Over the past few weeks we have been speaking to a number of different people involved in politics. MP's, councillors, people with strong opinions and people with no political opinions.
Basically, you are either really into politics or you're not. There are not that many people who sit on the fence on this point.
A lot of people are not interested in politics because they find it confusing and intimidating. This apathy is also produced by a lack of trust in what our politicians say.
We all have seen politicians interviewed on TV - a question posed with a yes or no answer, is contorted into a shrewd spiel of sentences and a machiavellian smile. When this is done, we all cringe unitedly, because who are they trying to kid? Why do think we are so stupid? But what can do about it? Very little? …More apathy then…
Or if you really are that into politics then you are a supporter of a certain party, If you are aware of what your opposing party is up to then it's highly probable that around 80% of the information on other parties has come from the biased view of your political party.
As a teenager, my understanding of politics was something like - on the left: you have the vegetarian labour voters and then on the right you get the tory yuppies, with aluminium briefcases, and slick back hair. Oh and people like my Nan who would also vote conservative but wouldn't fit in, in a wine bar sucking up filthy named cocktails with the city slickers.
These labels and stereotypes were not just limited to an ignorant teenager, either. Whilst the parties have dramatically changed and the political 'left to right' line has smudged, there is still this mild sniff of generalising that manages to taint some peoples views of politics.
Talking to a large number of people with no interest in anything political, lot's of it comes from a lack of being able to get past any of this confusion, who is who and what are they, and why.
Basically, my understanding of politics is that it is increasingly difficult to get a clear answer on anything. Gah! No wonder that such large numbers of us don't bother voting. If only we could make it a little more digestible.
This weeks niceness...
With all this rain, I got of the train the other morning and noticed about 50% of people without umbrellas, using their morning papers to shield themselves, whilst the other 50% poked them in the eye with the spokes of their massive umbrellas. The first person I shielded under my brolly was a bit suspicious of me, as were the rest, until I tried it in the evening when people were a little bit drunk... then it was much better received.
I'll do it every time it rains now…so in the profound words of Rihanna - ' Now that it's raining more than ever, Know that we still have each other, You can stand under my Umbrella, You can stand under my Umbrella, Ella ella eh eh eh…'
By Liz Akers.