Saturday, 10 June 2017

Suffrage In A Time Of Arrogance...

Who doesn't think this is another fine mess the ruling elite has landed us in? As one European commentator so wittily observed on Friday morning, the UK has now managed to shoot itself in both feet!

First of all we had the totally unnecessary debacle of the ill-thought-out Brexit referendum which was only conjured up by Cameron and the Tories as a tactic to try and win an outright majority in the 2015 general election - and look how it came back to haunt them and us. Then we had May in June going for a snap poll designed to make the Tories even more unassailable - cue a second major set-back!

Both foot-shooting exercises were cued up courtesy of the overweening arrogance of the ruling elite - in political terms, Tory crimes. It's a shame the perpetrators can't be held more to account. It's a pity that we are all somehow complicit in the unfolding fiasco of lame Britannia - again! (See today's poem, below.)

But hey, that's democracy! It's far from perfect, but at least we've got it - which is more than can be said for many countries around the world...


...though I'm convinced we need to find ways to make better use of it. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said something along the lines of "with power comes responsibility". I would suggest that with responsibility comes power!

By that I mean that what suffrage should really be about is more than just giving every adult in the country the vote. It should entail giving them the means to discharge their duty effectively for the collective good. That would require education - providing civics/politics lessons for all pupils in school and encouraging students to discuss, question, decide. It would require that evenly-aired and robust debates takes place in a civilised manner across the media. It would certainly require stricter censure against 'fake' news and campaign slurs. It might possibly extend to some form of proportional representation - for although I've always voted Labour, I've often felt sorry for the Liberals/LibDems whose paltry number of seats never equated with their percentage share of the popular vote. Perhaps we should go as far as a (surprising) number of states which enshrine it in law that every citizen must vote as a civic duty (with abstention being a valid option on the ballot paper).


All of the above is predicated on people being given the best possible chance to make an informed choice on polling day for representatives who are less arrogant and self-serving, more honest in their endeavours to be good public servants - and then maybe our British version of democracy can evolve into something less cynical, less chaotic, more inclusive and more consensual than it is at the moment, for the benefit of society as a whole.

However, I must repeat the caveat that I've given before in various posts, which is that I have no qualification to be a political commentator. I'm just a concerned individual searching for a fairer way of doing things.

Conservatives and Ulster Unionists in an (unholy) alliance? God help us. By the way, I remain a remainer. I've not written a new poem for the blog this week - but I think this one from Adrian Mitchell (published first in 1964) is quite fitting with the mood of the above...

Remember Suez?
England, unlike junior nations,
Wears officers' long combinations.
So no embarrassment was felt
By the Church, the Government or the Crown.
But I saw the Thames like a grubby old belt
And England's trousers falling down.


Thanks for reading. Have a recovering week, S ;-)
Reactions:

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surely its a positive thing that so many young people did vote in this general election?

Anonymous said...

Not sure about proportional representation. It might be fairer but it would also give a bigger voice to extreme right wing bigotry.