Well, it’s been an eventful run-up to the 2015 General Election here in the UK so far. The smears and negativity are flying around thick and fast, within the political parties, the media, and the general public. It’s turned into one massively horribly managed PR exercise, with most parties seemingly having deployed the most childish, least experienced comms teams they could get their grubby hands on.

Seriously, what the hell has happened to politics? Now, I’m going to confess my bias immediately – you all knew that I campaigned for the Yes side in the referendum, and my affiliation lies with the SNP. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t respect the leaders of the other parties, or their representatives.

For example, I quite enjoy watching Ruth Davidson, head of the Scottish Conservatives, debate. She actually does make her own points quite well, and makes a clear, logically-constructed case for her position. I don’t agree with her position, but her calm manner makes her party’s proposals vastly more palatable than her Westminster colleagues’. The only place she falls down is when her fiery nature gets the better of her, and she wants to interrupt others’ speeches to rebutt a point. Not a wholly terrible attribute, though, and frankly she does come across as being quite genuine.

This falls down almost completely in the media and in political statements, however. Everywhere we see negative ads being run, we see lies (actual, provable lies) being printed as fact and backed up by both newspaper staff and politicians, we see shoddy journalism more interested in stirring up controversy than informing the public. We have a political system now where the parties that actually have meaningful policies that they wish to propose are drowned out by other, larger parties desperate to shout down any and all opposition while offering little of difference themselves.
And then we get down to ground level, voter interaction outwith the circles of publishing. In person, over social media. Muppets, muppets everywhere! And ALL party supporters are guilty of this. Mainstream party voters align themselves along tribal lines and prepare for war, while the smaller parties argue amongst themselves and behave overly-defensively to any implied slight.I still believe there’s hope, especially with the boost to the popularity of the SNP and the Greens in Scotland, and the emergence of the Greens in England as a viable left-wing socialist alternative to Labour. And I hope that they can cooperate to help pull back Westminster politics from the sinkhole of clannism, comfort and privilege it has sunk to.In short – I’m really looking forward to the General Election, just so that all of this can be OVER, and the guttershit mudslingers and falsehood-peddlers can bugger off back under their rocks again.M.