My mate Dave and me were in the pub discussing Ed Balls’ gobbledegook chat on Radio 4’s Today radio programme. The lady working behind the bar said. ‘Who’s Ed Balls?’
‘The shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer’........‘Who?’
‘Have you heard of Ed Miliband?’.......‘Who?’
She has got two children (‘Ten minutes of fun.’), a car, which keeps breaking down and, because she’s pretty, plenty of the lads in the pub fix it for free, when it’s completely knackered her dad buys her another one. But it seems that she has no idea of what happens in the world around her.
My mother was born in 1914 and would be about the same age as the lady behind the bar by 1946. The big difference was that in my mother’s day people talked about politics. They had opinions.
Churchill (‘War Monger.’). Attlee (‘ Bloody Labour party. What can he do?’) Nye Bevan ( ‘National Health Service?’) Frank Cousins, President of the Transport Workers Union. (‘He’s back from Moscow. Got his orders.’ ‘He’s selling busts of himself at the Conference!’)
Yes, there were strikes back then but in a way that showed political thrust. But with no televisions, no computers, mobiles, washing machines, dish washers, central heating with nothing interesting on the radio and after a meagre meal of boiled potatoes and fritters (I’m laying it a bit thick here but there were food shortages.), adults would sit round the fire and talk. And politics would be one of the topics.
But do people talk these days? Even if they wanted to, social spaces are pervaded with musac. They, of course, grunt and mutter, play games on their smart phones, ‘converse’ on Twitter or Facebook.
Their world is full of noise and nobody can hear anything. There’s an opinionated, social network that wraps it’s tentacles around the globe but no one’s taking any notice.
There’s so much going on, that maybe nobody noticed that Ed Miliband (?) had fallen through the cracks.
Anne Wilson(Thursday, July 04 13 10:18 am BST)
Think people are more interested in talking about TV talent shows, soaps and banal reality TV than discussing politics nowadays. Maybe why Nadine Dorries opted to appear in the latter; she certainly did get noticed and caused much discussion! I think Ed's brother would have made a better leader and he probably thought so too!
Mark(Saturday, July 06 13 01:05 am BST)Completely agree Ray, but take comfort that I'm in my early 30s, probably about the same age as that barmaid and I'd rather discuss politics than reality TV or use Twitter and Facebook. They're just momentary pleasures and devices to take our mind off the fact we're all going to hell in a handcart! And then MP's wonder why we have 'voter apathy' ??