Thursday, 30 June 2016

Two days to go before we vote

in yet another election. I think most people will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning. There was a "media blackout" from midnight. The parties can no longer air election advertising - those lies they tell us before we vote. 
I am pretty well immune to advertising. Cynical? I suppose so. I remember one of my lecturers at teacher training college writing me a little "poem" on something I had written. It ended "you so cynical and you so young?" Perhaps I have always been a cynic. Even as as small child though I expected promised things would not happen - perhaps because I knew however hard I tried I was not going to be able to do some things and that I would not do others as well as I would like to have done.
I suspect government is rather like that. Ms Whirlwind is not the first child to say to me, "Why don't they do what they promise?" I can remember trying to explain very carefully and in very apolitical terms why it happens to an entire class of children aged around eleven. One of the boys looked at me and said, "Why do people bother to vote then?" My answer to that was, "In this country attendance at the ballot box is compulsory." They were confused. I don't blame them.
There are people who go into parliament with good intentions, very good intentions. They really believe they can make a difference - and perhaps they do. There are many more who go in for other reasons. I once knew a child whose stated intention was "to be Prime Minister and then I can tell people what to do". (He's a union boss these days.) 
I know a number of politicians and former politicians from across the political spectrum. I count two (from opposing sides) as good friends. Those two in particular have talked to me at length about their work in politics. They knew there would be limits on what they could do before they entered politics. Even so I think they hoped to achieve more than they did. I think they also expected to be disappointed. 
And I know that we will all be disappointed by the election results on Saturday. Even if "our side" forms government there will be limits on what they can do. 
Perhaps it is time to sit down and watch "Yes Minister" again?


Anonymous said...

I think it is a useful lesson to learn - that not everything turns out perfectly, especially at the first attempt.

Many people who are really good at something have put in a lot of practice (which is not obvious to others).

There is the saying: "The perfect is the enemy of the good".

And, quite often, your or my good, which we consider to be substandard because it is only 80 per cent of what we desire, is adequate for the job, and as good as, if not better than, other people's 100 per cent.

And the election. Immediately after the results are announced, the parties, that have been promising abundant goodies to come, will find there is no money in the kitty. Like day follows night. Every election. And where is the monetary crisis we had a few months ago, when only ruthless austerity could save the country?


jeanfromcornwall said...

Ah, "Yes Minister", that famous documentary series.

I chuckled at your child who wanted to be Prime Minister and ended up as a union boss. Does he realise that he has now over-achieved his ambition to tell people what to do?

It is nice to be getting old enough to match the degree of cynicism I have always had.

Adelaide Dupont said...

Hello Anonymous L - my version of Perfect being the Enemy of the Good is - "The normal is the enemy of the real". I came up with it at the end of March 2014.

And good = what we desire / is a thing to think about.

Jean from Cornwall: YES! [he has over-achieved his ambition - he gets to tell lots of people what to do and the Prime Minister might actually listen to him].

Another "telling people what to do dream" might be Royal Commissioner? Or Parliamentary Inquirer?

Those people and their work is a big factor in "Why I bother voting" - and if they have financial and moral support - so much the better.

Cat: " Even as a small child though I expected promised things would not happen - perhaps because I knew however hard I tried I was not going to be able to do some things and that I would not do others as well as I would like to have done."

And Anonymous L - isn't it the 1%ers that do things?

Anonymous said...

I thought we had been watching "Yes Minister" for the last two months ... at least there were times when it was better to think that it was a comedy show!