I tire of hearing the lies from politicians, ironic seeing as I have this blog and the world seems to just eat them up without any such trouble, though one thing I despise more is that, when politicians go out and about, they seem to hunt in their safe seats, places that they will only be asked straightforward, uncomplicated, pointless questions or treated with niceties and respect, they very rarely travel to sections of the country where the seat or region is held by an opposing party.
Though recently, Ms May apparently went one better, the following article from the Yorkshire Evening Post details that the visit which she orchestrated, a whistle stop style visit to the city of Leeds, left some feeling as though the regular and resident people of Leeds, especially the specific area of Harehills, were not fairly represented or acknowledged, I leave the final decision on such a suggestion to other more determined types, I am simply wishing to point out that although it is safer and probably easier to arrange for a Political leader, not just Ms May, to be surrounded by, visit or meet fellow supporters, in this case well dressed Conservative supporters, the issue is that this is not really fair or right.
I know that visiting cities, areas or towns of the UK with a bandwagon of partisan supporters is not a new thing, previous leaders have done similarly but, if you really want to engage with the electorate, you don’t simply glad hand with people that will probably end up voting your way anyway, you meet others, people that might not agree with policies, that might not want to vote for your party or even you, it is all well and good taking to the streets but if you only see what you want to see then you will be made to look like a rose-tinted figure, rather than someone who wants to genuinely make things better for people.
Of course, as I have said before, any opinion I express is my own and therefore should be either ignored or left alone, if you disagree that is your right, the freedom to think or believe differently is one that is secured within the numerous other freedoms we enjoy, though on this point beyond any other, I meet amazing responses, some from people that suggest I am only targeting the leaders of parties that I, as my own political allegiances denounce, are opposition parties, not so, I will openly suggest this for any leader of any political party or any MP, MSP or politician that finds it easier to be surrounded in their constituencies or other locations, by like-minded supporters or party members.
My problem is simply that if you truly wish to engage with the public, if you really want to go and visit the differing constituencies to affect change there, then you shouldn’t be afraid to meet with people who may disagree with you, though saying that I am not advocating or in any way condoning hostility or aggressive behaviour towards an MP or politician, one sad thought that has crossed my mind recently is that we have lost the art of open, friendly and respectful discussion, especially about politics, we seem to be only a step or two from angry words being exchanged, accusations being chucked around and harshness replacing honesty.
In 2014, when the people of Scotland were trying to decide if we wanted independence or not, the words: Nationalist, nationalism, Patriot, patriotism, were all assigned to the sector known as insults, insulting or negative, they became words that were used to mean the worst possible definition of these words, by the end people as open minded as I am, though we were apparently in short supply during this time, were left wondering why the word that we had proudly used, Patriot, was suddenly an ugly term that was linked to words like Insurgent, I am a patriot because I am proud of my country, that I was raised in this country and I feel great pride when I sing the national anthem or see the Saltire, this does not mean that I want to drill along the border and cast Scotland further into the North Atlantic, it is simply a word, like the word Unionist, which the Conservatives are officially known as, though they don’t use this word, why is that, is it because it has been given such ugly definitions like the word patriot or nationalist.
Perhaps, though that is exactly my problem, it is not fair that we have lost the art of having open frank discussions or debates, we should be able to talk or converse about things that are important, about differing political parties without having the discourse collapse into name-calling, threat throwing or mud slinging, we should be able to talk about the things we believe or the points we agree with without fearing being turned into villains, like for those who wanted Independence, we were made to be insurgents, rebels, hell, even terrorists at times, that is not right, though similarly, those who wanted Scotland to stay in the UK were treated at times with equal disdain and antagonism.
My final point is that we should be able to talk, discuss, debate and chat about things without feeling fear or anxiety about being made into the worst possible things, let us have this point back and maybe politics will be given more attention by the wider populace, though the lack of interest shown by others will be a subject for another day.