Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Lies and power

The political landscape in Britain has got a little more interesting over the past couple of weeks. Following on from David Cameron's address at the Tory conference the Conservatives seem to have staged a mini-revival. Or at least gained enough momentum to make Gordon Brown think again about holding a snap election.

As a former Economics A-level student I watched with interest yesterday (well that may be exaggerating a little, but I expect I watched with more interest than your average Briton) as Alistair Darling laid out his tax and spending plans for the future in his Pre-Budget Report and Spending Review. No yawning at the back there please. It had its entertaining moments but no matter how amusing it was to see the Chancellor and George Osbourne go at each other after the statement, my main issue with politics and politicians in general still remains and in my opinion taints and makes the void the point of having debate such as this in the House of Commons. Politicians lie. Not a new revelation I know but the bulk of my frustration comes from the way that they not only lie but avoid answering straight questions with straight answers. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen or heard interviews with MPs where to all intents and purposes the interviewer need not be there. The answers given bear no relation to the questions asked and it drives me loopy.

Politicians are the drug-taking athletes of the governmental world. How many times have we heard disgraced sportsmen protesting that they had no choice but to take whatever illegal substance they have chosen to imbibe if they wanted to be in with a chance of winning? They claim that almost all athletes are taking these performance enhancing substances and that they are merely trying to make it a level playing field. Well in the political arena I've no doubt that the same claims are made, albeit non-verbally, when attempting to justify the lies and question dodging. Let's say that a truly honest politician appears on the scene and is attempting to compete with the Browns and Camerons of this world in a general election. Elections and government in general is ultimately all about promises; what can they promise and who do the population believe will help us the most? A government has limited resources and so must decide which areas of society need the most funding and help. The honest man knows that and so will lay out his plans truthfully, identifying the areas he feels are most in need and admitting that other matters will have to be put on the back burner for the moment. The average politician does not do that. He/she will promise almost everything to everyone despite knowing that such plans are completely untenable. What's the result? The liar gets into power because he has promised more and the honest man heads home with nothing but his integrity. Thus the cycle of lying politicians continues.

Some may say I'm too cynical. Perhaps they're right. If I feel like this at 23, how bitter and twisted will I be by the time I'm 70? But as Catchphrase always taught me, I say what I see. What we need is two truthful politicians to enable honest debates and straightforward promises. What's that I see on the horizon? Oh it's a squadron of flying pigs...

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