October 9, 2007

Truth, lies, and then there is politics (politicians)

Filed under: Politics/News — 4fooey @ 11:22 pm

Current thinking is so skewed (and I would firmly blame the media for the skewing, and in particular the newspapers, and to narrow it down further the tabloids..) that when something that everyone was wanting to happen (or at least they thought they wanted or were told in the media they wanted to happen) actually happens, then still everyone complains.

Let’s have an example – British troop withdrawels from Iraq. For months (if not years) many newspapers (much of the mainstream press) and various pundits have been advocating the ‘bring our boys home’ line for policy towards Iraq. So when Gordon Brown, UK PM, goes to Iraq and confirms 1000 troops will be “home for Christmas”, everyone is angry, accuses him of spin, the press stick the boot in to our new PM, and thus everyone’s opinion of him is dented. When the 1000 troop reduction was confirmed, why wasn’t everyone pleased? “Well done Gordon, you’re a good bloke” – we did not hear. (I happen to believe the complete withdrawel at this stage, or any stage until now, would be wrong – the current phased approach is the only proper way to do it.)

Today we have another example – last week the Conservatives announced they will (or rather “would like to” if they were ever elected into government and could get it through parliament) increase the threshold for Inheritance tax. This idea went down very well with all Conservative supporters (it would, wouldn’t it), and much of the press seemed to applaud this (funny that such an idea should be so widely welcomed, given that only 6% of the UK population pay this tax at present, so therefore it doesn’t actually affect many people). Now this week the UK Chancellor, Mr Darling (great name) has announced that he will adjust the threshold for Inheritance tax. Great, so we all think this is a good idea – no, everyone is angry again! The angriest of all are the tories, because they think the government has stolen their idea – this is ridiculous! An idea like this cannot be stolen, it’s either good or bad, worthy of our attention or not. They (the Conservatives and press) should be glad, that what they wanted is being done, but no. “Well done Mr Darling” – we did not hear this.

And another example – over the past 2 weeks in the UK, we’ve had the question of whether or not Gordon Brown would call an election. Rumours were put about that he may call an election. The rumours spread, and were not denied. The Conservatives said “bring it on”. The PM appeared to be dithering (so we were told of course), but of course, he announces that he isn’t calling an election. The tories tried to call his bluff, then he called their bluff – what bloody nonsense! In the end the public will forget this little episode, but it just shows how a party can ask for one thing (the tories demanding an election), not actually wanting the thing they are asking for (analysis shows that the tories would have lost), the media hyping it up, and everyone ending up a little confused and tarnished.

This is the strange thing about politics, and politicians in particular (and the press who report their games). Rather than coming up with ideas that are genuinely good in their own right, they spend most of their time trying to out-do and wrong-foot the opposition, the other lot. The 2-party system (or 3-party if you include the libdems) is ridiculous – why have parties at all? The idea is redundant. Why can’t we have the best people in parliament, simply working together on the best ideas for the country and all its citizens.


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