Negative Politics will always have a Negative Impact
Politicians, especially senior ones, seem completely incapable of distinguishing between foot-licking party faithful and the vast majority of the electorate. They do not understand that chest-thumping, arrogant and insulting speeches do not resonate with people who are just trying to get on with their lives and want solutions not rhetoric. Just because you raised a huge laugh at the conference when comparing some rival as a looney does not mean that a) it is accurate and b) anyone really cares.
Despite this rather obvious state of affairs, most MPs seem to think that what we want more than anything else is to hear their opinion on the other party's ideas, pledges and statements.
Why would what David Cameron says about Ed Miliband's immigration policy be of any interest to us whatsoever? Does he honestly think that we will think that only he is capable of talking authoritatively about something over which he had no influence?
Trust me, I am a voter
Politics is about trust. It is about an individual making a voting decision based on whether they trust someone and what they say or not. It is also about whether politicians trust the voter to come to a decision on their own or not. The closer we get to an election, so this issue of trust gets more prominent in the election coverage. All the main leaders and many of the political pundits will start sneaking in the idea that we must "trust the voter to do the right thing" whenever they talk about something contentious.
But this is a two faced, mind boggling lie. Because at the same time they declare their trust in the voter, they will also spend the next 2 minutes trashing their rival and saying things like, "I think the voter has a right to know...." and, "the voter is being deceived..." and so on. Which is just another way of saying, "I DO NOT trust the voter to do the right thing, so I will tell them what it is."
The weekly charade that is known as Prime Minister's Questions is the one time when there is a certain legitimacy to talking about the other person's ideas, as with any debate. However, it is frequently debased by the Prime Minister spending at least half his time telling us what he thinks of Labour Party policies. What part of "Prime Minister's Questions" does he not understand? And what has brought him to believe that we are really interested in his opinions about someone else's opinion?
The UK Voter has a million questions about thier lives and how they are meant to survive within whatever is the current political regime, a regime that they fund. Those question can only be given some sort of life if the politicians talk about what they know about best - THEIR policies, THEIR decisions and THEIR manifestos. Talking about ideas that are not yours and you are against might be fun and make for riotous debate, but it has no value; it does not inform the voter and so does not help them come to some sort of rational decision about anything.