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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wanted: tlc for politicians

Comedians and other media types promoting cynicism about elected politicians without actually having any alternatives of their own to offer: a profoundly dangerous game and a fairly definitive instance of power exercised without responsibility. All power corrupts and being a TV celeb corrupts absolutely... David Aaronovitch blows the whistle on behalf of a very unfashionable but vitally important cause.

Aaro sometimes overdoes the Nazi analogies, but here he would have been entirely justified in invoking the fourth-rate painter with the toothbrush moustache. For promoting the message that democratic politicians were, per se, morally contemptible was an essential ingredient in his rise to power. The Nazis and the Communists between them did a great job of making this view fashionable, ensuring that even those who voted for the democrats did so with less and less conviction.

Of course all politicians are crap some of the time and some are crap all of the time. Like comedians. Or journalists. Or bloggers. It's called being human. Which is why the 'why can't we get rid of them all?' mentality is lazy, self-indulgent wishful thinking, a recipe for replacing the good enough with the worst.

I dropped out of party political activism not least because I came to realize that I simply didn't have what it takes to make an effective politician. And I don't regard that as something to be proud of.

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