Monday, November 17, 2008

Political Aliens

The British political conference season is upon us. Brummies who may have tried to walk through what they previously considered to be their own public square will be more than aware of this. The security lockdown for a conference by a party not even in power does seem on the wrong side of excessive. We can only hope that all those well-protected Tories are out using their discount vouchers in our clubs, restaurants & bars so that we do see a positive balance to our local economy.

Other than this visible intrusion there's barely a ripple of excitement caused by the conference or anything else in British politics, it is relentlessly dull. I suppose politics isn't really built for stimulation, even the arguments and petty jibes are yawn-inducing, and used so repetitively that they become ineffective.

The fact that politics touches all of our lives should make it relevant, important even. The presence of politicians essentially makes it quite the opposite. Politics is essentially practiced by people with no grasp on reality, people who've lived their entire lives within institutions - from higher education to the Houses of Parliament. These people have no idea how to engage with us, even when they've been repeatedly schooled in the practice. They are the essential proof that there is a massive difference between theory and reality.

Essentially now it's about leaders. Do we buy into the over-educated Etonian in love with his own soundbites or the principled but dour Scot who says one thing and often does something else entirely. Do we really have anything in common with these power-obsessed individuals?

I always vote but the very concept of casting favour in the direction of those who are so desperately needy for it seems alien to me. They may pretend to want to help you but really they're ego-driven-power-crazed aliens who want to be top 'man'.

Perhaps Dave could at least try to humanise himself by spending some time with me whilst he's in the area. We could take a brisk jog away from the sanitised areas of Broad Street. Head away from brindleyplace on the canal towpaths, away from the over-priced and under-sold luxury apartments, run under the Dudley Road and past all the disused industrial buildings, the scrap-yards and into the heart of what used to be a manufacturing industry before Thatcher.

Failing that we could just go to The Wellington on Bennetts Hill, have a few pints of Pig on the Wall and talk shite. Then we'll stroll down to catch the train from New Street and laugh at how run-down the station is, perhaps we'll also wonder how trains that are advertised on the trainline website can suddenly disappear. Or even muse about why the pre-recorded voices of the announcements weren't given phonetic pronunciations of some of the local place-names.

I doubt we'll have that much time, so maybe he can just come down the baggies with me. He can probably still afford to buy me a pint in the ground before the match, as I'm certainly not paying the £3 they want for it these days. Maybe after a few stellas he might agree to buy my Bradford and Bingley shares. Probably not though, he doesn't look quite that stupid.

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