Just mucking about with words. Thoughts may not be my own.
I would like to be certain.
It must feel like a much more secure position.
I read people who are certain. I watch them on discussion shows. I hear them on radio phone ins. It don’t think it’s an act. They are sure that they are sure.
Unfortunately, due to the company I keep and the books on my shelves, my ignorance is flamboyant. Each effort to cure it just puts another peacock feather in it. The problem with being driven by curiosity rather than a raging desire to be right, is that your 100%, definite, this is the correct answer, the right way forward, the dogma that drives me to Olympus, gets further and further away.
Politics seems the hardest to grasp. It’s news coverage seems to be driven by creating penny dreadful melodramas, so the facts seem to be barely flirted with, for fear that a whiff of evidence based thinking will castrate the rampant stud bull that spurts out the intrigue and gore and lurid tales.
I wish I had fallen for Farage, the fag ash messiah who is exalted and worshipped as he is placed high on a plinth made of margarine and dripping. I don’t think I have seen such fundamentalist adoration and certainty over a political leader since Margaret Thatcher, and that seemed to be backed up by far more than Farage has.
I am confused as to why the Conservatives are seen as no longer representing the right thinking, right-minded, right winger anymore. Much was made of same sex marriage, was the exclusivity of heterosexual marriage really the sand the house of true Conservatism was built on? To my whimpering liberal mind, they seem to have been reasonably bullish in selling off all that is left, in breaking pre-election promises on health, on kow-towing to business and finance and ushering perpetual austerity for the poor, and TTIP for the oligarchs and new noblemen of the corporate.
I have no idea what the Lib Dems have been doing, but their silk pantaloons have been splashed with mud as they held the gate open for the carriages to charge through.
I am utterly confused by Labour and have no idea how they serve the purpose of an opposition. Those “difficult sandwich” snapshots of Milliband seemed so unjust, but sadly, the hamfisted bacon battle became an increasingly apt metaphor as the year progressed.
Now, I have heard of some other parties, called the NHA Party and The Greens, but I see scant evidence for their existence on most platforms, so have to view them as equivalent to rumours of a panther on a Cornish moor.
In terms of party politics, I have never felt more lost on who to vote for, on who really stands for what, on who is interested primarily in the people of the country and who is primarily interested in the profits of a few. And the mass media seems to offer less and less help. I think a Panini sticker book of policies and ethics would be more useful than the Saturday Guardian.
I am suspicious we are all victims of willful obfuscation, but it has now gone on so long that almost no one has a clue, but they won’t admit it. Meanwhile, a few rub hands with glee as they see this grand confusion, and pickpockets stealthily.
As you can see, I haven’t a clue what I am talking about.
There needs to be more critical thinking taught in schools, and in the rest of life too. It takes time to scrutinise, I better start pointing my curiosity in the most pragmatic direction.
I am off to Salford, Berwick, Edinburgh, Swindon and beyond, to Australia and the USA – all tour details etc are here http://www.robinince.com
Utter Shambles podcast returns as Cosmic Shambles with Josie Long and me HERE
Reblogged this on Degrees of Imperfection.
I share your dismay. I first got interested in politics in the late sixties – it was so different then. I supported The Voting Project on Kickstarter, hoping it might at least make people think about policies – that seems to be secondary now – but it didn’t get enough pledges to take off. I’m looking at the Green Party because they seem to be the only ones not embarrassed to talk about real reforms and principles, although I don’t agree with everything they say. Is it our voting system that’s wrong? The media, joyously feeding knee-jerk reactions to false claims by politicians without ambition for anyone except themselves? Plain vanilla corruption giving business all the real control? Why does every discussion centre on money, not the well-being of people?
No matter who you vote for – you will end up with the same corporate lackeys all working for the billionaire psychopaths who rule this planet. The only thing that will ever make a difference is global disobedience. To vote for any of these despicable clowns is to surrender your every right to call yourself a free thinking human being. The choice is yours.
I disagree; that kind of thinking has left us with apathy and a two party system that needs to be broken up.
My vote will go to either the NHA Party, or the Green Party if the NHA Party don’t field a candidate, maybe an independent, if they are truly independent and not simply a neoliberal in sheeps clothing!
I don’t expect either party to form a government, but I do want the neoliberals of the Conservative and Labour Parties to sit up and take notice that I won’t accept their ideology!
The political parties aren’t interested in putting forward a philosophy that they believe in, they want to give us something they think we might believe in. My perception, as a relative layperson, is that with the UKIP landslide in the European elections, the major parties are now blatantly trying to emulate UKIP. Racism is “in,” so the Tories are going, “We’re a little bit racist, too,” and Labour are going “We’re not a little bit racist yet but we could LEARN!” What are people who aren’t a little bit racist to do?!
