Party conference season is upon us. It was the Lib Dems this week, with Labour and the Tories to follow. These carefully stage managed affairs will have one thing in common. You cannot believe a word they say.
As we approach a General Election year, the one thing we can be certain of is that politicians of all persuasions will be thinking of only one thing: votes. They will say just about anything to get you to put your cross next to their party on ballot day.
Democratic politics has been reduced to what amounts to a cynical process of manipulating you to believe that voting this way, or that, actually matters. It would matter if there were major differences between the parties. But we have now returned to a situation where those who declare, “There is no point in voting, they are all the same” appear to have a valid point.
On the major challenges facing us: the cost of living crisis, the environment, the war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis, there is tissue paper between the major parties. In England and Wales you have a choice between an ex-banker millionaire hated by a good proportion of his own party and a man so lacking in charisma that, if he was replaced with a mollusc, the only difference would be that the mollusc would have more personality. How have we come to this?
How have we come to a situation where these people will tell blatant lies to win your trust and then do absolutely nothing to make your life better?
Surely politics should, at its core, be a way in which all of us can agree on the direction we want our country to go in? Surely it should be about pursuing policies that make the life of the average person, if not actually better, at least no worse? A General Election should be an opportunity to debate politics.
But politicians do not want to debate politics. Particularly with you. They no longer allow themselves to be put in positions where their lack of debating skills are shown up. Everything is stage managed for the cameras. Policies, such as they are, will be about how they cannot afford to make your life better.
It is cynical and, ultimately, it is pointless. A change of party will make so little difference because they do not control the real levers of change. If they were honest, politicians would admit that all their promises on the economy amount to nothing, because it is not something they control.
They are abandoning their commitment to future generations because, especially after Uxbridge, both parties are nervous about being too enthusiastic about green issues which, they think, are vote losers.
Politics will not change whilst we leave this corrupt, debased system based on cynicism in place. It has become obvious that it will not change without a radical transformation, both in the way we organise society and the way we think. Unfortunately, that change is not going to be on the agenda come General Election 2024.