They are in every part of our life, colouring our views, confirming our bias, shaping our vision. We have them in every level of life, from street cleaning to money in the bank, there is always some suit who is behind it all.
I lived through the Thatcher years in the UK and as bleak as that all was, I’ve never encountered such a chaotic and intellectually bereft period in world politics in all my life. At least the Thatcher years had direction, a plan which even if you disagreed, it was a tight government. Then came along Major and Brown, who presided over very different governments but were not quite so (for want of a better word) stable.
We now have Theresa May as PM, who is now roundly despised by her own party as well as her opponents and public. In the US, we have a Trump administration that is lurching from one calamity of its own making to another, with talk of impeachment. All we’d need is Berlusconi and we’d have the hat trick.
Then we have the well meaning but in the main, sadly lacking local councilors who in my experience seem to hinder and not help the areas / towns they were elected to serve. Important word, serve. If not the people, who do they serve? The town? Is the town not the people? And on a national level, are the people not the country?
For me, politics has forgotten this important fact, that people are central to politics and not an unfortunate distraction. We see it time and time again where someone stands up and talks about the country, the money we spend, the services we have, the infrastructure. Not very often do we hear of the effects of the services, the benefit to the public and individuals who require those services.
It comes down to money. We hear a lot ‘but it has to be paid for and we don’t have the money’, then money appears to pay for wars, for MP pay rises and maintenance to Buckingham Palace, the cost to the tax payer of millions. Then we hear of cuts to essential services, emergency services, education, health. Other public servants have had wage rises of less than inflation in the past seven years and now are experiencing struggles as in real terms, they have lost money.
This is unsustainable. Some would read this thinking about immigrants, layabouts and Corbyn are the problem, then the misinformation has worked with them. Politicians at any time can put people first and still have a flourishing economy, something we’ve lacked for many years. But they don’t.
The old way is not working, we don’t have strong leadership or intellectual capability to propel us forward in the right direction, it’s all about vested interests and political ideology instead of people.
The public, by and large, wants change. That much is evident with votes in favour of Trump and Brexit which were made to challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, it’s now come down to mud slinging and gutter raking on a scale I’ve never seen before and I’m hoping that with the damage being caused, a phoenix will rise from the ashes to take us forward.
However, I do think we’ve a bit more distance to travel with the current failing set that cling on to power with a vice like grip, no matter how tenuous the hold.
In the Chinese curse fashion, we live in interesting times.