Politics, Schmolitics – What happened to genuine debate?

I am beginning to tire of politics. I still love it dearly, and am the first in line to absorb, analyse and despair every time a new poll comes out, but I can’t believe I am the only one to think it has become a trifle sterile and dull.

Politicans and opinion-formers should enter into argument and debate, It is a good thing. It helps them to be better informed when they make what are often difficult decisions about complex issues and it helps us to judge their performance. I am equally happy for this debate to take the place in a single party trying to decide on new policy as I am for it to occur between parties. Like I say argument and debate is a positive thing and should be viewed as such.

But alas, argument and debate couldn’t be further from their minds. The battle against against Boris to date (with the exception of Tuesday’s impressive Fares campaign) has been based on calling him a womanising baffoon and blaming him everytime a train is late – the first is futile as most people know exactly what he is but it doesn’t stop them voting for him. The second is stupid and will just come back and haunt us; more importantly it is another symptom of the trivialisation of politics and political process.

And then this evening, in response to Maurice Glasman’s provocative article in The New Statesman all I read are accusations of betrayal and disloyalty. Note, not a rebuttal of the points raised just a shout of “Splitter” and “You smell, we don’t like you anymore” (I paraphrase, but you get the point). We should be cherishing people like Glasman and anyone else that can bring creativity and original thought to the political sphere, not tarring and feathering them. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with what they say, but try listening to what they say, you might just learn something.

Over the last couple of leader Cameron, Clegg and Miliband all promised me a new kind of politics. If this is what they meant I want my money back.

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