A-midst the emotional and messy 11 hours of Commons debate, in which ‘politicians’ ultimately vote in favour of air strikes after what was quite palpable hesitation by waverers, Frankie Boyle did as he always had: he offered his punditry.
It got a lot of retweets. Because it managed to latch on to a widely shared public sentiment: Apathy. Disaffection.
The word ‘politician’ doesn’t mean much. In fact, it means nothing at all. Not in the way I hear it. Whenever you go on the doorstep, no matter your party, by far and away the most common response among non-voters is ‘they’re all the same, those politicians’. The Politician is not a person, it’s a class, it’s an Establishment. It is not an ideology (as tweeters would have you believe), it is empty suits. And it sucks, because if I thought politics was hopeless, that its end didn’t matter, I wouldn’t be out come rain or shine for hours on end trying to remember the house number of the resident as I rush to the board runner who’s now 3 blocks away.
And you know, it really doesn’t help our cause when self-righteous and immune comedians put on a tin foil hat.
Frankie Boyle hates Labour, and that’s fine. I think his hatred is irrational, but that’s fine. He’d probably think my activism naive at best, immoral at worst. That’s fine. Yet it was that Labour would-be PM for whom I campaigned that stopped strikes in 2013 -after seeking advice from one Hilary Benn-, that voted against them in 2014, and again outlined his opposition tonight. It is that Labour Party that, if it formed a government in May, would have likely not put this motion to the House and would have likely not led us to war. Because Ed Miliband, that ‘Politician’ who ‘Loves War’, as it turns out, doesn’t actually love war. There’s your fag paper; war.
Politics matters, and I’m not out on the doorstep for the pseudo-intellectual likes of Frankie Boyle to use their immense platforms for irresponsibility, to spread their message of anti-politics that helps no-one.
Especially when it is sheer grandstanding. There are people that use their platforms for good. Advancing apathy is not a good cause. If Frankie Boyle and the like actually cared, they’d be enticing people to get involved.
Because if he’d taken the effort to turn out the young and the poor in 2015, those jets would not have left Cyprus.
So while I’ve given up the Parliamentary Road to Socialism, I’d like to hope that some kids in the future won’t have. Tweeting cliches about ‘politicians’ helps approximately zero people.