A few days back, I came across an article in the Independent newspaper that reported an interesting, if not startling figure. "The public’s disenchantment with Westminster is now so severe senior Conservative figures fear the party’s membership has fallen to 100,000 for the first time in modern politics – a fraction of its three million heyday."
That is especially significant because Tories are still the ruling party, but only just - they were forced to form a coalition which could easily have kept them out of power. The victors, therefore, were the Lib Dems, and unless there is a resurgence in public participation in the political process, they are likely to be around for a while. Today's political landscape is very bland and the very thin mandate that the present government has highlights a worrying disenchantment that cuts across society. There is nothing but more of the same on the political menu and nothing to separate the choices from one another. In their desperation to appeal to the masses, the political parties have occupied the middle ground and no longer inspire or motivate and the demise of memberships to British party politics only reaffirms our distance.
Maybe we do not engage because there is no urgency when our bellies are full. Our situations are not the same as those elsewhere. The restiveness witnessed in various parts of the middle east has been an important indicator of a new type of politics. However, can we learn from this? Perhaps, in time, the social media will override traditional party politics. I certainly hope that the pressure and changes that the social media can bring about continues to grow. This way we can become an instant part of the debate, challenge the current illusion of choice and be politically 'incorrect' if need be.
Read: I Love Politics, I Hate Politics, It's Complicated by Matthew Paul Turner