One thing seems certain. Politicians never fail to let us down with their unsuccessful policies and promises that never seem to be kept.
The expenses scandal showed MPs to be dishonest and untrustworthy, leaving us unsure as to how to perceive our government in terms of its control and management. The government leaves us unconvinced in regards to controlling immigration suggesting their lack of credibility and consistency. Promises are given to us from our current government and also from the potential government that might arrive within the next coming months.
Each party seems to be as deficient as the other when it comes to earning our trust and ensuring their ‘promises’ are kept.
US president Barack Obama has plenty of fine attributes: he has a sincerity that appeals to us and allows us to trust in him. Gordon Brown on the other hand seems to only disappoint us. His past record suggests that he has nothing new to offer the country; so if we aren’t to get a change of party, shouldn’t we at least get a change of Prime Minister?
“I will not let you down” is the phrase Brown used to reassure us in this difficult time. He continued to say “we will weather the storm together”, attempting to try regain his popularity or recover what popularity he may have lost to the other parties.
The fact that more people voted in the Big Brother evictions than in the last General Election just proves the lack of trust and interest we have in today’s politicians and their policies. This popularity in the TV show may be due to the good publicity that it gained, in comparison with the enormous amount of bad publicity surrounding our politicians.
Journalism student Michael McLoughlin says: “Gordon Brown wanted the title of Prime Minister but not the responsibilities that followed with it”.
Brown has on many occasions failed to pursue his parliamentary aims, and it’s not until an election approaches that he begins to try to fix the country’s problems. We are told he is to begin plans for producing the new high-speed rail link that will improve train journeys for many. However, this will impose costs on taxpayers for years to come and ignore the other financial realities that come with it. Is Brown enforcing this ‘flawed’ policy purely because he wants to win Labour votes, not because he believes it can mend the nation’s problems? Should we trust someone who only cares about votes and cares little for the public’s finances?
Being a successful, trustworthy politician is about having character and personality. David Cameron, the Tory leader, said being a character “is not about telling people what they want to hear but about what they need to know.” He himself claims this is a vital issue that should affect people’s decisions and that with him “what you see is what you get”.
A second year English Literature student at Leeds Metropolitan University said she doesn’t trust the Conservatives. “All I know is their past. I find it hard to believe that the Tories have changed.” She feels that David Cameron comes across as “a sleazy PR man that I find hard to trust.”
Kyle Maglione, a second year PR student said he plans to vote for the Liberal Democrats, following his family tradition. Yet when asked if he trusted the party leader, he didn’t know who that was; suggesting Nick Clegg hadn’t made much of an impact on him at all.
For some students it becomes a question of ‘will I vote at all?’ Twenty year old Thomas Doyne doesn’t plan on voting as he feels he doesn’t know enough about contemporary British politics. Does this suggest that politicians don’t target their campaigns at students and consequently they are left out of the voting process? Surely students have as much an opinion as anyone else; so why are they left out of the equation?
Some might say politicians are ‘all talk and no action’ and that no matter what they promise us they’ll do what they want when they come into power. If this is so, then we are left baffled as to whom to trust in general elections and need to spend a considerable amount of time reflecting on who we trust and furthermore who deserves our vote. Time needs to be spent reviewing the parties and what each stand for and whether you think each party can deliver.