As the MP expenses row continues to engulf the media bubble, life for those outside the Westminster village goes on. And for many that remains really rather grim.
Climate change still needs to be urgently dealt with, as shown so vividly by the disappearance of a glacier in Bolivia. The main political parties continue to talk about the issue, offer vague policies but fail to push for the immediate action that is needed – in fact we’re going backwards in some cases, as with the tragic closure of the only wind turbine factory in the UK.
Equally appalling is the news that the country is more unequal that any time since modern records began in the early 60s. Sadly this does not surprise me at all based on my experiences in Brighton & Hove, but it is tragic that after so many people put their hopes in New Labour that they have been let down. I hope they recognise the failure was New Labour’s — not politicians or politics as a whole (though I could support arguments that opposition parties failed us in sufficiently scrutinising some Labour policies over the years).
Rather than dissect all the policies, I would just like to highlight that all these issues: expenses (snout in trough disease), climate change, social justice… they all highlight the urgent, desperate, vital need for there to be vibrant and active politics in this country. I dearly hope people are not turning off politics as we need them to vote for change more than ever before. Stephen Fry’s take on this in a BBC interview I think is rather helpful and incisive.