Most political scandals pass by without making that much of an impression on the public.
That’s because most of the time, the public doesn’t pay that much attention to politics. Even when they do, scandals often remind the public how different the political class appears to be from their own lives.
(That’s a difference that is often, and malignly, exaggerated. But it’s certainly true that, for example, even the lowliest of special advisors is on a salary many people can only dream of reaching way off in the future. Even the bottom end of the lowest pay band for special advisors is around one and a half times average earnings for someone in full-time work.)
It’s not about something that other people off elsewhere living different lives are up to. It’s about something that is directly affecting our lives every day.
We’re all meant to have upended our lives to save lives. We’re all meant to have changed our behaviour to care for the wellbeing of others. We’re all meant to have made sacrifices, even when we think that we personally would probably be safe anyway.
In fact, the research shows that it’s not fear for our own health that is motivating people in general. Rather it’s a sense of a greater good that we should all contribute to.
That’s what makes this scandal different.
It’s about people facing the same rules, the same advice and the same choices as us all. And deciding that it’s ok for them to skip the sacrifices the rest of us are making.
That’s a far more potent scandal. That’s most likely are a far longer lasting scandal. It’s a scandal that is truly worthy of that word.
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