Miserable Politics

The term of the current UK government expires on 10th May 2010, about six months from now. Following that, a General Election has to be held on or before the 3rd June 2010. For me it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs as I have no faith in either of the main parties, one of which will almost certainly be taking the reigns of government for the ensuing five years.

Maybe age brings cynicism but I’m sick of hearing manifestos in which each party lies about what they’re going to do if they gain power. There seems to be no accountability for misleading the public in this manner so parties are free to push the boundaries of unobtainability in their claims to ever more ridiculous lengths. The inter-party sniping that goes on year after year will also enter a period of increased activity with perpetual insults flying across the House. Constructiveness has ceased to be a requirement of government; he who makes the loudest attack on his opponent wins the debate by weight of derision.

Does it even matter any more which of the main parties wins? It seems that since Labour became New Labour, their policies are pretty well aligned with the Tories, leaving the minority Liberal Democrats holding the socialist reigns. With no main party to represent my views, I’m leaning ever further towards Europe as the best thing for Britain. I don’t care about the Euro replacing the Pound or the loss of our sovereignty, those are silly arguments with no substance created by the The Sun and their ilk. If Europe has a weakness, it’s not making enough noise about the good things it accomplishes. Of course, good news doesn’t make newspaper sales so our worthy tabloids steer clear of such things, instead filling their pages with important information about the X-Factor.

If only one of the main parties would state a clear policy on Europe instead of sitting on the fence for fear of losing votes. I mean, as a member of the public I should have a right to vote for a party based on its policies but unless they have the balls to tell me what they are, I can’t make an informed choice. I guess this is nothing new, party representatives have been avoiding difficult questions for years but with the approach of this election I feel less informed on how to make a good choice than I ever have before.

The situation may be bad for me but it’s much worse for the young generation. As step-father to two teenagers of voting age, I’m sorry to see they take no interest in politics at all. Once again I’m pretty convinced this comes down to the lame policies and lack of clear direction. I can’t think of one policy proposed by either party that would have a direct impact on their lives. It’s not as if one party is proposing to bring back student loans or reintroducing free public transport for students. How can they possibly make an informed decision? As a result they can’t be bothered with politics and I can’t say I blame them.

All in all it’s a pretty bleak outlook. I will certainly use my vote as it comes down to a matter of principle to do so but I worry that I won’t use it well and won’t even know what I’ve voted for in terms of policy. The next leader of Britain is likely to be the wittiest guy with the whitest teeth and the best family image. Welcome to America.

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