Third note.

[And continued…]

This week’s question time is a beauty. It’s turning into a politician’s cliche week, a public’s cliche week and no-one seems to be having a pleasant time. It’s difficult to feel sorry for MPs sometimes, but the level of heckling going on can’t have been pleasant. But then you get the most stereotypical dodge of “if what you’re saying is…” followed by something completely different to what the person in the audience was saying, you wonder whether you should feel sorry.

On a more deeper level, I think this has turned into a chance everyone has grabbed at to express the frustration at our politics that has been building up for some time. The voices of the 40% of people who feel no reason to vote any more. The feeling of unavoidable apathy that irritates so many people, the feeling that they can never be represented in politics. The “they’re all in it together” image that the scandal has conjured up has only served to confirm this, for many of these people and has led to this boiling over. I was wondering quite why MPs expenses has provoked so much anger with this set of politicians in particular – after all, it’s been going on since the 80s at least. I believe I understand more now – it’s because it’s confirmed an already-existing opinion, just as much as it is because people are disgusted by the revelations specifically.

What cannot help is the papers encouraging the impression that this is Yet Another Reason Not to Vote. It’s entirely the opposite – it’s more reason than ever why we need to get out there and not just vote, but participate in the election campaign process, let the candidates know how we feel and pressure them into knowing that they have to change things for our benefit, not just expenses, not just parliament’s divorce from the afllictions on the public, but our wider system of representation that leads to this divide being so acute to begin with.

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