The soaps explore all types of issues. Even those that are tricky and sensitive. Nothing seems to be off the table. But for some reason, politics is avoided. So is politics the last soap taboo? Let’s take a look.
Social issues and the soaps
On the soaps, all types of issues are covered. Even those that are tough. We have seen everything from suicide to child abuse explored. In fact, it’s hard to think of issues that haven’t been touched upon in some sort of way.
Figures of fun
Local politics, is, of course mentioned. But local councillors are always depicted as a power hungry figures of fun.
In Coronation Street we have Sally Metcalfe, who was a former mayor and she often dines out on the fact, mentioning her friends on the council. EastEnders has Ian Beale, the tight businessman, who pulls strings to suit his own means. Whilst Emmerdale has busybody Nicola King as its locally elected member.
None of these characters are particularly likable and often politicians aren’t. But is that the whole story? Is every local representative a selfish busybody with a massive ego? No. Some, perhaps. But not all.
To my knowledge, none of the soaps have even mentioned the existence of constituency MPs. They just don’t exist.
What’s the issue?
In a way, it is surprising that the soaps don’t explore politics, but it would be a tricky thing to cover. Not only is it quick changing, but the writers will want their shows to remain impartial.
But in real life, people do have political debates, people do turn to their MPs for help and somebody’s political beliefs can form an integral part of their identity. So this theme is noticeably absent.
Why should they talk about it?
The soaps should talk about politics because politics is life, it’s part of the fabric of society. But aside from that, it’s important that people vote, so surely the soaps have a moral obligation to promote that?
Politicians make the policies and the laws that impact our lives and people should be encouraged to have their say at the ballot box.
Will this ever change?
Sadly, I can’t see the way that soaps approach politics changing any time soon. I think that the issue presents too many issues and it’s a can of worms that most writers and producers will want to avoid.
Is politics the last soap taboo? Quite possibly. But voting matters, so I do hope this changes in time.