The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Worst Year For Politics Since Last Year

Posted by The Futility Monster on December 31, 2009 @ 10:23

Yes, Really...

It’s funny how, as the years go by, the reputation of politics continues to decline. Year after year of disaster on top of another has that effect, I suppose.

But this year really did take the biscuit. The obvious thing has been the long-running expenses saga, which now threatens to become an annual event unless Parliamentarians really get to grips with the matter.

The problem about it this time is that it wasn’t the huge fiddles – like “flipping” the designation of your primary residence to avoid capital gains tax on taxpayer subsidised houses – that caught the imagination.

Unfortunately, it was the little ones. The hob nobs. The trouser presses. And yes, none other than the famous duck house.

All of this changed the way we view politics and political behaviour. We’re more cynical now than ever of the motives of anyone who wants to engage in the process. In many ways, it wasn’t the greed that did it. It was the fact that many of the headlines could never have been imagined in even the dreams of the most imaginative satirist. Allow me to illustrate.

“Politicians are corrupt, manipulative, lying bastards” – completely unshocking. Film at 11.

“Politicians are such grasping, cheating shits that they claim for poppy wreaths, 88p bath plugs, moats, bell towers, domestic servants, duck houses, packets of biscuits, presents for relatives, and even porn” – SHOCKER!!

You see? It’s the specificity that does it. Those little details are like the tiniest brushstrokes that mean nothing at close view, but there are so many of them, and once you step back you see they spell the words, “YOU’VE BEEN HAD”.

This extremely damaging bandwagon started with the merest snowflake and turned into an avalanche. Drip drip news is always more dangerous than the big exposé with no follow-up.

And the sad part is that this one still has a long way to go. 2009 will remain in the memory for a very long time for how it started the “cleansing” of the system. It will continue to reverberate into 2010 because of the impact of the forthcoming general election, which will provide a chance to the public to sweep this sorry lot under the carpet. Whether it carries on beyond that is down to the politicians themselves, but if it does, expect the negativity to sink to new, unrecoverable lows.

2009 simply has to be the worst year for politics ever. And there have been some bad ones lately.

Personally, I don’t think it can take any more. This has to be the last one. It has to be the absolute bottom of the trend, or we really will be calling on Simon Cowell to save the day.

Fingers crossed for a better 2010.

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