*Content Warning. Old man shouting at the internet, about politics.
Growing up, there was the left, and there was the right. I got the vote in 1988, and voted Conservative then, and every subsequent election. Mostly, I’ve been on the winning side, except for that fellow Blair, who did rather well for the Labour Party for a while.
Next year, I’ll be voting again in a General Election, and I’ll be voting Labour.
The Conservative Party has drunk the Populist Kool Aid, and instead of values, polices and governance, it’s focused on memes, sound bites and buzz words. Almost certainly, there are consultants involved.
Why am I boring you with it?
Populism is seductive, appealing and extremely dangerous. The core appeal is that it takes immensely important, convoluted issues and pretends that there exists a solution that can be encapsulated in a single tweet. Think Rishi Sunak and “small boats”. Population, poverty and migration are massive issues, that our wee planet faces. In no way at all is “stopping small boats” crossing the channel a solution to anything. Most recently, the Home Secretary proposed banning charities giving tents to homeless people. Seriously. She did. Let’s address homelessness by making tents harder to come by.
The Government has been saying and doing plenty of things with which I don’t agree. Every government does. That’s not new. What is new (for me) is that the politicians are saying things that they simply don’t believe. Home Secretary Braverman was a successful lawyer. She’s the Buddhist daughter of Indian descent, her parents having arrived from Kenya and Mauritius. She’s married to a Jew. She didn’t wake up one morning with a shrunken IQ and racist streak. She’s spouting divisive combative nonsense about race and migration because she believes that it’s what Conservative voters want to hear.
No. It is not what we want to hear. It’s drivel.
Governing a country is a serious job. I imagine it’s hard work and at times a thankless task. Whenever I hear politicians offering easy solutions, that’s a red flag. Let’s get rid of these charlatans. And for God’s sake, don’t vote for the orange muppet in the States. He’s a danger to us all.
However - before I go, let me sound a note of optimism. I think people are wising up to the divisive nonsense that is social media. Most voters want their country run properly, they’re prepared to look at how best to look after everyone in society. They want peace. They recognise that the climate is an issue that needs to be dealt with, sure people are worried about immigration, but the vast majority want to have a sensible conversation, not polarised vitriol.