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“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” - Socrates

Existential Crisis

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  If  you’re old enough, you can probably cast  your mind  back to  a time when you had at least  some respect for politicians. When you believed it actually made a difference if you voted for one party instead of another.  Try to think back to  the time when you had confidence in the decisions made on your behalf  and weren’t  even looking for some ulterior agenda. It is quite worrying when many can’t even remember that far back, but the most profound change in the political arena  has  arguably occurred in more recent times  with the rise of the political class.

 

     We now  have shameless examples of politicians'  behaviour  through  their: misuse of expenses, their  actions in influencing decisions on behalf of third parties,  and a  complete cynical disregard towards  what the public  thinks of their actions. This insidious phenomenon  has been helped along by  factors such as,  weak (or  in some ways a complete absence of) robust  media scrutiny, their abuse of  power through their willingness to promote  corporate lobbyist agendas  and a presumption that somehow the public  might not notice their fickle duplicity.

 

    It is the flagrant disregard  for what the public thinks  which has, in many ways,  become the hallmark of the political class.  They have set themselves above  mere mortals. Some acting as though they are  custodians of realism, convinced if they assert something as being true enough times, people will eventually believe it.  They protect their profiles like celebrities,  using  teams of spin  doctors (often  in collusion with our  independent  media)  to ameliorate  the  impact  their  stance or decisions may have on people’s perceptions  of  them.  And, like anyone who wants to look  their best, everything has  to be dressed  up  making  sure people  see the best side  of everything.

 

    Upon this celebrity journey they  must make sure they make the most of their time in politics and  of each opportunity which presents  itself.  To  many  MP’s  it seems perfectly acceptable to seek to change some law or policy  on behalf of  an organisation willing to pay for their influence,  regardless  of the detrimental effects or disadvantage this may have on individuals or  other  organisations.  We  truly live in a globalised  world  when  many  lobbyists are actually acting on behalf  of  organisations from outside the UK.  By hook or by crook the bribes  eventually find their way to their intended  recipients  with the appearance of being earned through legitimate means;  and let’s  not  forget  to mention the lucrative careers  which suddenly materialise for  some wholly unqualified MP’s once  they  move on  from politics. 

 

    Unfortunately, it is clear  we cannot rely on the procedural systems within Westminster  to bring anyone to book.  For instance, there have been many whitewashed independent  public enquiries in recent times when their outcomes  have become hopelessly predictable.  We cannot even  rely on Commons committees  to even ask  the  most basic and pertinent questions to bring people  to account. If  anyone thought we could rely on  the impartiality  and robustness  of our independent media, they are sadly mistaken. The days of independent media are  long gone. It’s been replaced with monopoly ownership, corporate agendas, and  increasing media bias at their benefactors' behest. Time and again, news which most people would think is important  either  does not get the airtime it warrants  or is  simply not reported  on by the conventional  media.

 

     And so, it’s no surprise  how our beloved political class  make the most of their careers, grasping any and every  opportunity for remuneration  whilst seeking  to maintain an unblemished  profile.  All we can hope for, is that those going into politics  do it for the right reasons  and have enough integrity to reciprocate some of  the trust voters  placed in them in the first place. 

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