Every Budget I have ever lived through successfully achieves one thing; it annoys a lot of people. It doesn't matter who's in power, what they believe in or how much they're trying to grease the wheels of a system creaking under the weight of public disapproval. People will still be hacked off. No amount of tax manipulation, benefit adjustment or pension tinkering will adequately placate the population. And of course it doesn't stop there. Throw in the odd NHS bomb, mention privatisation and dare to utter the word immigration and you have jolly old British brouhaha that will linger longer than the Euro-debate. It seems, therefore, that the politicians lot is an increasingly frustrating one.
And the truth is that politics will only become a more wearisome pursuit. Left or right, green or orange the challenge will remain the same; humans are simply evolving beyond the reach of modern politics. The world has shrunk exponentially over the last decade and technology has made possible things that would have once appeared witchcraft. Money can be made in more ways than ever before, lives bear less and less resemblance to those even in the 1980's. Social media has made 'government mocking' something of a past-time; a person's feelings and opinions can swell to a Tsunami sized outpouring in a matter of hours. We shop online, we bank without moving from our houses, we have food delivered when and where we want it. We are more insular, fragmented and selfishly aware than ever before.
The concept that any of us should fall comfortably in to a singular political group is a fast evaporating reality. Personal evolution at the hands of the afore mentioned socio-economic changes means that many of us no longer have a singular political ideal. Let's look at the badger cull, for example. I think it's abhorrent and vehemently disagree with it in every sense. It's also formulated under the umbrella of a Conservative agenda. As is the current economic policy. Which I believe makes some sense. So what political label should be bestowed upon me? None I hope. Because I, like a growing number of others, am no longer represented adequately by 'one' party. If you delve deep in to the array of policy manifestos, and I mean seriously rummage around, the chances are you'll find something you like and something you loathe among all the pots of propaganda gold. And not just policies, but people too. How frustrating it is when 'the party you're not supposed to like' parades a decent human being that you find quite amiable?
The truth is, we're becoming a nation of ambitious thinkers with views formulated from our own notions of right and wrong. The information age is giving us more access to the facts than ever before and this means we're able to make ever-more insightful judgements on very specific issues. And that's a problem for politicians. Because whether you support Labour, Tories, Lib Dems, UKIP or the Green Party, you'll almost certainly have a personal view on the Syria, HS2, the economy, the badger cull, the Unions or the NHS. And there's an increasingly likely chance that your own conclusion bears no resemblance to that of party you voted for.
The political party that triumphs in the future will be the party to effectively access the quiet, thoughtful majority that exists below the level of the all too familiar media hungry noise mongers. The party who listens to, and acts upon, feelings from this expansive 'introvert layer' will ultimately succeed in accessing a true barometer for the country.
To a degree, we've seen this layer already finding their voice. Brian May's 'Stop The Badger Cull' e-petition on the Government website has gained an unprecedented 303,842 signatures. It's the largest e-petition ever seen. No drama, so self serving diatribes, no selfish agenda. Just 303,842 people who oppose the slaughter of badgers to stop TB, wishing to make themselves heard. Clearly. Peacefully. The question is whether this Government chooses to listen. Whether they appreciate that this people-led process is a far more democratic approach than nailing down policy at the hands of agenda-laden advisors.
Our elected officials are so busy wrangling over their unedifying games of Whitehall ping pong that they're missing the most pressing and urgent of matters. UK Politics is becoming an impossible proposition. The question is; who will effectively adapt to these extreme changes of political need? Or will we see an entirely new party honed from the desires of an evolving nation? I believe a quote from the author Terry Tempest Williams holds a key to the future.
'Each voice is distinct and has something to say.
Each voice deserves to be heard.
But it requires the act of listening.'