NATIONAL politics is in turmoil. We’re onto our third prime minister in just over three years, Brexit has split the nation into remainers, leavers and those who just want the whole thing to be over.

A no deal Brexit seems a terrifying prospect for some but a very real possibility in just a few months. At least the government has assured us that we will have clean drinking water.

We might have a general election soon too, so let’s throw that into the mix.

In Oxfordshire, some residents are uncertain about the future – and not just because of Brexit. They are worried about potentially hundreds of thousands of new homes being built here before 2050.

The rather shambolic saga of the Oxford-Cambridge expressway, which might result in people losing their homes to a road that could cost £7bn, drags on.

So it was with some excitement that I learned on Wednesday evening from a contact that the prime minister would be in Oxfordshire.

I didn’t know why, where or when. But I hoped the 10 Downing Street press office would let us know on Thursday morning.

Read again: Boris Johnson's day in Oxfordshire

Thursday morning came. I contacted other journalists around the country to see when 10 Downing Street’s press office had told them to get ready to talk to the prime minister on previous visits. Some had been given as little as two hours’ notice (largely on grounds of security, I think).

I phoned the 10 Downing Street press office throughout the day. Over and over, I asked: "Could we please be told where the prime minister would be? Could we please be given a couple of minutes to have a quick chat about some of the schemes that really have the potential to change the county (for good or ill)?"

Each time, I was simply told I would be given information ‘as and when’.

It was frustrating. Had I been told the newspaper was not going to be invited would have been disappointing. But it would have at least stopped me from wondering what else was going to happen throughout the day.

As it happened, I had enough contacts around Culham – where Mr Johnson first visited – to know when he had arrived and, roughly, when he was leaving. Similarly, when he met Conservative activists in Abingdon, it was easy to find details of what happened and when.

But it says so much about our current politics – and the calibre of politicians we currently suffer – that so many are not willing to publicly address major issues that could blight some of our readers’ lives in the future.

I am not unrealistic in believing the regional press has any place above any other media. Boris Johnson's exclusive interview with the BBC’s Ben Wright obviously reached more people than the Oxford Mail or Oxfordshire broadcasters would have ever been able to do.

But Mr Johnson was chewing the fat with Conservative activists for about 45 minutes at a hotel in Abingdon. It would surely not have been unreasonable to ask him to have a quick chat with other broadcasters and newspapers for a tiny fraction of that time.

If Brexit negotiations could wait so he could get a few selfies with some councillors, surely he could have faced some questions about a costly road scheme?

As far as this is concerned, Boris Johnson is not a maverick. He is simply one in a long line of senior politicians who do not want to face scrutiny on certain issues.

The blame does not just lie with Conservative politicians. Jeremy Corbyn’s manner in many broadcast interviews is regrettable, regularly tutting at journalists’ questions when they don’t meet with his approval.

Read also: Witney MP Robert Courts invites Boris Johnson to RAF Brize Norton

Theresa May came across as either shy or rude – maybe a mix of both. And on reflection her media strategy – flip-flopping on whether Brexit meant Brexit at all costs or whether it just meant MPs should vote for her deal – was a little shaky.

All three would claim to support their local and regional press.

But being in touch with your own paper to appear responsive in your own constituency is a different thing from supporting the industry as a whole.

It is obviously a difficult environment – and newspapers could do with all the help and support they can get.

A prime minister addressing residents’ concerns would obviously be a real shot in the arm for any publication.

That is one reason for why a prime minister choosing to natter to a few Conservative activists rather than speaking to Oxfordshire residents through us stung a bit.

That said, if there's a general election – as has been speculated for months – expect Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn's spin doctors to attempt to get them in many newspapers across the country.

If Mr Johnson comes to Oxfordshire and can give us concrete details about what his government is planning for the future of the expressway and planned homes, then I would welcome him.

More than ever, leaders need to look beyond their own base. It's not happening currently.