The Trouble with Politics.
I’m sure most people will have by now noticed that the political sphere within the UK isn’t exactly something most people are waving flags about. With Tory election expenses under investigation, racism, xenophobia and levels of hate and bigotry towards minorities, sexism, paedophile rings and general corruption I think it’s safe to say that many in the UK have had enough of ‘careerist’ politicians riding the tax payer funded Gravy Train through Parliament.
For the past, roughly, 35 years we’ve had an essentially ‘centrist’ movement within Parliament, there’s been no real Right Wing and certainly no Left Wing. This has created a sense of ennui amongst voters, many of whom have become so disenfranchised with politics that they feel it doesn’t matter who gets in because nothing will ever change. This is something that not only undermines our democracy, as the only options people are getting within political parties is bland or more bland.
After the 2010 election and the formation of the Coalition Government we saw once again the Tories steer vehemently towards a more right wing agenda once again, supported by an increasingly impotent Lib Dem partnership they managed to create a social divide many haven’t seen since before the Second World War. With people on Welfare (sorry, they’re not benefits. There’s no benefit to having no money as far as I’m aware) being force onto mandatory work programs, payments reduced to their rents due to the introduction of the Bedroom Tax, disabled people losing their meagre funds and having their means of independence removed in a brutal effort to take away wheelchairs and Motability vehicles. All this combined with the severest and pointless draconian cuts to public services on a budget of reckless borrowing by George Osborne, it was surely a recipe for disaster.
During all this time we had little to no opposition supporting a left wing agenda. While the Tories were leaning to the right, The Labour Party were stagnating somewhere in the middle with no idea which way they should be heading. So they made a decision, they followed the Tories on their right wing platform, with one MP declaring, “Labour will be tougher than Tories on Benefits”.
For many people this wasn’t a viable opposition, people during the 2015 General Election weren’t given a good range of options to vote for, it was austerity or austerity so many people didn’t vote, tactically voted or voted for an alternate party altogether. Combined with the loss of Scottish votes due to the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 the outcome was inevetable.
However, with the loss of the 2015 General Election something rather surprising happened. With the resignation of Ed Miliband a new leader for The Labour Party was elected and the country became aware that there was an alternative under the vision of Jeremy Corbyn who offered something that many people, in particular younger people who’d only experienced the country under a neoliberal agenda. With what many people consider outdated policies, or ‘student politics’, Corbyn managed to reignite many people who felt they’d been left out in the cold by political parties, he engaged with the youth, who for the first time in their lives experienced something akin to hope from a politician and for the first time the country has seen a party leader who talks with the people and stands with them in their time of need.
However, and here’s where yet another problem arises, the politicians as a whole haven’t moved on with the people who have been steering towards a left wing platform, and this creates a schism. Many have felt that MP’s have let them down, they’re not represented by their elected officials so they’re clearly looking towards Corbyn as their only beacon of hope to end the years of enduring MP’s who’ve let them down.
Clearly these MP’s aren’t going to be happy with this situation, after all they were elected and (for some) feel that they know better than the public about the best interests of the public, and so the schism widens. For me the answer is quite simple, the MP’s have to realise that the people they are supposed to be representing are moving on, and the MP’s are being left behind. MP’s who don’t respect the will of the nation aren’t very worthy public representatives and if they don’t stop moving against the people and start moving with them then the whole system of public representation could collapse as we know it.
The trouble with politics, of which there are many, in this case is the one that those who are supposed to represent us either don’t listen or don’t want to. This can’t carry on as it’s only going to lead to more people becoming disenfranchised and a social schism becoming so vast that the political world will not be able to survive, and as a result neither will the social world. It’s time for MP’s to start listening to the people and start healing the rift.