People are rightly asking why politicians refuse to listen to their concerns. Sadly the population of the UK have not yet cottoned on to the fact that political parties are largely focused on protecting their own self interest and those of the party they represent.
These actions have resulted in a weakening of the very democracy millions of selfless people have given their lives to protect.
Inequality has been steadily growing for a number of years. The gap was slowly closing but now the chasm has become so wide the people of this country are falling into it in their millions. No matter what your political allegiances may be, those we elect are failing miserably to fulfill the job they were elected to do.
No matter what aspect of society we look at: social care, poverty, child abuse, housing, the economy, etc etc, our politicians continue to fail those they are elected to serve, particularly the poor and vulnerable, whilst being paid to do so.
It is a narcissist trait many of them seem to share. It would appear as if they actually believe many of their own lies and misleading comments, while being completely out of touch with the problems many people in our society are facing.
Too many politicians still come from privileged backgrounds, spurned from private education establishments like robots hell-bent on destroying people’s lives and civil society.
Working class kids are not taught how our political system works, and teachers are certainly not encouraged to do so. I believe political education should be made mandatory in all schools, potentially resulting in a house of commons that more closely reflects society as a whole.
The left have reawakened the political debate recently with the rise of Jeremy Corbyn as the adopted leader for the poor and disenfranchised, offering hope to millions of people who had none. We frequently see political debates stifled by those currently in power, filibustering and refusing to engage, as Corbyn and his allies struggle to transform politics into a system that serves the electorate… rather than the elected.
However, we still face a situation where the population no longer trusts any of the main parties to represent their wishes and needs, as society itself also changes. Change is happening but is it really the one people hoped for? Or will we still be left facing financial and social instability and uncertainty, that will only lead to further discourse and a country where survival of the fittest is king.
People’s are treated as political pawns, even guinea pigs, brushed aside and disgarded like a broken toy when their views no longer match those of the political elite. Those who are unable to work, due to disabilities or health problems, are not worth listening to, it would seem.
Unless we see some real and genuine changes to the way politics is conducted, and also see a more diverse representation in the houses of parliament, I fear the voiceless will continue to be ignored and taken advantage of.
Today’s opposition day debate on the roll-out of Universal Credit is a perfect example of undemocratic behaviour by today’s politicians. Tory MPs had the audacity to try to defend the indefensible during the debating phase, but were then too cowardly to back this up in the voting chambers, instead choosing not to vote at all by abstaining.
Regardless of who you vote for or political allegiances, is this really an acceptable way for elected politicians to behave? Never in my life have I seen a greater need for real democracy, rather than the pseudo democracy we currently have. Democracy is extremely fragile and I fear for future generations if we continue to allow politicians to get away with such despicable behaviour.
Gail Ward is a disability and welfare rights campaigner – edited by Welfare Weekly.
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