Thursday, April 08, 2010
'May you live in interesting times' is either a Chinese curse or something that people commonly believe to be a Chinese curse. We live in uninteresting times for British politics as there are no distinctive ideologies or, indeed, ideas in any of the major parties; just shades of centrism. Since political ideas and ideologies that stray from shades of centrism have a disastrous track record, ie. the 20th Century, we ought to be pleased, oughtn’t we? Those who are not pleased are those who are interested in politics and claim to take it ‘seriously’. But is complaining about a lack of radical ideas and firebreathing speeches and soapbox knockabouts really taking politics seriously, or the opposite, ie. demanding that politics be a source of entertainment? Why isn’t it a good thing that politics is dull and most citizens seek their entertainment elsewhere? And then again, how is it that in the USA, where the ideological gap between the so-called Left and Right is arguably even more negligible than here, the bloggers and wonks are able to work themselves up into such a hysterical, polarised frenzy? Too much politics? Isn’t politics just a necessary evil in the business of government? A relatively trivial sideshow? And what is the business of government? To protect us from the Hooded Claw and keep the vampires from our door, certainly, but why more? Doesn’t politics just encourage politicians to do ever more governing? And where did I leave my hat?