(photograph: Lee on Sands, Essex)
We, the people, have been disenfranchised. And how are we compensated?
Life expectancy in the UK is 81.5 years. If you discount the first 18 years of your life you have 63.5 good voting years in you. You get a vote (for central government) every four years. This gives you about 16 votes. You have 16 votes to fix the following:
- Our head of state is a un-elected monarch.
- The powers held by parliament flow down from the un-elected monarch, not up from the people.
- The monarch owns every square foot of the land, even free-holders are just glorified tenants.
- The House Of Lords is an integral part of our political system and it is completely undemocratic.
- Prisoners do not get a vote (yes those people locked in cages, at the mercy of the state are allowed to have zero impact on it).
- The City of London corporation (the local authority for the area where most of our financial institutions are based) is completely undemocratic and has more power than parliament on its own turf and does whatever the corporations within its borders want it to do.
- There is no compulsion for those politicians who are elected representatives to keep promises which they made in order to get elected. These are broken so often it's not even a funny joke any more. Its also not illegal, at all.
- There are proven links with party funders and legislation enacted, famous instances of 'cash for questions' and 'cash for honours'. MPs regularly go on to have lucrative careers with groups that had lobbied them most closely during their time in power. The leaders of all three of the main political parties were educated at expensive public schools (read 'private schools' if you are speaking american English), it costs £40,000 plus to become an MP which obviously cuts most people off from the possibility of ever participating.
Let's face it, 16 votes to fix all this is a bit ambitious! Let's give up on this fantasy that we live in a free country, that you or I have an impact on what goes on, that politicians are really representatives of the people. Some are better than others, fair enough, I can agree with that but the system is completely broken (for us). Representative democracy is a flawed concept from the very beginning, it's the lowest form of democracy and we aren't even getting that right. What we need is justice, freedom and equality. Radical solutions that strike at the root of problems not ones that tickle the edges of them.
The big three political parties in the UK are just teams of managers bidding for a contract to manage a massive corporation. The super rich shareholders, the directors and supervisors and workers don't change when an election happens which means that in reality no one 'in power' can get anything of any significance done that wouldn't have been done by all the other parties too if they were in power. When you cast a vote you are just asking for it all to be packaged in a way you can stomach better. If you want change, and maybe you do and maybe you don't, you are going to have to get involved yourself.
13 votes and no mule if you are a Gypsy or traveller
12 votes and no mule if you are an Asian man
9 votes and no mule if you were born at Bradford city hospital (has the lowest life expectancy in the UK)
7 votes and no mule if you are a homeless person
6 votes and no mule if you are homeless and female