Last week a Tory council candidate disparagingly referred to Ed Miliband as 'the Jew', a UKIP MP referred to gay people as A** bandits and the prospect of Boris Johnson running the country was actually being seriously discussed. This week is election week and it is fair to say my loss of faith in the political system is at its highest.
At 18 I keenly campaigned and dropped leaflets for a political party. Coming from a politically engaged home meant I knew and felt the importance of voting and consumed all political information I could get my hands on. Seven years on and with another election in two days' time, I can safely say I am as politically disengaged as I've ever been or ever thought possible.
My mother has practically hounded my phone and email account for the past six months, spouting political facts, the latest poll outcomes and the life story of my local MP. I switch off. I switch off and for the last few months have been trying to work out why.
At 18 I knew only a few things about what I thought were my political beliefs. Mainly, I wanted equality (whatever I thought that meant at 18). At 18 I believed my values would align with a party; that my ideals would be wholly represented through the policies of primarily men wearing suits who lived and worked in the big city I dreamed of going to. At 24 and having had a little more time to understand who I am and what I believe, I have realised that no party truly represents my values or even gets close. At 24 I've realised that at my core is a belief that we are all human before we are anything else and we should treat others accordingly. This core belief does not seem to be echoed in the policies of political parties.
In a society where we, the voters, have been made into self-interested and self-obsessed monsters, politicians are forced (perhaps!) to create policies which appeal to this individualistic and selfish nature in a desperate attempt to gain power. This power seems then only to be used for 'economic growth', or what I understand as enhancing the wealth of the already rich. What has struck me in the past few weeks and months is how far removed politics is from being about people and building a better community.
As a result I and perhaps others interested in more than just our own selfish gains may be struggling to find a political fit. It seems politics is less and less about values, or at least my core value: we are all human before anything else and in my eyes the election should be fought and won with that ideal at its core.
Whilst I, without doubt, will be voting this year, my understanding for those who actively choose not to vote is greater than ever before.