British Democracy is a Failed Political System
The English have much in common with far too many nations of Africa and Asia. The English have frequently preferred authoritarian rule. It is 2000 years since the invasion and domination of the Roman Empire and 1000 years since William the Conqueror invaded this island and imposed authoritarian rule in 1066. We never recovered from these invasions. Our kings, queens and prime ministers have always despatched armies to foreign lands to fight wars; world wars, colonial wars, civil wars, as well as start wars and finish wars. This has demanded authoritarian rule at home with the masses being largely obedient to the will of our leaders regardless of the cost to themselves.
With war memorials to dead British soldiers in 155 countries, you get some sense of the submissive nature of civilians and those in uniform following orders from the powerful elite running Britain from one generation to the next. The exercise of an army for self-defence has been rare in our history.
You might think that our so-called democracy elects a government with the will and support of the majority of the people. This view belongs to a fictionalised analysis. Take the general election in Britain last Thursday (May 7, 2015)
The electorate in the UK numbers 46,425,386.
The number of UK citizens who actually voted for the re-elected Conservative Government came to 11,334,920.
Only about 25% of the electorate voted for the new government last week.
This means that 75% of the population did not vote for the government who now hold the majority of seats in the Houses of Parliament. The government also has the additional support of the unelected chamber called appropriately the House of Lords.
The Conservative Party received 11.3 millions votes and got 331 seats. Lib Dems, UKIP and the Green Party received between them 7.3 million votes. Between these three parties, they have a total of 10 (yes, ten) seats in Parliament.
Immediately after his re-election this week, Prime Minister David Cameron told the nation he wants to govern the whole country. An odd thing to say. Three out of four citizens did not vote for his government. One third of the electorate did not want to vote any party.
The Prime Minister, the First Chief Secretary of State, and the Lord Mayor of London, three of the most powerful men in Britain, attended Eton School, the most expensive private school in England.
They belong to the elite that believe they were born to rule, as with numerous previous generations from the same school. We look at what kind of leaders turn out from the school and we shake our heads. I advocated once in another blog that Eton School is a failed school. The school inspectors need to close the school down.
We need leaders who understand the deep significance of compassion, empathy and hospitality. Such noble leaders fail to emerge from an Eton education. The British government has permitted only 143 refugees from war-torn Syria with 200,000 deaths, a million wounded and far more traumatised in this huge humanitarian crisis. Modest aid from Britain to Syrian refugee camps is not enough.
With Eton fees at around £35,000 per year, per child, the school runs as a registered charity, so it does not have to pay any taxes for the welfare of the poor – despite collecting around £500,000 per year from basic fees alone, plus all the big donations from some of the wealthiest families in Britain and overseas, who send their children to the school. Heaven forbid the super-rich should pay taxes to help the super-poor.
Our school inspectors only have the power though to enter state run schools to ensure that these schools, from small children to 18 year of age, keep up to the standards demanded by the powerful controlling bodies of the country.
The Opposition Party.
To his great credit, the (now ex-) leader of the Labour Party,Ed Miliband, organised the vote against Prime Minister David Cameron who wanted to wage war on Syria. On August 30, 2013, Parliament voted against going to war by half dozen votes. It was the first time in our history that Parliament stopped the outbreak of a war. Previous leaders could go to war anywhere in the world without having to go through the inconvenience of support from Parliament.
Prime Minister Cameron thus lost the opportunity in 2013 to follow in the footsteps of British war leaders like Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher to become a supposedly great Prime Minister through victory in foreign lands. Soldiers also lost the opportunity to die terrible deaths and suffer horrific wounds in battle for Queen and Country and lost the opportunity to get medals, such as the George Cross and the Victoria Cross – named after British royalty who backed the waging of foreign wars. The English have never shown much interest in developing a civilised approach to international relations.
With only minimal knowledge of the authoritarian history of leadership in Britain, it was obvious that the persona of Ed Miliband lacked the necessary authoritarian style of leadership, no matter how often he endeavoured to persuade us of his willingness to take tough decisions and act tough.
Despite the Labour Party’s full commitment to the production of a new set of nuclear weapons at a cost of around £100 billion over five years, the main opposition party still received more than 10 million votes. The needs of the poor go to the bottom of the pile when it comes to authoritarian power and wielding the threat of nuclear weapons upon other countries. The Labour Party has much more in common with the Conservative Party than with the people they are supposed to represent.
Cameron and Miliband only referred to ‘working people’ in their daily monologues during the election campaign. They know that those with little or no income, or unable to work, or can’t find a job, or relatively new to Britain, see no point in casting a vote. So politicians make little reference to them. We will continue to support working people, say the politicians. That’s about right. Just support working people.
