2015 is lining up to be the year of the Stupid People.
You'll know them. They're the ones who spout rubbish in plain opposition to the facts. They're the ones whose attitudes shift in the wind with public opinion. They're the ones who nod along at the rubbish popular politicians speak. They're the ones who speak first and think later, if indeed they think at all. And they're the ones who'll be voting in the upcoming General Election and letting the wrong lot in. Be very afraid.
There are Stupid People everywhere. There's probably one at work, harping on about their prejudices at the water cooler in the assumption you must agree. There are several down the pub, holding court by the bar and shaking their heads in unison at the injustice of society. There may even be one in your family, that relative you try not to sit next to lest they bend your ear about immigration or the Health Service or bloody cyclists for hours on end.
All Stupid People think they know how society should be run. They point the finger, they judge, and they pour scorn on public officials who fail to live up to morally lofty standards. But what they don't realise is that they're not thinking for themselves, they're following a lapdog agenda set by spin doctors releasing angsty soundbites in an attempt to manipulate the emotions of the Stupid People. And, it seems, with great success.
The Stupid People love to point at an activity and demand to know why it's being funded when their own pet project has no cash. Why, they plead, are we failing to support X, which is essential, when money is being utterly wasted on Y, which they never use. It matters not that X and Y are chalk and cheese, a disjoint choice, and from entirely different budgets. The Stupid People are so blinkered that they only see personal truth, and your opinion is wrong QED.
You and I can see the flaws in their arguments, but the Stupid People plough on regardless. They tweet their prejudices with the confidence of a dictator, and attack the tweets of others that fail to match their one-sided agenda. They nod their heads at policies that will destroy society, and shake their fists at simple necessities they somehow cannot stomach. If our future is doomed, it is essentially their fault.
There are inherently two political paths, one of them inherently right, the other self-evidently wrong. And somehow our society splits in twain, with half believing that one is irrefutable, the other half taking a diametrically opposite view. Whether it be economics, social care, taxation, transport policy or education, only half of us agree, and the other half think they should be organised in a fundamentally different way.
And while some of us are confident enough to know our minds and stick to it, the Stupid People waver like a willow in the wind. In '79 they bent one way, in '97 they bent the other, because they'll follow whoever says the nicest things and whoever most looks a winner. It is this central pool of the uncertain who decide our general elections and shape our country's future. And whichever side stirs up the most fear, and/or dangles the largest carrot, lines themselves up to win the greatest prize.
Over the next four months our politicians are out to woo the Stupid People. Those with no underlying philosophy of their own, those swayed by argument and won over by rhetoric, their crosses are the prize our elite establishment most craves. They promise that the NHS will be safe in their hands, they claim theirs is the only secure economic policy going forward, indeed they craft a beguiling policy in every area, and if that means simplifying the truth to make it easier to swallow, so be it.
And how the Stupid People lap it up. They read newspaper headlines and take them at face value. They believe scare stories broadcast by the media and worry for their future. They're fed statistics and fail to question whether someone might just possibly be massaging the figures. They trust the very last people anyone should trust, namely politicians intent on reaping power for their own interests. And then our electoral system magnifies their votes and hands the victors five years of nation-wrecking on a plate.
And so the soundbites sparkle and the slogans flow because, although you and I don't need them, they help the Stupid People make their minds up. You and I can see through these sleights of hand with ease, because we already know what's right, and these lies contradict our basic beliefs. But the Stupid People can be swung, can be manipulated, can be temporarily recruited. And once they've spoken, however wrongly, the entire country has to put up with their decision.
Hence 2015 will be defined by the thoughts and actions of the Stupid People. May they jump the right way this General Election year, because the rest of us alas have no say in the matter whatsoever.