Throwing everyone in the same bag

By Alexis Papachelas

I’m sensing a new kind of discrimination and McCarthyism taking root in the way we are currently approaching politics in this country.

All those planning new moves in the political arena have been persuaded to believe the motto that calls for working with “absolutely no one from the past, absolutely no politician.”

The definition as to who qualifies as a member of the Greek political system’s old establishment or not has widened to such an extent that it has come to include people who proved to be serious in the past, people who at a certain point in time became involved in the country’s public life.

This, however, is not a very serious way to deal with such matters.

If we’re in search of “untouched” figures to take part in an upcoming television series or participate in Youth Parliament sessions, I understand.

But if we’re in the market for people with a point of view and possibly some kind of experience, then we’re on the completely wrong path.

There are all sorts of politicians out there, including old and worn-out ones. Nevertheless, we should not put all of them in the same bag as those who are completely burnt out, who have absolutely nothing left to offer.

There are people who entered the country’s political scene and actually did something, people who never stole and behaved in an absolutely responsible manner. There are people who dared to publicly defend crucial reforms before falling prey to populism.

Are we to throw all of these people into the fire in the name of a flattening belief which was actually developed by the country’s darkest and most backward-looking elements?

Political parties do not want these kinds of people in their ranks because they are incredibly independent and because they do not fit in with those we insist on sending to Parliament, even though we now know what they represent.

We, on the other hand, should recognize the mistakes we committed in the past. This is because at the end of the day both the media and the Greek people are responsible for sending home those very few capable and daring politicians who left something behind and dared to raise issues of reform, social security and fiscal discipline at a time when lifestyle and new money reigned supreme.

Should we really put these people into the blender along with the corrupt, irresponsible and true representatives of the past?