Please politicians, stop patrionising us
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If there is one thing that epitomises the cynicism and shallowness of today’s politics, surely it is the photo-op? You know, those phoney stunts our politicians conduct to promote a banal new policy initiative. They are bad enough to have to watch on the news at night, but imagine if you were ever to be unwittingly involved in one, turning up for work one day only to discover David Cameron has popped in to pretend to do your job for half an hour! And as well as the ridiculous, there is also the sinister; I can’t be the only one who thinks there is something faintly apocalyptic about the sight of Vladimir Putin striding half-naked through the Russian wilderness, armed with hand grenades and a hunting rifle. If you, like me, are unfortunate enough to be living in Scotland, you may be vaguely aware that there is currently an election going on. One of the arguments in favour of staying part of the UK is that we get to settle most of our own affairs while continuing to benefit from the economic strength that comes with the union. The downside of this, however, is that like the Welsh and Northern Irish, we have to endure twice as many politicians, twice as many elections, and twice as many photo-ops. Since the election campaign could be described as being free of excitement (to put it politely), conniving strategists have had a tough time coming up with ways in which to get the public interested in their leaders. So we have seen Ruth Davidson, the Tory leader, looking quite threatening at the helm of a fork-lift truck and Kezia Dugdale, the Labour leader, mucking about with sandcastles at a primary school. Then we had Willie Rennie, leader of the Liberal Democrats, launching his party’s manifesto at a soft play centre in Edinburgh. After a trip down one of the slides, he sought (not very convincingly) to associate his education policy with the sight of happy young children.
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