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Concerns grow about ultra processed politicians



Experts believe that the growing number of ‘ultra-processed politicians’, or UPPs, could be harming democracy.


Defining an ultra-processed politician is difficult, but that there are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for. For example, a UPP is more likely to have gone to a private school, to have a degree in PPE, and to have never had a proper job.


Other factors to watch out for include: candidates parachuted into safe seats without having lived there, those who are overexposed on the telly - often with silly photo-op stunts or appearances on topical comedy shows and social media, and those who have a flexible relationship with the truth.


These politicians are dangerous because they can seem to be wholesome enough. Constant media exposure makes them seem attractive to the electorate. UPP candidates may then sweep aside more serious candidates who have refused to sell out to the media circus.


These UPPs often talk about serving their constituents, but frequently fail to deliver. They can have a negative impact on a wide range of policy areas – health, housing, crime, schools and the environment, for example. In the long run, their poor performance can undermine confidence in the whole democratic system.


Voters are advised to be on their guard and to watch out for electoral candidates with their own TV shows or newspaper columns, corporate directorships, and honorary degrees. A fake tan and social media photos with C, D and Z list celebrities are not a good sign. And watch out for candidates who relentlessly parrot meaningless party slogans and don’t appear to be able to think for themselves.


Forewarned is forearmed! Let’s be careful out there.


Image by Tumisu from Pixabay


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