Monday, January 21, 2013

The invisible politicians in our midst

I'm on my way to a meeting in London, an International Relations Committee away day, to be precise, and although I'm not entirely certain why I was invited, I'm sure that all will become clear when I arrive.

However, my attention is drawn to the anonymity of politicians this morning. There was, on my train this morning, a politician (who shall remain nameless). Naturally, he was a Coalition MP - there are no other MPs with constituencies on, or near, the East Anglian main line or its branches - and he was, as is obligatory these days, in standard class.

He was working on his papers in an entirely efficient way, and I found myself wondering how many people sharing the carriage had any idea who he was.

Why does this draw my attention? Because, like everyone else on the train, he has experienced the delay to the service, the discomfort of the elderly rolling stock - in short, life as "the rest of us" experience it. He isn't cocooned from the public, he is part of it. And yet he will repeatedly be accused of being out of touch with us, of not understanding what we go through.

I suppose that, as a politician, you can't win. Quietly get on with your life, do your job and don't make a fuss, and we ignore you. Be highly visible and we take potshots at you - it's the British way.

Ah well, on that note, I'd better get to my meeting...

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