I don’t normally blog about politics, even though it’s one of my passions. This is a marketing blog after all. So I’ll keep this short.
Politicians are elected to represent the people.
To represent their views when it’s impractical for them to have a voice themselves.
But politics is broken.
I nearly made comment when the Bin Laden photographs were rumoured to be fakes.
The minute they started to circulate on the web, the general Twitter consensus was that they were probably photoshopped.
The people didn’t trust the US Government to release a real image (rightly so, as it turned out).
Then people started to wonder whether OBL was in fact dead. After all, it seemed strange that the most hunted man on earth could be shot and disposed of within a couple of hours.
Don’t forget, he’d been hunted for 10 years. And it was all over in a few hours.
It was all very odd.
It showed that individuals were willing to believe that their Government, the people they had voted for, were lying to them. In fact, it was almost as if they expected it…
And then, this week took a turn for the ‘interesting’ in the UK House of Commons.
Prime Minister David Cameron rounded on Dennis Skinner (who was getting somewhat agitated about something or other that sounded fairly genuine), and called him a dinosaur.
Twitter erupts. Blog sites erupt. The posh Tory private-school-educated Prime Minister is belittling someone else who was voted into the House to genuinely and fairly represent the people.
Name calling and tittle-tattle in the House (not that this is unusual).
Playground antics from fully grown men and women who are meant to be running a country.
Then there’s the rape row, and what constitutes a serious rape.
I mean, come on. This was from a professional politician who, frankly, should have been able to choose his words better.
Load all of this onto the aftermath of the UK expenses scandal, and a pretty sorry picture starts to emerge.
A picture where the public are angry. A picture where the public are disenfranchised. A picture where voting numbers are falling and political participation is on the way down.
People don’t care. People can’t see that their vote matters.
The people wonder if they count.
Or whether their vote will return more of the same, just under a different party. There’s no trust any more. That went a long time ago.
What a sad situation.
What a sad outcome for political branding.
What a mountain to climb for political marketers.
What an opportunity for anyone brave enough to try and fix a broken relationship between the rulers, and those who put them in power.
If you had the opportunity, what would you do?