Saturday 31st March
It seems that there is a real dissatisfaction with politics at the moment. People were seduced by the smoothness of Blair, and the reasonableness of Blair-Lite Cameron, and for a moment by the apparent breath of fresh air of Clegg, but like a lot of Chinese take-away food, none of it satisfies somehow. In fact after you have eaten it, it leaves a cloying and irritating taste in your mouth, because try as you might you cannot get rid of it. But it is even more than the characters, unsavoury and nondescript as they are, it is the whole political system. Maybe we just need a politician to hold his or her hand up and say “You know, actually, we can do very little, all I can promise you is that we will try to manage events as best we can, we will not take bribes or try to be influenced too much by big business or the unions, and we will consult you if anything crops up that we haven’t talked about already. I know that doesn’t sound much like a programme for Government, but honestly that is the best we can offer, anything else would be lies.” And you know they would be crucified by the press and the commentators if they did.
But in all reality that is about all that under the current system anyone can do. And even if we had a much better (perfect is too much to hope for) system of responsibility and real consultation and engagement with people the world is so interconnected that there ‘ain’t any real hope of substantial change anyway. Companies would simple up and move their car production or their Insurance headquarters elsewhere if the public’s views were really acted upon. The reason that there is so much unhappiness with politics is not the lack of honesty, we quite expect our politicians to lie to us, it isn’t the lack of consultation, most people would soon tire of having to express an opinion about education or changes to the NHS; it is the knowledge that unless the whole world changes our politicians are at best simply tinkering around with a broken system.