The more I’ve learned about politics, the more I’ve learned about the divergence between public perception and the reality. To those who work closely with them – their staff, their constituents, their friends & family – politicians are people, just like anyone else. But to those who don’t know them so well, politicians are entities that seem aloof, distant, beings beyond their influence. Some politicians do their best to bridge that gap: others make it their business to widen it.
For a while, my personal perception of politics seemed to be most like Yes, Minister: certain honourable exceptions from all parties aside, politicians were bumbling, well-meaning morons being manipulated by coldly calculating civil servants who were the true masters of political life. For all the dark undertones and bleak sense of inevitability, there was a charm and wit which made the horror of Westminster strangely cosy, comfortable, relatable.
Then it started to seem more like The Thick of It. Again, exceptions aside, politicians were incompetent, cowardly, corrupt, self-centred morons being manipulated by coldly calculating spin doctors and media tyrants who were the true masters of political life. While it pulled no punches in the language and depiction of the worst side of politics, the charismatic characters nonetheless managed to appeal.
Nowadays? It feels like we’ve stepped into the dimension of The New Statesman, a world where (once more, exceptions aside) politicians are cruel, callous, deluded, mendacious monsters who will stop at nothing for their own myopic personal gain, wreaking untold havoc and mindless chaos in the process for what seems like no rhyme or reason.
Look at the people leading the UK’s “negotiations” to leave the EU and tell me I’m wrong.
Credit to Tom Pride, who proves I’m not the only one who thought of this…
A supposed screenshot of a message supposedly posted by Dominic Raab MP made the rounds yesterday. It was a cunning fake, given that its contents were depressingly believable, especially to weary Scottish Independence supporters.
To make amends for this affront to Mr Raab’s dignity, I shall use this post to provide things that Mr Raab has actually said about Scotland, and our place in the United Kingdom.