Last week, The Labour Party released a secretly recorded tape of a Government Minister, Lord Freud, making ill-advised comments about disabled people and the minimum wage.
Now, it’s clear this was a cynical attempt by Labour to make the minister and the Government look bad – part of Labour’s election strategy for next May is to make the Tory’s look like “The Nasty Party”. The comments were taken out of context and when you examine the – poorly expressed – meaning behind the bad choice of words, the Minister was actually saying something that even disability campaigners have been mooting as a possibility for quite a while.
But the rights and wrongs and merits or not of what was said is not the issue of this post.
The issue here is that this nasty little indecent looks like it’s a sign of what we, the Great British Public, will have to put up with in the run up to next May’s General Election.
The comments were recorded on a smart phone without the knowledge of the speaker. And then held on to by Labour until what they considered the ‘optimal time’ to do most damage.
And Labour are not alone in this tactic. The Torys have done the same thing to Labour.
So are we really going to have seven months of secretly recorded conversations drip-fed to the media, each designed to make the other party look as bad as possible? Yes, I think we are.
Which is tragic really. Both parties seem to have already decided that the best way to win the election is to convince us just how bad the other party is. Whatever happened to a positive message? Whatever happened to telling the public what your vision for the country is and how you can make things better as opposed to how the others will make things worse?
Honestly, is it any wonder the public in England and Wales are as turned off by politics as they are?
I despair, I really do.