Blears, look at that great big tree in your own eye
Before pointing out the mote in ours:
Ms Blears, who had a career as a local government solicitor before becoming an elected politician, will also complain [in a speech to the Hansard Society today] about a “spreading corrosive cynicism” in political discussion.
She will point the figure at political “bloggers” – accusing them of seeing their role as “unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy”.
“The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes,” she will say, although she concedes the political balance could shift under a Tory government.
“But mostly, political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy.
“Unless and until political blogging ‘adds value’ to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism.” (Telegraph)
Get your own house in order, Blears.
Hayden Phillips’ review of the funding for political parties found that “trust in politicians at a national level and trust in political parties are both low, and have been subject to a long-term decline. Polling research indicates that people feel distant from parties, and they feel that parties are only interested in them at election times.”
The Power Inquiry found that people are disengaging from mainstream politics because they “do not feel that the processes of formal democracy offer them enough influence over political decisions (this includes party members who feel they have no say in policy-making and are increasingly disaffected); the main political parties are widely perceived to be too similar and lacking in principle; the electoral system is widely perceived as leading to unequal and wasted votes; political parties and elections require citizens to commit to too broad a range of policies; many people feel they lack information or knowledge about formal politics; and, voting procedures are regarded by some as inconvenient and unattractive.”
The Electoral Commission concluded that “our research found a strong sense of anticlimax with both voters and non-voters recalling being uninspired by the state of politics in 2005, by the four-week campaign and by the choices on offer. On the whole, people recounted little excitement, few genuine incidences of interaction between people and politicians, and were critical of the negative tone of the campaign.”
We are fed up with spin, with lies, with corruption, with having no say, and with you failing to take responsibility. Shut up, sort it out, and stop blaming everyone else for your failings.
(What Clare Short said to the Hansard Society rings rather more true.)