Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The Sunday Post View: Voters deserve far better than this hollow, hammy election charade

© Rick Findler/ShutterstockPost Thumbnail

It is, as the comedians like to say, all about timing.

Presumably, it must have been someone’s idea of a good idea for the Scottish party leaders to be interviewed by BBC Scotland’s spoof chief constable Cameron Miekelson for some light relief in an election badly needing it.

However, on Wednesday night, as the fictional leader of the fictional Scot Squad tittered with the First Minister about sharing a ramshackle night blitzed on Midori, the real chair of the real Scottish Police Authority was signing her resignation letter.

Susan Deacon announced she’d had enough the next day, the third chair to quit in six years. Her considered but withering note to the Scottish Government suggested the structures in place to monitor our police are supremely unfit for purpose and always have been.

So, as Ms Sturgeon – and her fellow party leaders – laughed their way through a kid-on interview with the kid-on chief, the abject failure to scrutinise the work of Scotland’s police force – a force that, whatever it says in public, welcomes oversight the way banks welcome robbers – was being laid bare. Again.

The optics, as the FM’s advisers may have nodded sagely, were not good but, for voters, they have not been good for a single hour of a single day of an election campaign now dwindling towards the finishing line. The night before they met the chief, for example, the four Scots leaders were debating on STV and, seasonally, put on a pantomime of hoary punchlines, faux outrage – Apologise? Oh no, I won’t – and shared smiles at curtain call, like a bunch of old hams at Ayr Gaiety. It was politics for the cheap seats and, frankly, the cheap seats – where the voters sit – deserve better.

The false notes and empty theatricality has not been unique to the campaign north of the border, of course, as voters across Britain look at the parties, all of them, with what feels like unprecedented cynicism.

From a Prime Minister who refuses to reveal how many children he has, insisting he can – and will – get Brexit done by February; to a leader of the opposition insisting he can – and should – remain neutral in any referendum deciding Britain’s future in Europe; to a First Minister insisting that, yes, we absolutely could – and should – have two referendums next year; to a Liberal Democrat leader, unencumbered by humility or reality, keeping a straight face while insisting she could easily become PM.

And that’s before we get to the manifestos, or, as the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggested we call them, letters to Santa. The whole thing rings hollow and the tone has been set from the top, by the Prime Minister, an unserious man encouraging voters to laugh at his reputation for dissembling instead of being appalled by it.

In recent years, Mr Johnson has been far from alone in helping paint our politics in black and white, leave or remain, yes or no, but it has left our country in a poor place, voters with a poor choice and politicians in the poorest repute.

One day, we may look back in wonder at how our country came to this but, for now, we can only try to use our vote wisely. Good luck with that.