Playground Politics

OK, this post may well turn into a rant, so be warned! Right now it feels like the whole of the western world is going to hell in a handcart. We’re so proud of belonging to countries that supposedly run on the people-centric principles of democracy, but if we look closely enough at the particular democratic systems in question, what do we see?

We see a premeditated polarisation of the population, a media-manipulated playground politics of showy sound-bites and pseudo-scoops deliberately designed to divide us. And it seems that everyone plays along happily with the game, choosing spurious sides and chasing idealistic speech-bubbles of hot air and hype that inevitably deflate disatrously as soon as the they hit stone-cold reality.

I’m just so thoroughly fed-up of the meaninglessness of it all. It doesn’t matter to which side of the school-yard we find ourselves deviating towards, there’s never any excuse for bullying and bad-mouthing others in opposition to try to big-up our own bragging rights in the hope of building a fanatical following based on blinkered brain-washing but with bugger-all else behind the scenes to back it up.

In Scotland two years ago the question of Independence from the UK hung in the balance and left a passionately patriotic nation-in-waiting bifurcated then and now by the referendum result, deep wounds on both sides still raw and festering as the close-cut decision to remain is still being bitterly argued over even today.

In the UK this summer a similarly emotionally-engaged referendum on remaining in or leaving the European Union also polarised the country, resulting once more in a close-cut decision, this time to leave, and the very real repercussions of that outcome are currently reverberating around Europe, with ripples reaching even far further afield as the pound sinks to a painful low.

Democratic decision-making requires the voting populace making an informed choice on which way to vote. An informed choice requires by default information; data and debate, facts and figures, plans and priorities. What we get is name-calling and nastiness, a tirade of underhanded tactics and unscrupulous techniques that whip everyone into a frenzy of fear.

Emotions enraged en masse, logic lies limp and lacklustre so that, all fired up with passions primed, we decide defiantly with our hearts and not our heads. Such short-sighted simplification of serious issues affecting all our countries futures may well ramp up ratings in the monstrous media circus that seems all-pervasive in the current political climate, but in my mind it does damn-all for the decorum of the democracratic process… 😦

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