August 16th, 2004

Changing My Programming

For the best part of the 20th century politics were a heroic pursuit. What with war and cold war and the collapse of the European empires, we seemed to be living in a time of giants- Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin, Gandhi, Mao, Kennedy, Kruschev, Castro, Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev, Mandela. And then, suddenly, the Berlin Wall came down and- piff- the giants were gone.

Our current leaders are having to talk up the threat of terrorism in order to seem as big as their predecessors. They've got us jumpy and twitchy, but we're not really fooled. We've faced terrorists before. In the truly terrifying context of the Cold War they were an irritant; and that's all they really are now. Al Quaeda is not the new Soviet Union.

People of my generation (me included) fret about the decline in the membership of political parties and attendance at the polls, about the lack of ideology and passion in political debate. We shouldn't. What we're seeing is a return to a peace-time normality where politics are not about the "vision thing" but simply about getting trains to run on time.

I need to change my programming.

Politics are not important
Politics are not important
Politics are not important.....