Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem: are Brits impressed by this?
Surely Britain was meant for better than this. All we get from the big party conferences are platitudes and populism. And why aren't our journalists demanding more?
We're thick skinned enough to take it. We'd have to be as a pro-Western, pro-free market, pro-democracy outlet in an increasingly shallow and meaningless political environment in Britain where "meaning" and "substance" appear to be pejorative terms.
But just stand back for a moment, regardless of your traditional political affiliations. As the Conservative Party conference got into gear after Labour's last week and the Lib-Dems the week before (sorry UKIP; but you're not in parliament... yet!), is this the political Britain you dreamt of?
Everything seems so pathetically weak, no? Where's the vision? Where is something bigger than the bidding war for votes via promises that no-one believes can be kept? Where's placing Britain inside a Western world in crisis; and where's the leadership that can take us through it?
At the conferences; Did (back, with an apology, to UKIP) Nigel Farage sweat during his speech? Ed Miliband wondered around the stage for an hour, on his own! Ooh. Good doggy! (Not aimed at him, but the useless reporters that made an issue of it.) Today there's Dan Hodges in the Telegraph talking about Chancellor George Osborne's hair: "...we were all staring at the top of George Osborne’s head." Ta da... (Hodges may well be as unimpressed as we are; but the Telegraph did make it the headline issue.)
If you want to know why Britons, and so many others across the Western world, are thoroughly unimpressed by their politicians and the political classes generally, it's that sort of bilge that at least starts to explain it. Yes, you need the personal touch, but when the personal touch is all there is, we've got problems.
As journalists ourselves, we won't blame the politicians. Journalists need to step up and demand and give more than this. It's a noble profession, truly.
But the desert that is the political landscape in Britain will not get watered out of the urinal spillage that passes for the mainstream media today. We'll get hit for this from colleagues.
But are we wrong? And do fellow journalists really not aspire to something better? We think that, secretly, they do. If not, will the last person to leave Britain please turn off the lights...?
p.s. As we read, watch and listen to more, it seems that many of these journalists and political activists are actually proud of themselves for all this! It just doesn't occur to them... we may as well have published this in Chinese....
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