I read John Lustig’s letter (July 5th) regarding voter apathy with interest and identify with much of what he says.
I wouldn’t like to deny anyone their right to protest at the merits or otherwise of today’s politicians through the ballot box, but was it really necessary to dismiss an excellent councillor, Keith Bailey, through voting on national issues and potentially expressing a dislike of Mr Cameron, rather than actually voting on local issues?
From my own perspective, as someone who has in the past been politically active, I find many of today’s politicians lack real appeal and most fail to inspire me whatsoever.
I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s when we had genuinely interesting characters in political life, people like Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit, Neil Kinnock and David Steel, people who could really enthuse others to get involved in politics. We seemingly have no one remotely like them any more. Instead, politicians at all levels have become increasingly anodyne and as though they are actually frightened to express an original opinion or say something that might attract interest for either the right, or wrong reason. I have become convinced this is why many people are not attracted to becoming members of political parties, as there isn’t anyone who could be considered genuinely inspiring for them to look up to. I really do wonder what the future really holds for politics in this country with the main parties seeming to be differentiated by a hair’s breadth with policy platforms, which at face value at least don’t seem to offer the public distinct and genuine choices on some issues.
The overwhelming blandness of election literature in recent years may also be another reason for a lack of enthusiasm among voters. Standardised template-based leaflets with only the photographs and names changed for each ward don’t offer much inspiration and present the impression of corporate banality at its worst.
Surely, if people were fighting elections based on local issues, then the local candidates in each ward should be writing the key text for their leaflets and election addresses.
The only way forward is for people to speak up, say what they think and if the political establishment don’t like it, then hard luck to them.