We've had the Queen's speech, the Assembly wants more power, an election isn't that far away. Oh, it also seems that politicians are no more trustworthy than the next man. Can we/the NTW respond to politics as a generality, good, bad or indifferent? Or, if a more specific ambition is easier to get a grip on, what should a Politician be? or be expected to be? I'm not interested in a party political wish-list response (that's way too easy) nor am I after an instant Thick of It (way too hard) - rather I'd like a socio-philosophical adventure into the humanity of politics. This must be a topic worthy of an urgent RESPONSE. Alas, it always will be.
I think that there is a need for theatre and the arts in general to reawaken an interest in politics in everyone. Beacause people have become so apathetic to politics, politicians feel they can get away with pretty much anything, because they know that the majority of people don't care, or feel powerless to do anything about it. People no longer appreciate their right to vote on how their community/country/world is governed, or understand how hard it was to win that right. The arts/we/the NTW need to encourage an interest in politics, not in a 'lets slag off politicians' kind of way, but by showing people that they can make a difference in the world.
"what should a Politician be?" This is a great question. I think there is a tremendous uncertainty to the answers we, as a culture, tend to give. On the one hand we want politicians to be more principled and decisive; but we also want them to do what 'the people' want. We say we want them to listen to popular opinion and complain that they use opinion polls and focus groups to find out what that is. My hunch is that part of the problem here is a collapse in the ability of politicians to be performers - to represent in the aesthetic sense and to simultaneously articulate and orchestrate collective feelings.