Saturday, 9 November 2019

The games they play

In all my life I cannot recall a general election so completely without energy. If I hear anything on the wireless about it I immediately switch it off. I don't want to know. I don't want to listen to smarmy politicians and shrill activists. Particularly I'm not interested in the bidding war for votes which is becoming ever more unhinged as though there were limitless capacity to borrow and spend. They're all at it.

Worse still is the way in which this election has become a game of political assassination. Kate Osborne, the Labour candidate for Jarrow, is apparently in hot water by way of posting the above image. 27 female Labour MPs had petitioned the central party, unsuccessfully it seems, to prevent her from standing. Liz Kendall, Jess Phillips and Yvette Cooper are among those (quelle surprise) who say in a letter that such images incite violence.

The image itself is just a pop culture meme based on Pulp Fiction which most people have seen or are at least aware of. It's so hackneyed it couldn't possibly be construed as anything sinister. It could just as easily apply to any politician repeating slogans devised by campaign chiefs. It could just as easily be "Long term economic plan" with David Cameron in the frame.

No doubt the words "Jo Cox" at some point will be uttered if they haven't already. I don't care enough to find out. I don't even know who Kate Osborne is and I don't care. There may be a hundred good reasons for her not to stand but this most certainly isn't one of them.

But as it happens Osborne has survived this assassination attempt for now but several other candidates have not - meaning that anyone with a sense of humour or strongly held opinions with the potential to offend the snowflakes is disbarred from entering politics. And then we wonder why we get the dross we get.

To be quite honest with you I'm struggling to care about politics right now, especially because of this baloney, not least having been a target of cry bullying and faux outrage. I'm inclined to vacate the field and let them get on with it. I'm certainly not going to gratify it by voting. What I want to see is politicians setting out coherent policies for the future, especially regarding Brexit, but instead the election has turned into a full scale moronathon.

The depressing part of it is this is very much their comfort zone. This is the politics they love. This is the politics the media loves. This is what they love for. This election has given them the much desired opportunity to drop all of the difficult technical stuff in favour of virtue signalling and showboating. Had they any self-awareness they would realise it is this exact conduct that makes us despise them so very much. If the likes of Yvette Cooper et al are the target of bitter invective then this is why.

In times like these you can actually be forgiven for thinking we are better off being ruled by unelected bureaucrats - but only if we are spared the inanity of elections. For all that we've campaigned to "take back control" we are handing that control to narcissistic wastrels and morons. We lack the capacity for good governance. Statecraft is now a dead art.

Right now we need mature and competent politics more than ever but we are nowhere close to it. As much as anything the electorate are fifty percent of the problem. We complain when politicians lie to us but what we really mean is they're not telling lies we approve of. Politics will only improve when we stop feeding the beast, when we stop reacting to careful crafted talking points and demand credible answers from credible people.

The sad truth of the matter is that unless we the people are prepared to put our foot down and stop indulging this kind of politics by voting for them, then the leper colony on the Thames is the best we can ever hope for from our politics. The profound incompetence we have seen in respect of the Brexit process is just a symptom of a far deeper malaise to which Brexit of itself brings very little remedy. Brexit may be part of the solution but unless there is sea change in how we do politics then Britain is condemned to eternal decline whether we leave the EU or not.

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