Steve Brine

Politics isn’t tiddly-winks or a pillow fight at a sleepover

Some people didn’t like my statement to Rachel Smalley on The now defunct Nation programme that politics is a “dirty, disgusting, despicable people playing a dirty, disgusting, despicable game”.

The ones who didn’t like that truthful statement in particular seem to be from the left, and have this belief that politics is some sort of intellectual exercise.

They would never have been beaten up by union thugs after a public meeting, or forcibly ejected by those same thugs from a meeting for heckling in the time honoured tradition of politics.

They will also likely not have had a war with their own party, or the opposition.

Don’t get me wrong, politics is the best game in town and mostly because there are no rules. Where those sooks whining about my statement prefer pillow fights I prefer knife fights…and I’ll trot along with a shotgun. Politics is about winning not cuddles or tiddly winks.

Now you know where I stand you will better appreciate my dismay at reading this:

Nick Clegg is sad at the moment. Not because of his party’s fortunes, but because of the low regard that so many young people have for democracy. He blames it on MPs shouting, telling the BBC’s Free Speech programme: “I long for a day when politics is actually done in our language in Westminster, which is a normal language, rather than this archaic, shouty, 19th-century language.”

He could have been talking about this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, where MPs roared and jeered as they usually do. Mr Clegg has never much liked this spectacle, and others agree with him: John Bercow, the Speaker, has a near-weekly habit of scolding Honourable Members for putting off voters with their ebullience.  Read more »