I am a political disconnect. I watch, not even observing, mostly, since this would require the investment of too much emotional energy, focus and dedication. I wonder if politicians ever ask themselves fundamental questions like 'who is listening to me?' Perhaps they don't because if they did, there'd be a resoundingly empty chorus of 'nobody', thus damaging those frail, narcissistic egos beyond repair. When they don't write about politics; instead write about things they know about, sometimes the results are startlingly, refreshingly brightly coloured. Identifying the man with the portfolio is a common, understandable error, juxtaposing fatuous pronouncements he might make with a quite unjustified ad hominem mindset about him. If he delivers a lot of pompous drivel in his public persona, one might be forgiven for concluding the man's a total fathead and should be shunted offstage where he can do no harm. This, I confess, is how I felt about Michael Gove, who took the wooden spoon, preferably sideways up his sanctimonious bottom, for being the most arrogant little tick ever to hold a Government portfolio. He wrote a recent article in The Spectator which effected a paradigm shift of ecliptic proportions in the way that I viewed him. He can write. Extraordinarily well. And, with passion, persuasion and, dare it be said, transparency, so very different to how I had seen him previously. My thoughts returned to the perceived disconnect between the electorate and the politicians in the run up to a general election in the UK. I thought of my disgust at yet another expenses scandal and a government of carpetbaggers so arrogant they can’t be bothered to tell me how they’re going to strip the state down to gristle and bone if they win another term in office, or how they're going to stand up to ISIS without the Muslim community screaming Islamophobia at them, or any number of empty, vacuous and self-serving promises that they have no more intention of keeping than the Iranians have of keeping their word about nuclear proliferation.
Who do people listen to? Perhaps they listen to the writers, the prophets without portfolio. I read the other day that crime writers tend to be leftist and thriller writers are on the right. And, there's a grain of truth in that. Crime novel heroes are often societal sideliners, dipping their toes edgily into dark, socially murky waters, where the crackheads live, whereas the thriller heroes are on the side of right, might and the maintenance of the status quo. The writer's view is in part a mirror on the world as he sees it so his own perspective slips unbidden into the narrative. As long as he's not a politician as well, in which case, we have no choice but to enjoy what he writes and howl and jeer whenever he opens his mouth.