i Editor's Letter: A hunger for a new politics


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The Independent Online


For a German Chancellor, Angela Merkel does keep on mentioning the war: “Europe faces its toughest hour since the Second World War” was her harsh observation yesterday, addressing her Christian Democrat party (CDU) members. They, like the rest of us, were left waiting in vain for the big idea that might help us all out of the mess we find ourselves in – even a small idea would be a start.

The leaders of both China and the United States have expressed their frustration with the EU’s inability to act in a positive, concerted manner since the debt crisis began. In turn, market jitters have been allowed to continue relatively unabated, and in so doing amass the heads of a growing number of European leaders. Silvio and George will not be the last to fall.

What fascinates me about our own somewhat passive UK reaction to the debacle is how resigned much of the public appears to be that leaders will be ineffectual in the face of such huge problems. In over a year of editing i, reading all your emails, Facebook posts, tweets and letters, and having heard you speak at our various i get-togethers I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of messages of support you have given us about any of our politicians, no matter what party persuasion. Partly, it was ever thus – it’s human nature. However…

Maybe it’s me, but I seem to meet Conservatives who are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Prime Minister, Labour supporters who despair of Ed Miliband ever truly making an impact and Lib Dems who can barely hear the name Nick Clegg.

Now, I think they are being unfair in all three cases, but as I have written in this space previously, there is a new feeling in the air; a hunger for a new politics, and perhaps new politicians. Those in charge today would do well to sniff the air if they are intent on staying in charge beyond tomorrow.