Matt Falloon’s Profile
Apathy in the UK
It sometimes feels like the most important thing in the world, when a big party conference lands on a British town and the political classes, media and lobby groups clash in a swarm of policy and rhetoric.
But outside the Labour party conference in Brighton, not everyone feels that way.
Politics in Britain is far from top of the agenda.
The recession and expenses scandal haven’t helped. But there is also a perception that whoever runs the country is just a distant manager who never changes anything for the better.
“Every party that gets in — they all go the same way,” says John Lewis, a 42-year-old oil industry worker. “We need someone with some common sense.”
Voter apathy is a big problem and will likely play some part in deciding the outcome of next year’s election. Some don’t want to vote as a protest, others have just lost faith in the system.
“I used to be really pro-political but I don’t even watch the news anymore,” said Peter Duke, a 29-year-old university administration manager. “For the first time in my life, I don’t want to vote.”
But it is also clear that the big political parties are struggling to explain what sets them apart.
Sara Richards, a 40-year-old mum, said she doesn’t “feel that we’ve got any real different options”.
Politicians have clearly got their work cut out to get the vote out.