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Polititical Confusion

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I am 25, and i enjoy discussing a bit of politics. Regular readers will know the sorts of politics i enjoy, and that it tends to be 'the politics of life'. The difference between our elected politicians, and everyone else, is that they talk about  'the politics of politics' which is all too often  detached from what really matters to the citizens of the UK.

What i have discovered recently is that 'the politics of life' doesn't recognise party boundaries. 'The politics of politics' could so easily be renamed 'the politics of the party' as it is almost totally focused on the issues surrounding the party divide. With it comes the point scoring, the blaming, the rhetoric and shouting incoherently from the back benches.

It is this distinction that has made it so difficult for me to vote, and i find it almost impossible to tell you what party i support.

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The politics of life is different for everyone, and as i just found out it is almost impossible to sit down and describe what your current politics is. The best i can come up with is that my politics is about doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right person....but that doesn't really describe it in any detail...just a set of buzz words.

In fact, the bridge between 'the politics of life' and 'the politics of politics' is built when we try to define our politics. Once we say what our politics is, it becomes difficult to go back on that. My politics changes every day, depending on what is happening to me, my friends, my family, my community, my country and my world. Our elected politicians, on the other hand, have no choice but to stick valiantly to their party politics. My freedom to change my beliefs at any time liberates me from others' expectations and allows me to consume information, process it, and reshape my beliefs. I allow myself to perform the most outrageous u-turns, and i am proud to admit that. I am not so stubborn and proud to admit when i am wrong and publicly change my view.

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Politicians, on the other hand, have no such liberty. The media do not allow our politicians the freedom to mature their politician beliefs, to admit when they are wrong, or to proudly u-turn when evidence comes to light to discredit their previous view. This leads to a risk averse government who's policies are designed with the media in mind. The current government have performed u-turns on many occasions, and have been mocked for it...even when it was the right thing to do. We must encourage risk taking, and when mistakes are made we must encourage prompt and effective corrections.

I would like to see politicians who focus on their values before their policies. If i was asked what my values are, i would immediacy say that i have Labour values. If i was asked what party i support, i would say 'i don't know'.

The obligatory random cat picture...Source

If i were ever a politician i would apply a test to all my policies. I would ask myself 'is this policy true to my values, or is it influenced by party politics, or the media?". By ensuring my policies are true to my values, i am part of 'the politics of life' and not 'the politics of politics'.

Could this be too idealistic? The current Commons culture makes is impossible to have a successful political career while sticking to your values. We need a Commons culture revolution in order to break the cycle of 'politics of politics' and return to what is important to us, the citizens of the UK.