“Not another one!” Is politics the itch that we can’t stop scratching?

Image credit: Nick Youngson

Politics is perpetual. There’s not a day that goes by without news of a new political crisis; a leadership battle; a revealing of a questionable policy. And whilst this is, of course, much better than anarchy, the endless cycle of political perspectives we see plastered across newspapers, illuminated on social media, and spoken in the mouths of friends can become tedious at times. The exasperation in the words of Brenda from Bristol, the now-renowned figure interviewed on the morning that news of the recent General Election broke, is testament to a general fatigue caused by the political presence.

Yet, whilst it can seem dull at times, politics will always remain on the tips of our tongues; sometimes disregarded for more presently pressing matters but always underlying everything we do, everything we say, everything we are. Politics is, after all, a matter of what people believe – yes, it is a method of control, but this comes with personal principles and opinion we hold dear to our hearts. Politics is change; a hope that we can manifest of our attitudes into something tangible. And, as the build-up to the recent election showed, people want to have a say. People want their attitudes to mean something.

Indeed, despite the fact that, in the recent election, non-voters outnumbered the people who voted for the winning candidate in 154 seats, research has shown that nearly half of non-voters would vote if they could do so online. A campaign video was even created to encourage the ‘unheard third’, the registered voters who did not vote, to have their say: the ‘CBA Party’, as it was referred to in the video, was revealed as actually standing for ‘The Campaign to Banish Apathy Party’ – and its popularity on social media shows that people wanted to listen.

Whilst it is probably true that nobody in their right mind would ever choose to watch BBC Parliament, and political jargon seems perpetually impenetrable, there is a constant urge in all of us to know at least the basics of what is going on in the political sphere of our country. Even in the people we see interviewed on the news who claim to not know who Theresa May is, still have a pared-down understanding of what is happening – after all, politics affects everything we do, say, and feel. The news reports of the daily Commons’ shrieking matches are tinnitus-inducing; but this is a tinnitus we still desire to hear. 

Politics is an itch, yes – but it is an itch we cannot stop scratching.


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