The rather unsavoury allegations this weekend concerning politicians and their unelected special advisors, have demonstrated how low the standards of political campaigning have become in the UK.
We have become a nation with ‘personality politicians’ – which seems to be a bit of an irony seeing as we have a prime minister who demonstrates very little personality!
However, this is not a criticism of just our ruling party, which has had an embarassing Easter weekend explaining how one of Gordon Brown’s most trusted aides was sending emails from Number 10, alleging tasteless and untrue gossip about senior members of the opposition. The ‘gossip’ was planned to be published on a proposed blogging website run by an ex-Labour special advisor to another serving government minister. Both have now quite rightly been pushed aside while the PM has been forced to express his ‘regrets’ and write a personal letter to the proposed ‘targets’.
The opposition, have in the past, been known to use similar techniques using the internet, albeit they were not so blatantly untrue and scurrilous.
It seems that instead of convincing voters, by arguing over their policies, politicians now have to lie, cheat and accuse each other to crawl to the top; it has become all about character assassination and very little about substance. In short, they have no intellect to create policies. They rely, instead, on sound bites and forced sincerity to convince the TV watching and online voters.
Is it any wonder that trust in politicians has reached an all time low, when they see themselves as being in a class of their own? They have acquired an arrogance that is out of proportion to both their abilities and to their worth.
Of course, not all politicians behave in such contemptible ways; some are actually there because they still genuinely believe in serving and protecting the interests of their constituents. They are, however, becoming increasingly, in the minority.
The internet has revolutionized the way we gather and share our information. If unscrupulous politicians are allowed to use it as a tool to spread lies and deceitful propaganda in order to manipulate the voting public, then the value of all of its information will eventually be questioned and doubted.
We all have a duty to make sure that never happens.