Items filtered by date: October 2018

Friday, 05 October 2018 13:26

How can we build trust in politics?

Has our political system failed is probably the starting point to this article?  The answer is no, as the reality is we have had good and bad politicians for centuries, we have had a disconnect many times between political views and large areas of the population and economic challenges, wars and financial issues over the years.

So why does it feel so different?

The reason lies with the cultural and celebrity obsessions with mixed up reality television presenting normality as living in a gold fish bowl.  Politicians are embracing this phenomenon and are getting lost in the obsession.  Celebrities were a minority and exposure were such that everyone knew the few and politicians were Politicians NOT Celebrities.

Can you imagine Churchill on Strictly Come Dancing, or, Attlee starring in Celebrity Big Brother? No.

But did the press and media influence or support political parties in the past, Yes.  The communication through the media has always been an influencer in election campaigns but what is more significant now with the internet and social media is the communications can be more easily managed by the political office of a Politician.  So why do they get things so wrong? Quite simply they have become reactionary to political commentary and easily lose their focus on manifesto promises and the day to day delivery of their agenda.

If you are to argue that they are only human, then you have to consider that their advisors and civil servants should have a greater role to play. The issue is that the advisors and civil servantshave also become very self motivated and crave the 15 minutes of fame or being in the spotlight.

Electoral reform may also be a consideration but on this no system is perfect and there are many fundamental changes that are not based on a total reform which will reap benefits.

So back to the original question.

Politicians need to grow up, be honest and do what they are elected to do which is represent their constituencies, the UK public, and honour a democratic process that has put them into a privileged position that is more important than the number of likes and shares on social media. 

The Government must have a clear policy and manifesto in terms of what their government is doing, planning to do and achieving.  Failures and shortfalls should be explained, and resultant actions communicated.  The promises of the Government should be accountable.

Opposition parties must hold the Government to account and do it in such a way of demanding transparency and accountability.  It is also important that respect is always shown and the management of the soap opera in the commons is professional and diplomatic.  If the public see elected representatives behaving like spoilt brats, then expectations are such that respect is impossible.

The need also exsts that all parties need to be transparent and answer direct questions not a scripted alternative response.

Can things improve, yes but politicians need to take things seriously and also they want to make things better in terms of re-establishing trust. 

Politics is for grown-ups and not spoilt brats!

Published in British

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