Friday, 2 March 2012

Pablo V John

I hate stereotypes. I really do. Believe me, I have a posh accent and it feels like after I say three words, people have already decided who I am and what my life aims are.

However, today I discovered that a voxpop highlights social differences between
Argentina and England.

A voxpop comes from vox populi, the voice of the people. In journalistic terms, a reporter takes to the street to stop the public and ask them what they think about an issue. I asked: 'Do you think the government should increase fuel tax?'

When I tried to stop people in the street in the South East, I was met with complete and utter rudeness and negativity. Mainly the public didn’t stop and looked at me as if I had just asked them how much they weighed. They were in a go to Greggs, the sunbed, a cafe, facebook, the pub - anything but engaging in conversation with a stranger about a politically based question.

And the ones who did stop, some thought the government didn't need to 'squander' any more money. As the whole point was that the government may be raising fuel tax, they are not squandering money, they are finding ways to make more public money.

Others claimed they didn’t know enough about cars to respond…I say no more.

When I took to the northern streets last year asking about people’s opinions regarding the AV reform, I was met with "They’re all a load of tossers”, this didn’t exactly answer my question.

‘they’…’they’..’they’….the government may as well just be replaced by this word, usually spat out complimentary.

When I did exactly the same voxpop in Argentina, almost everyone I asked would stop and they would chat about the issue.

Also the average ‘Pablo’ would know a lot more about pertinent issues than the average ‘John’ of England.

Perhaps the main difference is in recent history? Argentina has had a military dictatorship, an econnomic crisis and corrupt governments. England has not.

Regardless of political opinion, the public should turn apathy into passion and do rather than complain.