I don’t care about any of the political parties any more. It’s not that I don’t want to: it’s just that I’m sick of all of them. They bring out the most dreadful cynic in me and I respond increasingly with all the relish of a bitter heckler. Many responses are just knee-jerk reactions, of course, to transitory developments, soundbites, headlines, the rose-tinted sheep and the willingly naive. It’s my sense of humour and I can’t help it if into my mind pops something like yeah right… or what do you want: a medal? I can’t help it that the material increasingly writes itself.
There’s also a world of difference between my sarcastic, easy and sometimes cheap quips and the thought processes which actually inform my choices and decisions: they are anchored in reason at far greater depth, so I tend not to worry on a personal level.
But actually, it is a bit of a worry, isn’t it? To be always looking for the hidden agenda; to be suspicious by default; to automatically wonder cui bono? It’s pretty tedious, really. And more than that… far more than that: it is horrifying that my first response to a politician, particularly the so-called leaders is I don’t believe you…
The Conservatives and UKIP I’d consign to the dustbin of history and, as for the Illiberal Undemocrats? Well, let them self-flagellate to their heart’s content – they deserve it – just don’t let them darken the governmental threshold again. And Labour? Phfft! They are the biggest political tease I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. Whatever the issue, they seem to cover the whole gamut, from nearly getting it right, to failing to keep up, to missing the point entirely. It doesn’t build confidence. Much of what the Greens say is the essence of common sense and holistic creative thinking (them, I believe I could care about) – but they don’t have the numbers (nor, tellingly, the media platform) to form a government on their own.
Though I personally could happily and easily select a dozen or so people for a cabinet from each party and several non-affiliated persons, this Coalition has made me rather nervous of another cross-party administration under our system. Democracy needs to move beyond mere party affiliation. Like the issues we face, most people are more sophisticated, more nuanced than this – and the sheep would be too if politicians and the media in particular, reflected this reality – and if our education system encouraged critical thinking over doctrine, of course. Instead, our intelligence continues to be insulted and progress is constantly undermined.
And that’s just our domestic state! Obama, Putin, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Assad, Bahrain, Monsanto, BAE, Serco, Goldman Sachs… By whatever name you mark it: there sits a regime.
A complete lack of cynicism is probably as dangerous as too much. Nevertheless, it is still indicative of something deeper. Such responses may be off-the-cuff and seemingly shallow but any empathic person would correctly point to how they reflect a deeper angst. For it must be true that as Society reflects me, so too do I reflect Society. Cynicism works at us from both ends. It wafts down from the top like acid rain because politicians are riddled with it and corporations thrive on it. The Public, living under such a jaded cloud for years on end, is bound to mirror this disposition in its own way.
The line between healthy scepticism and automatic cynicism is fine indeed.