Other UK Parties
The publicists for the Conservative Party, namely much of the media, organised the last week’s election campaign to put the fear of God into the English electorate that the Scottish Nationalist Party would go on a political rampage in Parliament through teaming up with Labour and thus make life difficult for the English. Never mind the insipid notion of the United Kingdom; we were given the impression that we can’t have those foreigners, north of the border, telling us how to run our country. Miliband bought the package of intolerance as well. He knew the Scottish Nationalist Party wanted to save £100 billion by ending the forthcoming nuclear weapons programme and use the money instead for public services.
You become Prime Minister in this country through the politics of fear as it is a much stronger political emotion than the naming of policies.
We breathed a sigh of relief that the voters in Thanet, Kent, decided they did not want Nigel Farage, the former city banker and (now-ex) leader of the UKIP (UK Independence Party) as their representative in Parliament. He is one of the last remaining Victorians who hold to grandiose ideas of the self-importance of the English. His projection of blame onto immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers for the social problems of this country shows a man with little knowledge of English history revealing the desperate conditions of the poor and marginalised for centuries. UKIP got one seat out 650 seats while four million plus voted for them.
Until May 7, we had a party here called the Liberal Democratic Party with 57 seats in Parliament who struck a pact with the Conservative Party and ruling classes, who needed the Lib Dems to have enough seats to run the country. The voters knew the leaders of the Liberal Democrats had sold their soul for power. Before the 2010 election, every single Liberal Democrat MP pledged they would not put up tuition fees for students.
The Lib Dems prostituted themselves when they got into bed with the Conservative Party in 2010 to form a coalition government. Their (now-ex) leader,Nick Clegg and their MPS immediately turned their back on their absolute pledge to students forcing students, their parents, as well as the poor, to pay for the financial meltdown, due to the big bank crisis of 2007- 2008.The Liberal Democrats were decimated on polling day last week for their betrayal of the trust of their voter in 2010, both young voters and their parents. The party are lucky to have eight seats left. Yes, some decent MPs among the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party lost their seats.
The Conservative Party in power acts like the school bully who kicks the smaller kids on the ground. We, the rich, hurt since we made the country bankrupt so we will hurt you. The government calls it ‘sharing the pain.’
The Green Party with its appeal for a radical and peaceful revolution received 1.1 million votes. Our so-called democracy in Britain also rewarded the Green Party with a single seat in Parliament out of 650 seats. Trustworthy and compassionate Green Party MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas, received the award as MP of the Year for 2013 for her work for deprived and minority communities.
We have a failed electoral system in Britain. We have a failed government. We have a failed foreign policy. We have failed big banks. We have failed financial institutions in the City of London. We have a failed school for the super-rich.
Democracy serves to keep millions of people believing that their vote will make a difference between the competing interests of the privileged classes. One third of voters opted out. Russell Brand, a comedian and political activist, became a kind of unofficial spokesperson for some of the young and others, who saw no point in voting. Then Brand opted in when he told people to vote Labour just before polling day. His street credibility has now taken a nose dive.
We have no idea what lies in store for the young, poor, sick, elderly and for those taking refuge in this country. We will not be surprised when the Conservative government start cutting away at benefits, family allowance and ignoring corporate profiteering at our expense. They know they can rely upon their media owning friends to demonise the underclass and foreigners. The poor always have to pay for the spectacular financial disasters and tax avoidance of the ruling classes.
Since the English submit to authoritarian rule, we need the wise counsel of the many who come to live here to escape authoritarian rule and wars in their home country. Every village, every ward in every town, every town council, district council and county council in the UK needs to offer homes for immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and for poor people, young and old, living here for generations. Local governments can make empty homes and barely used properties available for those in need from within Britain and for those in need from overseas.
In the years ahead, the public sector has the compassionate duty to resist government policies and practices to weaken the public sector. We need our great servants in the NHS, social services, religious networks, charities and compassionate individuals to stand up to the powerful with their obsession for profit and power.
We need the support of immigrants as much as they might need our support. Their collective voice can change Britain into a country where empathy and diversity is the norm. It is slowly moving in that direction. Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Somalians, other Africans, Arabs, Asians, Polish, Bulgarians, other EU members, non EU members, Caribbean, Australia, the Americas and more slowly changes the culture of Britain so that respect for diversity replaces the ‘Little Englander’ mentality.
Thank you to all those from overseas for coming to live on this wet and windy island off the west coast of continental Europe. Please help us to overthrow authoritarian rule in this country.
May all citizens engage in a spiritual revolution
May all governments live with compassion
May all governments live with wisdom