The other day I tuned into BBC Radio Five Live to be greeted with the sounds of yelling, laughing and the occasional vain plea to calm down. I assumed it was some kind of report from a local school playground where children ran boisterously, giving one another wedgies and playing Kisschase with the skinny girls. Turned out it was Prime Minister's Questions.
Every time I listen to PMQs my levels of despair and incredulity rise, whilst at the same time my faith in the future of this country decreases. If I had to break it down, I would say that the half-hour slot at midday every Wednesday consists of ten percent reasoned debate and five percent silence. The remaining eighty-five percent consists of bawdy howling and unintelligible whooping.
Is this democracy? Does the future of our great nation boil down to a group of chubby men and women whose puckered buttocks have only ever known the soft embrace of three-ply toilet paper, guffawing at one another as a dribble of duck fat trickles from the corner of their mouths? So vulgar are they that a short greying man is employed for the sole purpose of dressing like an idiot and pleading with everybody to calm down so we can actually listen to people speaking. But still they continue, blarting throatily to drown out the sound of reasoned argument and replace it with the cacophonous diarrhoea of childish pettiness.
We are officially in another recession. These are difficult, testing times. There is one thing that disturbs me about disastrous economic climes more than the threat of job loss, or the notion that I may live out the rest of the year sleeping on the kerb outside the house I once inhabited. It's the drone of politicians talking about how difficult the future will be. Their faux sympathy and dread grates on me like nails on a chalkboard. There they are, clutching their BlackBerrys and thinking about their six-figure salaries as they spout pure tripe about how 'we are all in this together'. It's the knowledge that, after they've wiped away a single deceptive tear from a cologned cheek, they will climb into their Bentley or Jaguar and be chauffeured to one of their two houses to wait until next Wednesday when they can start all over again.
Double-chinned, affluent laughter? Check. Childish hooting? Check. False pity for the man on the street? Check.
Congratulations. You're a politician.