POLITICS: Sick of the sound-bites

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At last, the General Election is over, except for the back-biting, blame-laying, fault finding and avoiding personal responsibility. Nothing new there then.

If people should remember any quote from the last election, it should be that of Brenda from Bristol, who, when told there was to be a snap election, said: “Oh God no, go away. You’re joking? Not another one. I can’t stand this. There’s too much politics going on at the moment.”

I can honestly say that I have had my fill of sound-bites and slogans all politicians seem to use nowadays.

When will they realise that the only ones that are remembered are those that come back to bite them on the bum? ‘Peace in our time.’ ‘You’ve never had it so good.’ ‘This lady is not for turning.’ ‘Things can only get better.’ The list is almost endless.

The ‘old sayings’ work because they have stood the test of time. This time we have had ‘strong and stable’, ‘there’s no magic money tree’, ‘coalition of chaos’, ad nauseam.

Perhaps I could beg your indulgence for some of the old sayings.

Politicians ‘talk a lot, but say very little’. The norm seems now for a politician not to even attempt to answer a specific question. Instead they go off on a tangent and talk about nothing relevant whatsoever.

Worst of all is the trend of a politician’s reply to begin with a long inhale of breath, a roll of the eyes and brief shake of the head, followed by the single word ‘look’. What they seem to be saying inwardly is ‘are you thick or what?’

Throughout the election one side would raise funding cuts in the police or NHS, and the usual response would be that ‘funding is at an all time high’, or ‘we have pledged lots of billions of pounds’ to this, that and the other. These are just meaningless numbers. They do not explain anything at all, plus you cannot solve a problem by just throwing money at it.

As my dear old Grandma from Yorkshire would say: ‘They know the price of everything and the value of nowt.’

We were constantly told of austerity measures that were needed because the Government just doesn’t have enough money to pay for everything, and there is no magic money tree.

It is a bit odd then that the Government could find £142million to pay for the EU referendum, which wasn’t really necessary. Or that political parties ‘found’ more than £40million to spend on it.

Similarly, the General Election cost more than £130million, with another £40million spent by the parties.

It suggests a case of Government asking that we ‘do as they say, not do as they do’. It seems money is no object when it comes to satisfying a politician’s whim.

Can someone explain to politicians when sound-bites and slogans were first used to great effect? They may then stop using them.

It was Joseph Goebbels, during the rise of the Nazi party, who said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually believe it.”

Now that is a sobering thought.

I did not like the way that some politicians tried to gain support by using recent heinous crimes and tragic events to their own advantage. However, here are a couple of figures for you to consider.

The Government says it has pledged £5million to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. During the EU referendum, the Government spent £9million on a leaflet it had posted through every letter box in the country.

It seems Grandma had it right – the price of everything and the value of nowt.

Mel Shaw,

Church Street,

Wooler