Stand up and be counted

First published in News

IF you are unwise enough to put the word 'Leveson' into an internet search engine, thousands and thousands of column inches will be available for your perusal.

So we could all be forgiven for not even opening comments on some of the news stories - but I'm so glad I opened this one on David Cameron's appearance before the inquiry last week.

It said: "What this country needs to run it are people who value honour, courage, respect, fairness and who say what they mean. Then voters can take them or leave them as they wish.

"That means if it looks or feels wrong it is wrong, if you wouldn't like it if it happened to you, then don't do it to others, if you do something wrong own up and take your punishment, value others as you want them to value you."

Whether or not you think this comment appropriate to Cameron's inquiry performance and tenure as Prime Minister, you cannot fail to sense the bristling anger underneath its simple general message.

If we continue to allow ourselves to be part of the cynical game where politicians tell us barefaced lies, half-truths and obfuscations, and we let them get away with it, we only have ourselves to blame.

What's the quickest way to ensure all politicians tell the truth? Unseat those who do not.

For too long, many of us have been happy to sit back, allow others to do the thinking about the country, economy and the running of it, because we would rather focus on other things.

So whatever we think about the current crop of politicians, or the journalists on London's red-top newspapers, do we stop and think about what we should be doing as active citizens to ensure they are honest and accountable?

No, we do not. While the elite are arranging their 'country suppers', we sit at home and watch Come Dine With Me while heating our microwave ready-meals.

We buy into their policies without much scrutiny, declaring them all to be the same, these politicians, or buy tabloid kiss-and-tells for a quick thrill or the feeling of tutting superiority they give us.

So, here's a thought. Let's stop.

And let's start asking awkward questions. Let's make politicians earn our vote, companies earn our business and the tabloid media earn our trust.

Let's wave goodbye to a system which infantilises us.

AND finally...

SO WHAT can you do in 30 seconds?

Brush a quarter of your teeth, drink a small glass of water, get less than a third of the way through a three-minute boiled egg.

Well, here's what the Welsh rugby team evidently cannot do - keep ball in hand.

Oh, what might have been...

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