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The rise of pantomime politics


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Traditionally British Politics was seen as the height of sophisticated debate. An open forum for all ideals of the political spectrum to passionately, but orderly, voice their views with the sole objective of a conclusion fit for all.

Clown Cameron

But recent events have only strengthened my view that British Politics has accelerated to somewhat of a circus, populated with people now only aiming to entertain an audience that lusts for confrontation and disagreement. A game show in which points are scored when a member of opposition is exposed in the media for the most recent round of 'something or anothergate.'

Particular goings on within our Political framework over recent months have led to this article being written.

Most notably during the past week, when our very own Prime Minister David Cameron snapped across the bench during Prime Ministers Question Time. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, a man with many believe has a lot to answer for in terms of the financial crisis, was chirping away whilst Cameron was attempting to answer a question. Suddenly, he paused, and launched a verbal tirade towards Balls, telling him to 'shutup', whilst declaring him 'the most annoying man in modern politics.'

To only add to the drama, the commons transformed to resemble more of a football ground, the backbench MPs fulfilling the role of football hooligans as they burst into a chorus of jeers, wafting a selection of paper they had brought with them, intent on supporting their trusted manager, David Cameron. This had proceeded a quick fire duel involving Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband over his upcoming marriage.

In favour of getting down to business and attempting to solve the current double dip recession, they entered into a round of friendly 'banter' over a potential stag night.  Much as I enjoy the highly intellectual humour of a couple of privately-schooled politicians, personally I find it all rather worrying that the collection of men and women we are trusting to overlook the recovery from our worst economic position for nearly 40 years are more interested in trying to gain a few man points from putting the other down a peg or two. Of recent times, PM's QT has slid into this samey procession, whilst also beginning to leak into our areas of politics.

None more so than the personal slagging match that took the place of an intended London Majoral Election, in which Boris Johnson and Ken Livingston managed to drag the entire election down into a mere mud fight.

In an increase of publicity from previous elections, much of the televised debates on the were reduced to a personal level, completely abandoning any attempt to use the opportunity to display their case to be the London Major, whilst also shoving the views of other major candidates to one side, who then had little time to voice their opinions despite an attempt to maintain the topic of conversation onto actual policies. Ultimately, this battle had a huge influence on the outcome, as Livingstone's tax dodging sins lost out in favour of the bumbling charm and character Johnson paints of himself.  

Much can be drawn from within society as to why these changes have occurred in the class of our modern politician. Despite my anger towards the road in which these events that have such great importance to everyone have gone down, I am aware it appeals to the mass of the British people, particularly those with little actual grasp on politics and the policies leaders propose.

Much like many of us enjoy a daily dose of Jeremy Kyle, the drama that unfolds in many political battles of today resembles much of the same pettiness that makes Kyle's show such a success. But the love we have for a diet of reality TV has leaked into our political system.

The British people, led by a media that picks though the lives of rich of famous with a fine tooth pick, loves to kick a man at his peak off his pedestal with the uncovering of a dirty secret. Unfortunately, politicians themselves have decided the best way to win over the voters is adopt a similar approach of low blows and sarcastic comments, ahead of sensible debate with intent on progression we should all truly strive for, particularly in times of such hardship. However, until this vital point of view shifts in the public initially, Ringleaders Cameron and Miliband will continue to lead their posse of followers around the house of commons in time to the pantomime politics beat. 

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