I know it’s naive of me to think that politicians are in it purely for the interest of all the people they serve. I’m sure that many start out that way yet power corrupts and it soon becomes apparent that self interest is the order of the day. The party system compounds the issue and the aim becomes to keep your party in power and, in this way, keep yourself in a job.
Not that being a Member of Parliament is an easy job. It may seem that way to us outside the bubble. The public complains that they claim huge amounts of expenses yet this is to run their office to address the needs of the very people that complain. The few MPs I have met work very hard and take their duties very seriously.
Listening to Rory Stewart on ‘The Rest Is Politics’ I realise now how hard it is for some MPs to get a job if they lose their seat. For many it is the only job they have ever done and, unless you have been in a ministerial position or have a national profile, life after Westminster can be a challenge. Many MPs have said that they are going to step down at the next election, in part as they feel the writing is on the wall and it is better to start looking for alternative employment now than wait until it’s perhaps too late.
I suspect though that many have become disillusioned with modern day politics and the tarnished reputations that come with it (see above comment about expenses). Politics has always been a grubby business but it is getting worse. The advent of social media has made mass communication of political messages much easier and, perhaps more importantly, much cheaper.
Gone are the days of knocking on doors or stuffing leaflets through the door. Now it’s about whipping up a Tweet, a FaceBook message, something on Instagram and, if you are still allowed, a TikTok video. To get your message through however, it needs to be eye-catching and the best way to do that is to appeal to the more extreme aspects of human nature. They don’t even need to be truthful as long as they appeal to your base.
So now we find that Sunak wants paedophiles to go free while Starmer let Jimmy Saville off the hook and wants to have every possible immigrant into the country. These ‘messages’ are clearly unbelievable and make a mockery of any serious issues they are trying to push. If these are the best they can do then why would we entrust any of them to look after our local services.
It’s election season again with polls taking place in May. You can’t vote for Sunak or Starmer in these ones as they are MPs and not councillors but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good scrap. Already the campaigns are bloody and are going to get much worse when the general election comes around in a year or so.
Remember these are only local elections! Get out and vote, if you are allowed.