Its that time again, when desperate parties start resorting to negative tactics to tempt voters away from the opposition. But can we really trust politicians who stoop to these lows, rather than creating positive change?
One of the main problems concerning young people and politics is a lack of trust of those who are supposedly ‘in charge’. Not only do some young people feel let down by politicians who break promises and ‘steal’ from the taxpayer (cough cough expenses scandal), but also there is the issue of how politicians choose to present themselves publicly, often resorting to immature smearing of other candidates.
This year’s election seems no different. Just this week a UKIP pamphlet has been circulating round the internet for all the wrong reasons – it’s been corrected by an English teacher, embarrassingly showing up mistake after grammatical mistake. However the UKIP councillor is refuting this, claiming that the pamphlet isn’t even his but actually a ‘dirty trick by the Lib-Dems’. Personally I don’t know what option would be more embarrassing, the UKIP candidate’s poor grasp of the English language or the Lib-Dem’s candidate’s awkward display of the amount of spare time on their hands.
An example of politicians acting like children in the playground can be found in the House of Commons. The BBC documentary ‘Inside the Commons’ recently gave the public an intriguing insight into how MP’s behanve behind closed doors. Viewers were appalled to see their ‘representatives’ shouting over each other, to the extent that thet speaker John Bercow, was forced bellow to get any kind of order. Early this year Tory MP Anna Soubry was shown in footage where she appears to shout ‘Sanctimonious c***’ at Ed Milliband. Delightful. When questioned she hid behind legal threats of suing for slander rather like a child hiding behind its mothers skirt.
Talking of avoiding questions, in this video you can see a cringe-worthy exchange between BBC Newsbeat presenter Chris Smith and conservative MP Sam Gyimah, with the latter awkwardly avoiding answering a question about avoiding questions!
The problem of not giving clear answers is as old as politics – one young voter has cried for politicians to ‘answer the question you were asked, instead of answering the question you wish you were asked’.
Another issue with every election is the baiting of the opposition, something which always seems the most pathetic attempt to poach votes. In the weeks before the 2010 General Election, the UK was covered in an ‘advertising blitz’ by the Conservatives where they victimised Gordon Brown on huge billboards featuring slogans highlighting what the Conservatives had decided were their opponents’ main failures. While this might be deemed an effective method, as the Conservatives then prevailed in the election and formed the coalition, it seems ever so juvenile. It’s also worryingly desperate that parties, by having nothing positive to say about their own party, have to resort to reasons why not to vote for the opposition. The double-dip recession witnessed under the coalition, hardly showed the economic ‘change’ they promised – but that’s another element of trust that is being fiercely debated.
The equally questionable Prime Minister’s questions is yet a further example of immature MP’s acting like ‘kids on the playground’. In the one-half-an-hour a week session in the House of Commons, MPs get to ask the prime minister a (usually pre-specified) questions. Rowdy MP’s can be seen shouting over each other in a quite un-parliamentary manner. Twitter saw BBC Newsbeat investigating what politicians could do to earn the trust of young and future voters, with one response being ‘#ToWinMyTrust politicians need to stop slagging each other off and concentrate on how THEY can create positive change.’ link? This sums up how a lot of people react to seeing politicians let loose like kids on wet-break. It’s a reaction of disappointment, and confusion at how these people ever get round to articulating the views of their constituents.
Clearly MP’s are acting like children. Surely we can’t trust these children to run the country?