We now have a sharply reduced political agenda. There is a widespread refusal to analyse and explain complex “wicked” problems. On major issues – taxation, national security – we see policy convergence, largely out of fear, while on trivial issues, toxicity abounds – a sideshow of personal attacks and “gotcha!” moments.

There is a retreat from evidence, rational argument, analysis and the use of statistics. In controversial areas, such as climate change and the treatment of asylum seekers, feeling carries more clout than evidence. Meanwhile, expert opinion is denounced as “elitist”. Politicians are no longer constrained by a moral obligation to tell the truth, and the quality of political debate on climate change has been abysmal for the past decade. We are incapable of talking about planetary issues, because the planet has no vote.

Barry Jones on the discourse.

Thought: Modern politics has moved on from being about power to being about consumption. In most established democracies, mainstream political parties are already wholly captured by powerful interests and, as such, have no incentive to de- or reconstruct the institutions that allowed that capture in the first place. And so politics itself becomes about producing “content” for voters to “consume”, on TV and on social media, with elections, particularly national elections, being reduced to no more influential than Facebook likes…