Clarity, frankly, is what the main parties urgently need, and in the longer term, they need not to have policies, but principles. UKIP are properly nasty, but they have clearly defined principles that they’d adhere to regardless of what’s currently in vogue, and the same cannot be said of Labour or the Tories. They’d soften their stance on the bloody holocaust if a Holocaust Denial Party gained a few points in the polls. Neither main party has an identity. They’re just random arms and legs, bumbling after the zeitgeist.
I always promised myself I’d vote Labour, because they’re the least gratuitously nasty of the four bigger parties and I am desperate to force the Tories out, but they’re so inept I’m a gnat’s whisker from switching to Green. It’s not like anyone’s going to claim a majority, the political class will share power amongst themselves no matter where I put my vote, so I might as well support a party I actually believe in.
Arrrrrrggggh! I am frustrated.
same as liliannberg.
New political parties are like fairies*: you HAVE to believe in them in order to bring about their existence… 😉
…definitely seen a panther here in Lincolshire …
Dear Clueless – I too shared your frustration. Then I visited http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ and clarity (of a sort) now reigns 🙂
I don’t believe not voting is the answer – because then you will definitely end up with govt you disagree with to put it mildly, we are at risk of voter apathy/disillusionment/disengagement leading to a potentially appalling outcome for all; a govt that has no mandate will surely feel more able to wipe away all dissent. At the moment we have UKIP bleating about hurt feelings any time someone on Twitter shows them up for the shower of unpleasant eejits they are – imagine if they actually had any governmental influence at all. We HAVE to aim at the least for a left of centre coalition … don’t we?
I agree with most of what you wrote but I want to pick up on your opposition to TTIP. The rise of ukip and the SNP point to growing nationalist feelings paralleling the thirties. I see the opposition to TTIP as something similar, a nationalist reaction to something that is actually in everybody’s best interest. If you see yourself as an internationalist you should support TTIP.
my worry about TTIP is that it privileges the position of corporations and private finance above all else, but prepared to be argued out of that worry. Over to you.
This was one of the pieces that worried me – http://www.monbiot.com/2014/03/10/all-give-and-no-take/
There are two main concerns people have with TTIP. The first is the worry that US regulations are less in consumers interests than existing EU ones and the other with the dispute resolution process.
Taking the first point, history shows that moving to international standards leads to higher quality standards. EU standards are higher than the previous British standards. Also it is a myth that US standards are weaker than EU ones. For example vehicle exhaust emissions are much cleaner in the US and many food products sold in Europe are banned in the US due to the additives they contain. My guess is that adoption of TTIP will lead to higher standards in consumer products.
Regarding the second point I agree that the dispute procedure needs to be properly constituted and agreed but I trust the EU bodies concerned to negotiate something appropriate on our behalf.
Getting back to the original article I share your concern about the state of politics today. I am also concerned about the rise of nationalism and I want to support international institutions in what I believe is a sincere attempt to build bridges and make the world a better place.
George Monbiot is one of the wisest men on the planet.
I’ve been pondering politics at the end of the year as well.
A scatter gun of thoughts, mainly with no answers included:
1 Established classes (politicians in this case) of people are sh1t at reforming themselves.
2 Revolution yearning (as per Russell Brand) seems to be slowly bubbling away amongst the disenfranchised. Depending on how bad the agents in point 1 are it’s not really a way forward – as an analogy if a lawn is dug up and the earth laid bare, it would be unusual to wake up 6 months later to find a wonderful ‘something else’- far more likely that quick growing, opportunistic plants will have muscled in and gained a hold.
3 At School we aren’t really encouraged to know anything about our constitution or how politics works at a local or national level – we did, even at 6th form at my school- have to learn about the worlds religions for 2 hours per week. Also is there a job description for MP’s?
4 The socio-economic climate is now more complex and nuanced than ever before – we are happy to outsource complicated things to others. However some of us see the world as being very simple and easy to fix and adopt a party based on fairly basic principles or just base principles (UKIP).
5 People say young people are indifferent to politics but a nice and simple analogy would be : do you see indifference in a family house hold when a parents gives one sibling 5 sweets and the other gets 6 ? Typically the sibling with lowest sugar hit will go mental and “have their voice heard”and that’s a simple political situation isn’t it?
6 Could an element of randomness help? For example could there be a jury service model for a percentage of political functions- what talent might be exposed via this route?