I shouldn’t talk about politics. You know nothing about ours, and while I know slightly more about yours (the UK and America: you are more important than we are so we hear more of your news than you hear of ours) I am not one of you, and should keep my mouth shut.
But as a general broadside (and having such a tempting prompt) I think it’s fair to say that politics worldwide is getting more farcical by the day.
I was brought up to think that respect for the administration was a default position, from which you deviated only when you had proof that it wasn’t warranted. People made mistakes – of course – but on the whole, politicians were doing their best for the general good, even when it might not suit you personally.
Ha! Ha-di Ha Ha.
I still believe absolutely that those further down the political ladder are, for the most part, doing their best for their constituents. But they are often hampered by those at the top, who strut about emanating prestige, solemn dedication and spurious care and concern while their minds run at a mile a minute calculating every action in terms of media value, sops to those who lurk behind the scenes, and their own political futures. The exception to this might be Justin Trudeau, who so far seems like a good bloke genuinely doing his best for the people of Canada.
But I also have to say that I can’t entirely blame them. The press hovers about them itching to turn a slight trip on the stairs into a politician flat on his/her face, to be disseminated instantly worldwide by virtue/curse of the internet, and once it’s out there, all the retractions in the world won’t convince those who don’t want to believe it that there was no fire in that smoke. Because we, the public, also hover about: vultures just gagging to rip the flesh from those whose political affiliations are not ours.
And then there are the back-room movers and shakers: those who donated money in the hope of favours (although no one says that). And with elections being so expensive these days, who can afford to turn down their offerings or antagonise them afterwards? (Donald Trump, of whom I shall resist speaking, is a category all his own, to which none of this applies.)
It makes me sad to be so cynical. I am old. I would like to think that political ethics might make a comeback. But I’m not holding my breath. It’s easier to slide down the slippery slope than to climb up it again.