It is fashionable to knock politicians almost as much as it is to shake our heads when discussing the size of Premier League footballers’ wage packets.
Following the shocking murder of mum and MP Jo Cox there was a brief cessation of hostilities towards our elected representatives then Brexit happened a week later and all promises of a new, respectful politics evaporated into the post referendum dawn.
It was a sadly predictable return to form and hardly surprising when folk on both sides of the argument blamed our woes on a political culture, one which has spawned a kind of production line for identikit politicians who are fluent in double speak.
Of course there are some first class politicians out there, but this doesn’t hide the fact that those at the heart of our democratic process are woefully short on ideas. It is often said that there are six basic templates for a joke and I would argue that there are even fewer genuinely new political policies out there.
One of the great modern day perennials is the question of citizenship. In recent years, Cabinet Ministers have periodically banged on about the need for more Britons to embrace British values and have done this through the introduction of citizenship education and repeated calls for the need for greater integration by those who choose to make these islands their new home.
Predictably, this Government has decided now is the time to give this particular ball another kick and this time Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, has called for both those who want move to this country as well as civil servants to take an oath of allegiance.
It has not gone down well, largely because it is a repackaging of an old idea with the added twist of making our civil servants take a pledge – the political equivalent of trying to convince the world it is OK to put ice in a pint of cider. The idea of making Brits swear a pledge of allegiance is arguably the most un-British thing imaginable.
The biggest problem I have is working out exactly what we would be pledging, so I have come up with a few ideas of my own which I think sum up what it means to be British:
I promise to consistently vow never to believe a word spoken by a politician or written in a newspaper only to be outraged upon discovering what I have been promised by these scoundrels is untrue.
I swear that I will throw my weight behind workers’ rights and back their battle against the fat cat bosses until I get fed up with not being able to get to my chosen destination on the train or that my spot of winter sun is under threat due to workshy strikers.
It will be a given that I will always sneer at the success of others, especially those younger than me who can’t possibly have a proper talent.
Don’t thank me yet but I think I have given the Rt Hon Mr Javid a head start.