Monday, 1 February 2010

Golwg COLUMN: Closing their ears

'He doesn't listen.' How many times have these words been said about a pupil in a school annual report. Despite it being a few years ago now, I'm sure it was an apt summary of my school career in Friars  school, Bangor.
If this is true about some individuals, it's certainly true at times about the electorate. A time comes, and it comes to all parties at various times, when the electorate just switch off and refuse to listen.
Despite the best endeavors of the party concerned, the reasoning, the propaganda, the oratory are to no avail, they have little or no effect.
Why? A group 'psyche' takes over. The mind decides and the ears close. In such circumstances there is not a great deal a political party can  do to change things. They simply have to  accept their fate and wait patiently for the passage of time and the public memory to fade and then things might change.
Gordon Brown's government, I suspect, has arrived at this uncomfortable impasse. There is not a great deal that he, or his ministers, can say or do that will have an  influence on the voters.
The opinion polls have been consistent  for months  and they show a large gap between Labour and the Conservatives. Despite Brown being a workaholic, his efforts are of little consequence.
How did the  government reach such a state? When Brown got the keys to number ten, he had a honeymoon period. He wasted his opportunity. His spin doctors were told up the ante on an early general election, but like the old Duke of York, he went into retreat. He refused to leap and  thus created the impression of weakness. He lost his opportunity.
Then things went from bad to worse. The economic bubble burst. The banks got into difficulty and some faced bankruptcy. Ordinary people worried about losing their savings. In the situation the government had to throw public money to bail out the banks. So as night follows day, as  banks falter,  the real economy moves into recession.
In order to stop the economy  from turning recession into depression more public money was used  to solve the problem.
And the effect of it all? The country in massive debt and on the horizon major cuts. The future looks bleak.
And in these most difficult of economic times what do we discover? That our MPs have been  fiddling their  expense claims. Its little wonder that the public are turning their backs and scorning politics. And who gets the blame? The government , of course.
I will prophesy. That not only will the electorate shut their ears at the time of the election but a large proportion of them will refuse to turn out to vote, for any party.

No comments:

Post a Comment