The image of politics as a game for middle aged men should have changed given the predominance of 40 year olds in the Cabinet and the increased number of women also. There is a new class of politician; the professional MP, someone with a career path and keen to stay in office with the same security as any other job. But there is a problem with these MPs, they are wheeled out by the government and say absolutely nothing.
I had the misfortune of watching James Purnell's first interview after replacing Peter Hain, he was asked a lot of questions about Brown's dithering and repeated the same lines as Brown himself would. Its the long term, here are a few facts and figures to show we're doing well and oh did I mention we are just getting on with the job. One MP told me he hated being asked to act like a speak your weight machine; these guys seem to relish it. They appear to have no opinions, no independent thought and no ability to invent their own soundbites. The are the political equivalent of the Pavlov's dog - ah the interviewer mentioned that election that never was, brrr whizz, compute..... [cue robotic voice] we are just getting on with the job.
The problem is that it is simply annoying. There is a logic that if everyone says exactly the same thing when asked a question then interviewers may stop asking it and the issue will go away; also journalists seize on any contradiction as a sign of dissent and division, so uniformity is encouraged. But it is such an unedifying sight, it weakens trust and interest in politics and often these 'Dictaphones' just look like they have something to hide. MPs are meant to be representing the people and working for the general good of our society (very broadly), if they do not appear to have an independent thought why would anyone trust them as a representative. If perception is everything the speak your weight machine may just be giving out the wrong messages.