A lack of public engagement in politics has allowed slogans to overtake real action as the go-to output from government, writes Alexander McKibbin, with results beginning to manifest themselves in aspects of our society.

The relationship between the governed and the Government appears to have descended to an all-time low, simultaneously the electorate's interest in what their political masters are up to has inexorably waned to invisibility.

Vox pop interviews reveal an endemic and disturbing political ignorance that should serve as a wake-up call to all and sundry. Listening to voters reveals a truly lamentable understanding of what is going on and that which unquestionably directly affects them. It is an enervating and depressing experience. The tired old maxim of "people deserving the politicians they get" is revealed to be alarmingly apt.

In an age of instant communication, where a wrong word can result in calumny being heaped on a perceived wrong doer, trite, and often execrable slogans have become the order of the day. The more onerous task of policy explanation and discourse has long been jettisoned in favour of fatuous soundbites.

Politicians are acutely aware that repetitive slogans play well with both a rapacious media as well as a largely disengaged public. There is no appetite on either side for engagement with policy or legislation and that is a great loss for both sides.

However, as Pericles observed, "Just because you do not take an interest in politics, it doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you". Time and again, people complain about what is wrong with the country, yet feign bewilderment and incomprehension as to why it's happening.

With decades of toing and froing in Westminster, one sees a creeping paralysis that augers badly for the future. Slogans have freely spewn from politicians' mouths over the years, but one cannot help feeling a painful resignation as to how we have arrived at this dismal juncture.

Without attribution to any party the selection below amplifies what a blight this now is:

  • Building a country that works for everyone
  • Strong and stable
  • A Stronger Britain – a prosperous future
  • A Britain living within its means
  • Security stability opportunity
  • For the many not the few
  • Win the future
  • A better future for you and your family
  • A new leadership
  • A future fair for all
  • Stronger together
  • Work, Care, Equality Together
  • Your choice, shape the future
  • Stronger economy fairer society
  • Change that works for you
  • A future fair for all.

Write for us.

We're always on the lookout for talented writers and welcome submissions. Please send your opinion piece or pitch to: editor@commentcentral.co.uk

Not forgetting the World Economic Forum's ubiquitous "Build Back Better".

If vacuous platitudes carried any weight, the country would, by now, be a veritable northern Shangri-la. In the real world, despite our now eye watering und unsustainable debt, countless Parliaments, good intentions, and a never-ending shuffling parade of well salaried Ministers, where is Great Britain Plc?

Given the above, one would reasonably assume the UK was a land with well-educated children being regularly turned out – admirably armed to face the modern world, a land where poverty was eradicated, a land where the nation's health was supremely well catered for

Sadly, a cursory glance reveals that far from paradise, we are living in a fractured dystopian society. Food banks overwhelmed by demand, welfare costs exploding and a shocking and shameful waiting list for healthcare – a problem, history teaches us, that will not be solved by engulfing the sainted NHS in yet another blizzard of cash. Children garnering record grades yet employers complaining about a lack of basic literacy and numeracy.

Despite drowning in futile slogans, has anything really bettered the lot of the population as a whole? By and large most people would be content with Mazlo's hierarchy of needs being met – perhaps with weekly bin collection tagged on to reach nirvana.

We are a country riven with discord and anger, yet with a Prime Minister preferring to blithely show-boat to the gallery rather than do what he is paid for.

What will it take to rouse people from their torpor and question why nothing has radically changed for the better? Or are we content to accept a gradual erosion of fundamental rights and responsibilities that are associated with a western civilized democracy?

Slogans – those are easy. Real change, now that's hard.

7 votes

Sign-up for free to stay up to date with the latest political news, analysis and insight from the Comment Central team.

By entering your email address you are agreeing to Comment Central’s privacy policy