Yah boo sucks! Nyah Nyah Nyah

A hectic schedule and uninviting weather meant today’s jaunt was just a spin around Henley, Shiplake and similar, part off-road. Nothing too inspiring, but better than a stint on the turbo-trainer.

Near Shiplake I witnessed a near-incident and the subsequent altercation between a moped rider and a chap in a van. The reality is that they were both in the wrong to some extent. There was no contact and no-one was hurt. The inevitable exchange of insults was just that – a typical, utterly pointless, of-no-benefit-to-anyone exchange of insults. In an ideal world they’d have both been able to own up to each other, apologise and learn. In an ideal world …

And that made me think about politics. Today the Tories changed their proposed education reforms. (I don’t know the ins and outs of it; I’m not sufficiently well informed to pass judgement on the substance of the reforms – proposed or amended.) Just as inevitable as the slanging match near Shiplake, the amended reforms were met with a dismal, pathetic chorus of ‘humiliating climbdown’ and similar.

What that boils down to: ideas floated. Ideas criticised. Criticism listened to. Ideas changed. Person changing them slagged off.

That is the essence of British politics, the level of interaction between our politicians and their hangers-on – the media pundits et al.

The role of the specific parties in this particular round of name-calling is irrelevant; you could turn the tables and the process would be identical.

That is the quality of our political classes en masse.

It is not inevitable. It is not ‘just the way it is’. This has been arrived at, contrived – actively or passively.

Dear politician, please, don’t act surprised when you find you’re met with no respect.

Dear fellow citizen – what should we do about it?