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A New Normal for Politics

 

I love politics because it is universal. It is a medium through which any issue can be solved, or created. You cannot avoid it; you can merely blind yourself from understanding it. Our representatives should be the most powerful people in society not because they are superior to or more effective than a dictatorship/monarchy, but because they have a mandate. This mandate comes directly from people, whose problems must be resolved. Campaigns are not won on any issue, but on what directly resonates with the majority of the general electorate. This dynamic did not magically fall from the sky but is a direct result of centuries of collective bargaining and selfless reforming, a cyclical struggle that is impossible to win but far easier to lose than we like to believe. In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty was born, and the European Union was born. It was the logical result of the most horrifying massacre to have ever occurred. Joint economic liberalisation and co-dependencies had liberated Western Europe from dictatorship and war. Prosperity spurred from the ashes, despite every cultural division, it was our freedoms that defeated totalitarian communism. Whatever Reagan may have wanted to believe, if not for Europe the Cold War could very well have been lost. The idea was simple, if all economies were integrated to a large enough extent, then war would be too costly to be fought. The EU would mitigate the risk of bridging the gorge between stable dictatorship and stable democracy. It is this same strength that is allowing Hungary to cross back into a dictatorship and destroy minority rights. It is also this that prevents Europe from cutting funding to the genocidal Putin regime. My point is just because a system has worked for decades; doesn't mean it will succeed in the modern world. This is particularly pertinent because politics is all-consuming, when it falters, the entire nation falls into decay. The consequences are especially dire.

 

I dream of a Britain with tolerance, a social democratic utopia where no person is discriminated against, or is forced onto the streets. This utopia will never exist. What fundamentally allows countries to fall into that chasm of hybrid regimes, of stagnant incompetent leadership, of disgraced national pride, and rampant poverty, is fear. This fear of progress; it seems to stem from a lack of trust in government and other people. It is then inflamed by the greedy tabloid press and social media algorithms. Community was destroyed by neoliberalism and we are paying the price fourty years later. A strong community can assist the venomous corruption of prejudice, but if done correctly in the modern age, it can be used to prevent prejudice. We need to rebuild our communities, and rebirth trust within them. With devolved governments but also our national representatives. Whilst economic democratisation is important in the workplace, there simply is no viable alternative in the current age to political engagement through representatives. The most important factor is that representatives change the system and the system changes the representatives, which makes reform increasingly difficult. The path to a free country where bigotry is eliminated and all residents are fairly represented, is built by cooperation and consultation. It requires a few people to be bold, and assert the case that reform is not radical, but the logical next step in levelling up our democracy. Politics is the sum of all fears, but also the sum of all dreams. If all conclusions are the natural and logical result of their components, policy is the natural result of the current social and economic situation combined with the current political system. Whilst individuals can prioritise policy, no one can truly overhaul the situation nations find themselves in. Therefore, the only true way to permanently restore our systems is to implement these reforms.

 

Welfare, foreign affairs, and energy - these are not all Westminster are responsible for. Our Members of Parliament must be held to the highest standard, because they set an expectation for all of us. Boris Johnson destroyed everything that our representatives pretended to stand for. The answer is not simply a changing of the guard. We were lucky to survive our successive constitutional crises without our version of January the 6th, which is particularly remarkable since it is not even codified. If the United Kingdom collapses then the economic hardship of the current crisis will pale in comparison, not because our MPs are superior people or that the Monarchy has a divine right to rule, but because cooperation will win in the end. Economic co-dependency is so great that it is worth overcoming our cultural divide, but that does not mean we must ignore our cultural divide. Democracy is strong because if done right, all people feel listened to. This is simply no longer the case. I hope the traditionalists will realise quickly that the status quo is no longer sustainable, and that this one great sacrifice is superior in the long run. I wish the progressives can understand that if we do not create a great coalition with haste then reform will be significantly more difficult under four different independent states than in Westminster. The NHS backlog, Universal Credit, the Department of International Development, any issue is directly affected by the makeup of our parliaments and cabinets. Diversity is an asset, new ideas are saviours, we must not be held back by the politics of fear.

 

The Conservative leadership race has proven that both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are blind. They do not understand progressive politics. This is incredible, since Liz Truss was herself once a great liberal activist. She is a pure narcissist, fighting not for ideals but for power. To transform Britain, we need a leap of faith. We must trust that Starmer can lead us to power. Starmer must trust that progressive policies will not fail. Many will criticise this viewpoint, but I ask them only one question. What other choice do we have?


18/08/22

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