  • The American style of promotion and theatre does not suit British politics and is turning voters off rather than on
  • In a world of stress and heavy work schedules people just do not have the head space for politics and they are not convinced the result will have any real effect on their current lifestyle

But these are polite points. They would cause a small drop off in voters and procrastination in others. What leads to disillusionment is something embedded into the hearts of voters that leads to annoyance, celebrated ignorance, anger, disinterest and worse of all total abandonment. I am a woman and as is the case for many of our kind, the memory of the suffragette struggle, ensures my trip to the ballot box. If it wasn’t for their passion, fight and sacrifice I would have been tempted to let this one pass me by.

Not because I consider myself out of touch with the political policies, ignorant to the importance of our democratic system, or bone idol, but because I genuinely can’t see a positive outcome given what I have seen to date. So here are seven points that are brutally honest and run around my brain whenever I see any of the local or national candidates pledging their service to their party and to the people:

1. U-Turns

It has to be top of the list. Anyone who voted for the Liberal Democrats at the last election will have noted that their 0% tuition fees policy was abandoned as Nick Clegg agreed to (or should I say wholeheartedly supported) tuition fee hikes as proposed by the Conservative wing of the coalition. So, when presented with a more powerful position in the lime light unfortunately party policies take a back seat, or rather are abandoned entirely, by politicians.

2. Left verses Right

A coalition between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives four years ago essentially united two parties that stood at polar opposites on the politics spectrum. I mean come on the words liberal and conservative themselves sum up this utter divide in viewpoint and yet they ran the country together….how did that happen and why were we not more vocal about it?

3. Expenses scandal

Politicians knowingly defrauded the system that our taxes fund by putting in expenses claims for money they were not entitled to. That is theft and in any other company no cover-up would have ensued and the employees would have felt ashamed and hopefully bad about their actions. Not in politics where everything can be defended and mind boggling issues become minor errors of judgement that happen in any institution – do they? How do we trust politicians who chose to enhance their extortionate pay packets with more perks that we paid for? It infuriated me then and it still does now.

4. Childish

They hurl insult after insult at each other like bickering school children in Prime Ministers Questions. Isn’t that a serious sign of a broken system. Instead of concentrating on real issues they choose to poke fun at each other like they are trying to impress their mates. Enough said on this one, it speaks for itself.

5. They never answer the question

They all do this religiously and it is annoying to watch and ultimately tells the audience one thing – they do not want to answer the question because the answer would be damming to them. We always know the answer so why can’t these serious party leaders answer something straight. Just tell the truth, apologise if you need to, admit a weakness and then rebuff it with your strengths, but don’t just dodge the question. It makes you look like complete idiots.

6. They are detached from real life

Some of the one liners they come out with quickly tell us all we need to know about what they actually understand about life for working men/women. I could list all the faux pas but I think it is more important to list the statements made or sentences spoken that resonated with the voters and made them feel like politicians were on their exact wavelength and not preaching from atop an ivory tower.

I didn’t find any of those.

7. Likeability

It is not a competition based on their looks, humour and charisma. But there are some similarities that I find robotic, false, engineered…because of course they are. The scenes with family, children, babies etc etc that show them in a particular light. Staged perfectly for maximum exposure. Those slick, gelled hair cuts, crisp shirts, immaculately shaven faces, moisturised glowing skin…well there is just something a little smug and slippery about it all isn’t there? I don’t like politicians, well there is the occasional one, but in general not so much.

So will it be a hung parliament? I genuinely hope so because that, and only that, will be a true representation of what this nation is thinking. We don’t know who to trust. We don’t know if they even care about what people live with on a day to day basis. And, how can we possibly know if the policies they enter term with will be the ones they stick with when the time comes and it matters most.

Show us a politician with integrity, character, and drive who is down to earth and we will vote for them…where is that person?

Next week I shall endeavour to compare the political policies of each party so we are somewhat the wiser on who shall get our disillusioned vote in May. I vote out of duty and pride and neither of those are currently levelled at this nation or its politicians.