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The “New” Politics Needs A New “Blog”

In by Sam on September 10, 2010 at 13:04

few weeks ago I was having lunch with friends. “I just don’t care anymore” someone uttered as we took our seats. This was in contrast to some months earlier, when we’d last eaten lunch together, before the election. Elections bring out of the tribal side of otherwise pragmatic people – the constant self-justification as to why I plan to choose this name over that name makes even the most balanced of us resort to trotting out well trodden party slogans and sound-bites (even if it’s passed off with an ironic overtone). Our previous lunches had involved many a raised voice and had, at times, tested friendships (thankfully all remain intact) – it was now the last things we wanted to discuss.

Just as the hype of elections expose us at our most primitive and partitioned the reality of what we’re left with saps that vigor just as quickly as it appeared. This years election must have surely done that more than most. Who is left feeling satisfied? Who has got what they want? Tories found themselves neutered and policies toned down while LibDems seemingly abandoned all principles at the door – both parties finding past statements and speeches needed to be rewritten or re-justified to explain how they had made several apparent U-turns. Labour (needless to say unsatisfied at losing) now prepare to enter the 5 year wilderness of self-discovery and re-branding.

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What we have got as voters will remain to be seen – be it a slow economic recovery or a double dip (always makes me think of Oreos), a radical shake up to education or a failed reform that renders qualifications and many futures worthless. It’s hard to feel satisfied or optimistic wherever your allegiances lie – hence our new found lunchtime apathy.

But then it’s hard to stay apathetic for long if, like most, you have a TV or internet or ever pick up a newspapers: crazy shit is going down all around us all the time – we’ve got the US midterms coming soon (the Democrats are, if you hadn’t heard, “cruising for a bruising”), the Labour leadership contest, the London mayoral election, Anne Widdecombe on Strictly Come Dancing (oh my eyes), the debate on AV – and let’s face it how much more do we know now about Australian politics than a few weeks ago!

Unfortunately when we picked our launch date we didn’t foresee some of the tabloid gold that has come out in the last fortnight – many-a-time leaving us feeling powerless to rant at length about, for example, the homophobic undercurrent to William Hague’s very over-personal denial to accusations of an affair with a male adviser or the the re-emergence of the News of the World phone tapping scandal and the speed at which it degenerated to a partisan, political argument seeming to ignore the basic invasion of privacy at the centre of the allegations. But that’s how the double-dipped cookie crumbles and the thing we love the most about the constant, 24 hour news cycle of politics, current affairs, scandal and the tabloids – or as we fondly know it – the Humdrum, we won’t be waiting too long for the next story to emerge or for someone to do something idiotic.

Wait a second….Can anyone else smell something burning?

Image from the Associated Press

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