Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Right All The Time?

Immigration has been forgotten by this morning. I Wuz Right!

The Tories have unveiled their election manifesto, which is the main reason why immigration didn't last quite so long. Of course, the content of the manifesto is irrelevant, since no one reads them and the political correspondents who do the elbow-work on our behalf only report selected fragments filtered via a mesh of cynicism.

But the event is more important than what it contains. It's a sure fire way of getting the headline media focus just for a day, and more attention for the personality politics of this election.

Predictably, the calls have come that the "sums don't add up." There's not a day that goes by without this allegation being hurled. Yesterday the Lib Dems sums didn't add up. The Tories like to say they are predicting certain doom in the economy if Labour is re-elected because "their sums don't add up." Even the Scottish Nationalists have got in on the act, and Labour have told them... you guessed it... that their "sums don't add up".

It's hardly surprising that people get fed up with politics. It's a tedious mass of the same old claptrap being bandied about day-by-day. And yet, no one is actually lying. They're simply selectively using data, or only disclosing a less than complete picture. Being economical with the truth.

Thus, politicians are allowed to live in this fantasy world where everyone is right and everyone is wrong simultaneously. It's no small wonder that people think they're from another planet.

If only we had the election tomorrow...


At 4:49 pm, April 11, 2005, Blogger Matt said...

They say the art of politics is to understnd the virtues of both sides of the argument and to then carry on believing and arguing your case. It seems the only way a lot of today's politicians can do this is through this selective use of information. Since, as you say, they can not actually be repremanded for lying, they're home free. It has never been easier to whip up a fear frenzy at some improbable event or even a concept.

The truth is that until enough people are seriously interested in the political process, and actually read manifestos and at least slightly analytical information, the people on high are free to fabricate, spin and extrapolate on issues which they think are important to us.

At 9:49 am, April 12, 2005, Blogger Eddie said...

Politics is inaccessible to most people. They may try to keep up with events, but when the discussion turns to "whose sums add up" they eventually switch off and find something better to do. I don't blame them.

When it comes to deciding who to vote for, a lot of people end up working from their gut feeling as to who they think it right for the country/them.

Perhaps politics has always been this way. It may be a problem with our culture that we have got used to this comfortable groove of apathy we reside in. Even the people who vote will probably tell you that their vote will likely not make any difference. That's a real shame, and it's why politicians get away with all the stuff you describe.

The problem is that I don't know where the solution is. Re-engaging people to take an active role is very difficult. Sure they can be whipped up into a frenzy every now and then, but this is largely passive and reactionary.


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