17 June, 2008

Is Westminster off the public network?

I mentioned, in a post a couple of days ago, how I just wasn't interested in Westminster politics. Alex responded that he was only interested because it was like a giant, real life, soap opera. This is a view I can certainly sympathise with, it's simply that I just don't like soaps either!

What is striking, however, is that the majority simply aren't interested, and even those who are interested only pay attention because Westminster is so remove from real life.

I strongly agree with this article which observes that whilst people are very political in their day to day lives (they recycle, they buy fair trade, their volunteer) and are passionate about causes which directly affect them (NHS patients not being able to 'top up' their cancer treatment, choices of school, congestion charging) they don't care in the slightest about the politics of Westminster. I asked in a previous post what the point of party politics was, I now add another criticism that it further distances politicians from the people they are meant to serve. People don't care about an overall ideology on freedom vs equality any more (well, actually, that one would interest me, but I suspect I'm in the minority. And, as the article observes, if any politicians said he believed in less centralisation, I wouldn't believe him anyway!), they care what their MP is going to do about issue XYZ.

People resent being told 'you're stupid' or 'you made a mistake'. When campaigns such as the 'yes' vote in Ireland are based on that, no wonder people voted 'no'.


Stalin said...

What are you talking about? Referendums on the EU is democracy in action. And if the people make the wrong choice, we simply use democracy to make them reselect correctly. Whatever the people want, we'll make sure that they want what we want, eventually.

Miss Middle of Manchester said...


but of course that's what I meant!