The local elections flagged up how fed up everyone is with politics. So few people bothered to leave their TV screens and get out there to vote. It’s not good. Speaking as a woman, our right to vote was hard-won. Women died in the process. I value my vote. But the apathy hanging over the UK at the moment is very worrying.
It is clear to anyone who is even vaguely interested in what is happening in the House of Commons, that our current leaders have lost their way. Mr. Cameron, a nice young chap educated at Eton College, a boarding school that prides itself in producing the flowers of British manhood, is imprisoned in his head, like a stuck chrysalis in a corner of a stately home. (that may sound patronising, but I’m allowed to be, I’m a grandmother.) And as for the rest of us – well, you voted for him. But you were unsure at the time if he could cut it, so you brought Nick Clegg into the equation and ended up with two for the price of one. They have each other to bounce off, you thought. There is safety in numbers, you thought. The whole lot of them are rubbish, so let’s get them working together… some thought.
Sadly, it has all turned out to be an embarrassing mess. The cringing chaos of the last few months must have made even the most stalwart of Tory voters get tinnitus. The singing in the ears comes from hearing their leader spouting words that show how deeply out of touch he is. Liberal Democrat supporters will never find it easy to forgive or forget Mr. Clegg’s disingenuous speeches about students fees. There is a phrase in the Italian language: Bella Figura. It means self-respect, putting yourself in the best light possible, making sure you come across well for the benefit of others. The subtext to this phrase, means to me, that in caring about yourself, you care about others; particularly important when you are responsible for the day-to-day lives of millions of people as a Prime Minister and his government are. Our politicians need some Bella Figura…
And what about the dropped stitches in the Rupert and James Murdoch Knitting B? The whole jumper is full of holes and it’s clear that the knitting circle, though meeting regularly, had no idea what was going on outside their cosy roundelay. They were stitching up people’s lives in the most extraordinary way. Over the past few months, the Levenson enquiry has unsettled everyone and we come back to that old question: does anyone, anywhere, with power have any scruples, any morals, any common sense?
Then the sheer craziness of the media time devoted to the Cornish Pasty and tax thereof. Was this a distraction to stop us seeing what is really going on? A cynical view maybe, but in the light of the trillions of pounds that have vanished through the incompetence of the banks, could it be that some of that incompetence had spilled over into No. 10? Dare I say it, but the people in the so-called top jobs seems to have difficulty in waking up and smelling the coffee right underneath their noses.
The riots of last summer were terrifying. I wonder if we are all scared now. Seeing battleships in the Thames, guns perched on blocks of flats, media moguls squirming in front of judges, people too poor to buy food to feed their children, hundreds out of work, a dead baby found on a rubbish dump, crime beginning to increase everywhere – well, the picture is like turning the clock back. Are we really living in the 21st century? And all this is happening under Cameron and Clegg’s watch… Whether or not these events are as a direct result of incompetent governance is not the question. It’s the public perception that things are going seriously wrong, that life is not as it should be in the UK, with this current government.