The trouble with democracy in this country is fairly obvious. There isn’t really much in the way of choice, and as time goes on that choice has appeared to get less and less. The primary objective for any political party seems to be to gain power. Sod having any ethics, ideology or proper long term perspective, anything goes as long as you are going to gain power. Say what you like if it helps you win, and consequences be damned. Nobody really knows what you are up to anyway, the closest most of the public gets to scrutiny is PMQ’s which is more of a comedy roast with points scored for witty comebacks and avoidance of questions. Political commentators lap it up, they love the game and it keeps them in work. If you are lucky you can find someone else to blame for not fulfilling your manifesto pledges. None of it really matters, like a manufactured boy band substance is irrelevant, people vote with their guts so it is that first initial feeling you have to play too in order to win, and if somebody starts looking too carefully at what you are actually doing just put them down with a scary label or a quick dismissal.
Now I don’t think that all politicians enter this public arena in a cynical power grab, I actually think that most of them go into politics because they believe they can make the world better. The problem is that the quest for power can negate any good intentions they once might have had. I have heard it said that ideology or good intentions are irrelevant if you cannot win power and this, while true to some degree, is also a recipe for storing up much longer term problems. If you want to change the world and you have an idea for making it better then really you should be spending your time persuading people that your idea will actually work. That is your primary job, otherwise there is no point in having any ideas at all and you risk becoming the puppet of those who claim they can give you that power .
So if the politicians are not persuading the public and setting the agenda who is? You don’t have to look far for the answer, as per usual it is not the little people, it is the people who already do very well thank you very much. It’s always been these people, the very people that the idea of democracy was supposed to protect us against. It’s the people who bought the media companies that come into our homes at night and give us bizarre conflicting messages. They tell us we have never had it so good, that everything is fine and we have to put profit before everything else, because with a strong profitable expanding economy we can have nice things. At the same time they tell us that our lives are terrible and we must buy this, or watch that, or believe the other because without doing so we will be miserable. In fact the central pillar to our prosperous economy seems to be our dissatisfaction. God forbid we were happy, what useless tat would we buy then? As this message is rammed home and the preservation of our own misery is looked at as the only viable alternative our choices start to narrow. Still this has always been the way, the Romans had a similar plan, bread and circuses, now we have sitcoms and junk food.
I don’t think this is hopeless though, every now and again the establishment makes a mistake and gives people a choice. The referendum on the EU for example. Personally I think they got it a bit wrong, I think we have more protection and rights as little people within the EU than we do out. What really mattered to a lot of people though was that they were fed up of shit houses, shit jobs and shit life chances and they kicked back against the supposed economic good. For once something else mattered apart from the financial interests of a few. At least that’s what the public thought. I think the media pointed in the wrong direction, but with a bloody minded effort to do something when given a chance the message was very clear. We have to give people that chance, we have to give people a genuine choice, not more of the same consensus to be miserable politics. So come on those of you who started in this game to make our lives better do your job, tell us what you are going to do. Give us a choice, tell us how you are going to make our lives better, how you are going to give us back good housing, good jobs, and great life chances because I have had enough of the same bland middle of the road lack of choice democracy in the UK seems to have become.