Politicians are the villains of society. But why? Is every person that wants to help run the United Kingdom necessarily a bad human being? Is evil, just as a matter of nature, coursing through the veins of those that we elect our leaders? Of course not! The problem lies in our democratic political system and the organizations in the media that surround it.

Within the last few years we have witnessed one of the many economic downturns that have occurred over the last one hundred years. Times have been hard for many families and the struggle is far too real in millions of homes. Who do people blame for this? Politicians. They are the scapegoats; and rightly so you might claim. They are the ones in charge; they are the ones that can do something about it!

In reality, the recession that we have all felt for most of the last decade, happened because of an unsustainable system. The collapse of Lehman Brothers was then the catalyst that pushed us all over the edge into the economic depression of recent years. UK politicians have no control over what Lehman Brothers did, we live in a free market capitalism, yet still it was politicians that were blamed – along with the portion of blame placed on their evil villain sidekicks known as ‘The Bankers’.

The economic downturn was not the fault of our politicians.

Sure you might say, maybe the politicians weren’t to blame for the economic downturn. But what about the infamous expenses scandal? The bad rep our evil politicians got in this case was definitively justified, right?

Wrong. Again, it was the system. If the system allowed you to claim thousands of pounds back for features in your home, I’m sure you would. I mean why wouldn’t you? The system allows it, so it’s okay. If the law suddenly changed tomorrow allowing everyone to claim back the VAT they paid when they purchased their new TV, you would claim it back, right?

So why would Sir Peter Viggers reject the chance to claim money back for his duck pond? The expenses scheme allowed politicians to have a second home and features along with that home; why would anyone reject the chance to save themselves money? Sir Peter Viggers was just doing what the system allowed him to. Maybe that duck pond gave him pleasure and increased his work ethic – I’m sure the ducks weren’t complaining.

We live in a capitalist state; everyone is free to make money how they please as long as one acts within the law. This freedom is something we all value; this freedom should not be taken away. Sir Peter Viggers broke no law; why punish him for doing something he was at liberty to do? Don’t blame the politicians, blame the system.

I might be sounding like a crazed lover of politicians right about now; one that loves them like a fan-girl loves One Direction. Maybe this article is one-sided, maybe I should correct this right about now and admit that politicians aren’t perfect human beings – which, of course, they are not.

But, I am not going to do this, the newspapers you read provide a one-sided negative view against our ‘enemies’ the politicians; why should I not be one-sided in their defense? Sure it’s bad journalism, but I’m just following the example the Sun and the Daily Mail set, don’t blame me, all blame must be placed on the politicians… remember?

The media is, in fact, the medium through which our politicians get their bad rep. When was the last time it was front-page news that a politician saved a cat from a tree or that unemployment is at a five-year low?

Darren Mundy, Head of Media Studies at Hull University, when I interviewed him on this topic, said that the media have a “perpetual focus on the negatives, not the positives”. Wouldn’t it be better if the public saw the good politicians did every now and then? Does newspaper journalism always have to be all doom and gloom?

Now, we have all seen the video of Ed Milliband repeating his spin line about the recent strikes over and over again – if you haven’t you can find a link below – yet people don’t realize that this type of thing is happening all the time; it’s just Ed Milliband clearly didn’t ace his media training. Spin statements are basically the only statements politicians can use, and this is often why they gain the reputation of being untrustworthy, public school folk. However, Ed Milliband was not this party-line repeating robot before he was in the focus of the media, he was turned into the ‘villain’ by media scrutiny. This video provides evidence for that.

Politicians are liars, not because they are born evil, but because they are forced to lie by the journalists that will publically humiliate them if they didn’t! Politicians use spin statements to avoid the controversy that would follow from any slightly outlandish statement. That’s why it’s called political correctness; because the politicians are forced to never say anything slightly controversial by the media… by the system. We need more honesty in politics, and this can not be brought about by the politicians themselves, they are merely puppets of the media trained to say what the media wants to hear.

Politicians are not bad people. They are made into villains. By one-sided articles. By bankers. By a flawed expenses arrangement. By journalists. By tabloids. By the media. By the system.

 

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlTggc0uBA8

http://www.economist.com/news/schoolsbrief/21584534-effects-financial-crisis-are-still-being-felt-five-years-article

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5357568/MPs-expenses-Sir-Peter-Viggers-claimed-for-1600-floating-duck-island.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27046681