The current political scene shows an alarming development. Create disharmony, spread malicious gossip, i.e. lies and distorted truth, and have two aims - bring down the government by concentrating on taking as many scalps as possible. Force resignations and with complete contempt for public conscience, play on that conscience to stoke up the fires and have another soap opera scene.
Politics has always been a very dirty business. Today it is downright foul.
A month ago the BBC aired a series about the private offices of Whitehall. It was interesting and I was amused to hear politicians bowled over by the loyalty and support they receive from their private office staffs. Yet where do all these leaked ministerial emails and memos come from? The secretary of state or minister under siege?
In Liverpool we had the spectacle of the Shadow Home Secretary giving her, so say, career raising speech to the party faithful. Watching it was like attending some prize-giving at the school's final year when "Miss Moneymarple", the class brat, gets up to give her speech beyond her years. At 17-18 yes it would be. It remains so despite Miss Moneymarple now being the shadow home secretary. Miss Moneymarple was still at her school prize-giving. As a retired police officer, her wooing of the police moved me not in the slightest. I do not like being patronised. None of us do.
And of course, reading today's i (8 November 2011) report by Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, I see the Unions are at their worst again, concentrating not on furthering the interests of their members but intent on undermining central government.
Another Labour MP, on live interview today, showed clearly his one objective - to force the resignation of the Home Secretary. And how do we know this? Because the BBC newscaster dared to ask him that very question, a question he did not expect judging by the flicker of surprise on his face, but which, to his credit he at least did not deny.
No. Politics is a very dirty business. It is easy to wax lyrical about freedom and democracy but look closely at the politicians at all levels and it is not such a pleasant sight. But better this than a one party state or dictatorship.
Ian Bradley Marshall
8 November 2011