F and I have been watching The West Wing for the last few months. I’ve seen most of it before, although, strangely, appear to be increasingly incapable of remembering what happens in the later episodes, although that at least makes it more enjoyable when there is no “spoiler alert” buzzing around in my head. The first of what became seven series was first aired in 1999, and, for those who are not familiar with the basic plot, the story describes the events facing the President of the US, his senior staff and the Congress over time1. We are both struck by the number of issues that, despite being current almost 20 years ago, remain current today. I’m not sure what this says about political processes, but it does seem to indicate that there are some enduring social and political problems that have no simply solutions, despite the intentions of politicians.
- I’m refraining from indicating what that timescale is, in the interests of not spoiling one part of the plot at least for those who have not watched it and intend to do so. ↩