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Keywords:

  • politicians;
  • political behaviour;
  • trust;
  • representation;
  • parties

Why do people dislike politicians and could anything be done about it? Drawing upon survey evidence, it is argued that the twin charge against politicians is that they are engaged in a kind of game and that they are a political class out of touch with real life. These charges are examined and found to have at least some merit. Remedies would involve a change in political behaviour; and measures to widen political recruitment. The consequences of not making such changes will be a further erosion of political trust. Constitutional change is less important in tackling dislike of politicians than alterations in political behaviour.