i Editor's Letter: Anger towards the Coalition


Click to follow
The Independent Online


Anger towards the Coalition is becoming increasingly vitriolic – at least judging by i's recent inbox. Amid all the political opposition, personal antipathy towards David Cameron now approaches Nick Clegg levels. And I'm not being glib.

In i's first few months, Clegg was the object of readers' anger, due to student fees and other "betrayals", real or not. Poor Ed Miliband barely registered enough for you to dislike him much. Through a succession of unpopular policy statements, U-turns, a stalling economy, a tricky association with the Murdochs and the toxic "posh boys" tag, not only is Mr Cameron more unpopular, but the criticism has got personal.

"Posh boys" has been around a while, but in the past week he has come under fire for being "lazy"; for having the temerity to have dinner with his wife before leaving for the G8 summit; for relaxing with a few glasses of wine, karaoke and a game of tennis, and oddly, being addicted to the iPad game Fruit Ninja, having spent many hours on Angry Birds.

One i reader writes to say the PM should not be in Chicago, but should instead have attended the Queen's Windsor celebrations, the Land's End torch relay and the unveiling of a Falklands memorial. Really? Is that what we want him to be doing?

I do not think that the PM is lazy. I don't believe the job allows you to be so. I empathise with his desire to grab a rare meal with his other half, before another enforced absence. It is to be admired. Nor do I begrudge him a glass of wine on Sunday. And, I don't believe the Fruit Ninja stuff. Angry Birds? Well, anyone can tell you how addictive that is.

Jokes aside, other than whether he can, as a "posh boy", empathise with strugglers, this is all a distraction. It is what emerges from Chicago that matters; whether he can find a way out of the EU mess, or if he can grow some balls over the Murdochs and Hunt. Politics risks getting lost in the personal right now, when so many serious issues are at stake.