Politicians who take us for fools

First published in Peter Mullen The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THAT’S it. I’m not going to vote for them – any of them – any more. Politicians of all parties. The present Government is as bad as it gets, but Tony Blair and Gordon Brown tested my patience and so did John Major before those two creeps.

My exasperation is only partly owing to the fact that they never do what they promise. Take the Coalition, for example.

They say the great task is to tackle the deficit and put the country back on a sound financial footing. They told us how they would do this: they would cut state spending and introduce measures to get rid of business regulation and encourage growth.

But the fact is that, even according to the Government’s own statistics, there will be greater public spending next year than this year and increases again right up to 2015.

And they have not cut red tape and all the other suffocating business regulations. If anything, this straitjacket is being tightened.

Whatever happened to your promised “bonfire of the quangos”, Dave? I suppose the way your lot operates, you would have to set up yet another quango to attempt this.

They lie to us. They are greedy. They are still greedy, even after the expenses scandal caught them with their hands in the till – the taxpayers’ till, our till. But even these excrescences are not quite enough to prevent me from casting my vote. The last straw for me is the colossal banality, the sheer tackiness and cheapness, of our politicians. The way they patronise us. The way they speak to us. They treat us as idiots.

The western world faces economic meltdown.

So David Cameron nips off to the US and is flown on Air Force One to a basketball match with that other poser Barack Obama.

A basketball match of all numbskull activities.

They get themselves photographed drinking the undrinkable Miller Lite and eating inedible hot dogs. Why? They don’t normally do these things. Their usual diet is proper food, fine wine and the best of everything.

They do it because they want to persuade us that they are just like us, or as they would say in their nauseating demotic, “regular guys”. Are we convinced by these japes?

Are we hell.

The same goes for MR Cameron’s pastygate – a PR stunt which also involved lies, smoke and mirrors. And when Ed Miliband was interviewed recently by some schoolchildren, those whom our politicos refer to as “kids”, on BBC Radio Four he announced which pop band he likes to download.

Yuk! The whole political process has turned into presentation and showbiz: the governance of the country is an endless parade of images without substance or reality.

The political culture is indistinguishable from the lowbrow celeb culture.

Statesmen should bear themselves with a gravitas befitting their high office and their noble task. Can you imagine Winston Churchill or David Lloyd George getting up to the foolery we have to observe today? But you don’t have to go back 100 years to find ministers who conducted themselves with dignity. Even Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan did not perpetrate such gutter pantomimes as today’s lot. It doesn’t mean I expect them to be po-faced and deadly serious all the time. The best political wit of the last century was Winston Churchill.

Ah, but when Winston cracked a joke it was in the English language...

Comments (3)

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3:26pm Tue 3 Apr 12

grandmab says...

Hear Hear! When do we get the none of the above option on the ballot paper?
Hear Hear! When do we get the none of the above option on the ballot paper? grandmab
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Tue 3 Apr 12

Mod says...

Could not agree more.
The whole bunch; Tory, Labour and Lib Dem are so vacuous, ingratiating and shallow they could turn your stomach.
Running the Country with inspiration, dignity and integrity comes a poor second to their career ambitions. Charlatans, the lot of them.
Could not agree more. The whole bunch; Tory, Labour and Lib Dem are so vacuous, ingratiating and shallow they could turn your stomach. Running the Country with inspiration, dignity and integrity comes a poor second to their career ambitions. Charlatans, the lot of them. Mod
  • Score: 0

9:58pm Tue 3 Apr 12

RockBadger says...

Peter is once again mistaken about public cuts, or maybe living in the City of London he is unaware that councils around the country are having 25% cuts, leading to libraries closing and a whole host of other services cut or reduced. Not to mention hospital budgets cut. Here in the real world we have been suffering the cuts for a while.
It is also worrying how regulation is seen as purely bad. In fact many of the current troubles are due to lack of regulation of the financial sector. Regulation is there to stop the powerful exploiting their advantages. Just look at the last 20 years with deregulation of buses and the utilities.
I can see your point about politicians and image. There is a lot of this going on. However the problem is that this is what the general public expect and this is what most people use in making their decisions. Many politicians have suffered from how they come across so have no alternative. This has always been the case. Harold Wilson (who Peter claims wasn’t into this) smoked cigarettes but in public smoked a pipe as he was told it would go down better with the public, and had lessons to amend mannerisms. Winston Churchill was ultra image conscious, especially his early years when as Home Secretary he was often on the front line with the police trying to show himself as in charge. In his last years as Prime Minister he was of limited use, but was retained as Prime Minister just due to his wartime popularity. In America Roosevelt’s appearances were controlled so well most Americans were unaware he was in a wheelchair. Hopefully one day we can move beyond image.
Peter is once again mistaken about public cuts, or maybe living in the City of London he is unaware that councils around the country are having 25% cuts, leading to libraries closing and a whole host of other services cut or reduced. Not to mention hospital budgets cut. Here in the real world we have been suffering the cuts for a while. It is also worrying how regulation is seen as purely bad. In fact many of the current troubles are due to lack of regulation of the financial sector. Regulation is there to stop the powerful exploiting their advantages. Just look at the last 20 years with deregulation of buses and the utilities. I can see your point about politicians and image. There is a lot of this going on. However the problem is that this is what the general public expect and this is what most people use in making their decisions. Many politicians have suffered from how they come across so have no alternative. This has always been the case. Harold Wilson (who Peter claims wasn’t into this) smoked cigarettes but in public smoked a pipe as he was told it would go down better with the public, and had lessons to amend mannerisms. Winston Churchill was ultra image conscious, especially his early years when as Home Secretary he was often on the front line with the police trying to show himself as in charge. In his last years as Prime Minister he was of limited use, but was retained as Prime Minister just due to his wartime popularity. In America Roosevelt’s appearances were controlled so well most Americans were unaware he was in a wheelchair. Hopefully one day we can move beyond image. RockBadger
  • Score: 0

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