Written as a one splurge cathartic release. Unformed and annoyed.
Politics baffles me. It’s one of those jobs, like Banker or Estate Agent, where the entire job is about propagating lies. When I was at school we used to do a class called “Civics”. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist in any form anymore. Perhaps it should.
Essentially, you learned about how government worked, from MPs to councillors. It told you about the processes of Government at all levels and explained explicitly the role of each title and level of government.
That was the main thrust of it anyway. There was also a thread within the class that instructed you about your civic duty, including how to vote, why you should vote and even how to protest
The one thing I took away from that class above all was how noble and altruistic the job of an MP was. I was fourteen and very naive.
But the nobility of MPs is something I still hold as an ideal. We were taught that an MP was a representative of the people. That it wasn’t so much a job as a calling.
What on earth happened?
The whole Jeremy Corbyn thing has been an eye-opener. Corbyn seems genuinely to want to tap into what the grassroots supporter wants. He genuinely seems to want to build a country based of what the people hold dear. That, to me, seems to be the nobility I was taught about. That is what I want my country to be. A genuine democracy where MPs represent the people.
So what of all of these people who want the Labour party to stay a Tory-lite party (I say lite, it’s been far from ‘lite’ for the best part of a decade, but you know what I mean)?
Are they so out of touch that they have forgotten that they are supposed to represent the people and not their own business interests? Yeah, I think they have. This isn’t any great insight or revelation, they’ve been pretty brazen about it.
But it’s been like this for so long – and so long since Civics classes took place – that the electorate seem to think that that is what the government is meant to be.
I find that indescribably sad.
Now, I’m not what you would call massively politically motivated. True I have been involved in some radical politics. In the past when I was young, idealistic and frankly, capable of running should the situation warrant it. For the first time in a long, long while, though, I feel that sitting on my arse and grumbling simply isn’t enough.
The disparity between what we were told the political system was – when I was in my civics class – and the reality of what it has become is as disheartening as it gets.
There’s a climate change summit happening, this will inevitable fall in favour of those who are making money out of those technologies that are massively contributing to the problem. This is despite growing concern and support for alternative energies from a substantial percentage of the population.
And, the “Stop the War” march yesterday. This is what the people want. It’s not a knee-jerk response, it’s not anti-government, it’s not even a party loyalty issue. It’s a genuine concern by people across the political spectrum and yet . . . it’s received minimal news coverage, minimal comment and the government want to plough ahead with a war that can only end disastrously for all parties. It isn’t the will of the people. Why are you doing the opposite?
The argument seems to be incredibly childish. Putin, Hollande and Obama want it, so we should too? That translates as “All my friends were doing it” and I can hear my Mum shouting “if he jumped off a cliff would you follow him?” It’s not about what your friends do, it’s about right and wrong.
Of course Cameron has subverted that too, prefixing everything he says “It’s right and it’s good that we . . .” but coming up with trite phrases doesn’t actually make something right or wrong. It’s far deeper than words.
Cameron essentially wants his own private Falklands. He wants to go out in the glory of having averted or won a war. Might I suggest he does that from the frontline? It’s just revenge and machismo; two things we can really do without and two things that have no place in politics.
But, I suppose the point is, that politics is fucked. It’s become a self-serving career opportunity, not a calling in service of the people. It’s hardly surprising that people have stopped voting.
And then there is Corbyn.
A person so reviled for having a conscience, for having principles, that Westminster will do anything to try and discredit him. This includes Labour MPs who are clearly so wrapped up in the corruption and self-serving, money grabbing arseholery that the people no longer matter. Only their bank balances.
Then there’s the press. “Split in Labour’s Ranks” scream the headlines every time Corbyn draws breath. Really? People have differing opinions, each person in the cabinet, or shadow cabinet, must debate those different viewpoints and come up with a solution. It’s not ‘ a split’. It’s a conversation in progress.
I really hate what this country has become. And it’s not the immigrants or the refugees or the ethnic diversity – that’s the stuff that made this country wonderful in so many ways. What is killing the country and making it the cruel, brutal, uncaring place it has become, is the MPs and other government officials who have forgotten that they are supposed to represent the people.
A tiny bit of hope.
But is it enough?
I’ve just heard the most depressing phrase on the TV news ” Jeremy Corbyn wants to democratise the Labour party”. That it’s got to the point where democratisation is something to ‘work towards’, and derided in the process, means that we’re in more trouble than we thought.
The active heads of a democracy should be democratic by definition… not something that needs to be worked towards…