Just read Charlie Brooker's piece for tomorrow's (today's) Guardian on politicians. I suspect my posting it here will only invite a deluge of comments wholeheartedly endorsing his view. Actually, strike 'comments', make that 'abuse'. I know my audience.
I don't agree with him on the particular issue which prompted his ire, nor do I accept his premise that politicians are only 'dimly aware' that the public exists. Most of us spend far more time communicating with members of the public than the average person, whether it be in person at events or surgeries, or by email or phone or letter. Some of us try to improve on that by using new media. In fact Jack Straw - the target of his rage - gets up on a soapbox in Blackburn town centre whenever he's in town and invites people to debate with him. Compare this with politicians of only a few decades ago, who visited their constituency only a couple of times a year. And no email either. (I get about 200 a day).
I suppose it's inevitable that politicians will be accused of not listening when they do something someone doesn't like... As I've said on here before, many a time, to the trolls - I know what you're saying, I hear you loud and clear. I just don't agree with you!
But leaving all that aside - what can be done about it? This cynicism, this disillusionment, this disgust even, with politicians? Is it really about the decisions that are being taken, or is it the way we communicate those decisions, or the way we consult or fail to consult before we take them? Obviously it's partly about the expenses (although the misperceptions on that front are immense), the sleaze, the scandals. But why, in an age where politicians are physically more in touch than ever before with the people they represent, are they perceived to be so out-of-touch? Where are we going wrong?
Over to you trolls. But be polite. About me, at least. References to 'snouts' and 'troughs' are, as you know, banned.