On Twitter, I recorded the generic things that annoyed me about politicians of all parties and political journalists, during the UK’s European and Local Elections, as I thought of them #ThingsPeopleHateAboutPolitics. I’ve added some more. My big surprise has been that there are so few. I believe that addressing these few concerns would largely address many people’s disaffection with politics.
- Politicians don’t seem to have any core beliefs they are willing to stand behind. They appear to want whatever we want. [ Clearly they do have beliefs, so why are they hiding them? We are suspicious of hidden motives. ]
- Politicians don’t answer the questions they are asked but give a pre-prepared mini-speech. [ They are clearly afraid that they might accidentally tell us what they REALLY think ]
- Politicians aren’t allowed to admit they make mistakes by other politicians or journalist [ but we don’t see any evidence that they have learned from them .]
- Humans make errors. Real People admire those who admit their mistakes, apologise (but only if sincere) and change. Denying an obvious error is indistinguishable from lying.
- Everything is always the fault of the last lot but they haven’t had time to do anything about it yet.
- Misleading statistics are used to back up the spin and no one gives us an informed, balanced commentary any more.
- In any debate, party politicians are more interested in point scoring than conveying useful information to the electorate.
- Politicians tell us what to think but don’t explain why. It is condescending and insulting.
- There is a pointless emphasis on politician’s ability to recall facts and statistics rather than come up with good ideas.
(I hope the Prime Minister has better things to do than go to the corner shop to get bread and milk for Number 10. I know he has better things to do than learn to fake it.)
- Politicians who are discovered to have done something wrong, seem to think their sin was getting caught rather than the lying, affairs, fiddled expenses or racism.
- Parties claiming that they have a mandate for every daft idea in their manifesto, because they were elected as the ‘average least-bad’ option, is really annoying. If they believe it they’re stupid; if they don’t they’re dishonest. Just don’t.
- Don’t bitch about how the other parties are funded unless you have a proposal for how to fix it. You get your money somewhere and your principles are corrupted by that too. Generally, avoid hypocrisy; we can smell it.
I thought it was best to get these out of the way before addressing my concerns about individual parties. I welcome suggestions of anything I missed.