Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Michael Gove, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and the Real Problem With Disengagement

Having watched the BBC's monarchy love fest this morning (also known as the state opening of parliament), I almost choked on my tea when one of the aforementioned politicians pontificated on the real reason for public disengagement from politics. According to Nick Clegg, the fundamental problem was of continual mud slinging between the two main parties. While this may be partly the case, a later remark by Michael Gove (the neo-con crony of the Cameron brigade) was far more (inadvertently) revealing.

During a discussion on foreign policy, Gove spoke of the need to confront Iran, particularly in the light of their leader's wish to "wipe Israel off the map". That this was met with utter agreement by other members of the panel speaks volumes about the current political climate. Not one member of the panel, or the BBC for that matter, chose to challenge the lie that has been perpetuated amongst the mainstream media, entirely unchallenged. And that is the fundamental problem. There is a lack of debate between the parties. The are all standing on the same aggressive, imperialistic patch of political ground. Perhaps, just perhaps, if a politician was to challenge the status quo, more people might be engaged in the political process. Instead, we are presented with a bunch of glove puppets eager to bend to the will of their imperialist masters.

Political disengagement will continue for some time to come because, secretly (perhaps not so secretly), that is what the political establishment desire. How else can policies such as ID cards, 90 detention, not to mention the Iraq war even be proposed? If the public were engaged in the political process none of these things would even be possible. No, disengagement will continue as long as all political parties represent a narrow elite that refuses to indulge in real debate.