A country heavily in debt, involved in expensive wars it can ill afford. A deeply divided and unequal society. A society without trust or compassion. A tax system which favours the well off and taxes the poor into greater poverty. An ever widening gap between rich and poor. A self-serving political class separated from ordinary people, intent on pursuing its own sectional interests and personal enrichment. An ineffective and corrupt political system unable to deliver timely change – and growing political and social discontent. All causes of the French Revolution… or could it be Britain today?
The events of 2008, a systemic crisis of deregulated market capitalism, heralded the end of an era. What model of capitalism that follows will depend as much on politics as economics. Capitalism will adapt and redefine itself. But political change, however pressing, is slow. It always is. It’s behind the curve now, our politicians seemingly indifferent to, or numbed into inaction by the enormity of the changes that are being forced upon us.
The days of certainty are over. We are entering a period of insecurity – economic, physical and environmental. Politics has to change to meet these new challenges, or the simmering discontent which is starting to surface will become more vociferous.
A polemicist and a committed social democrat, I want to do what I can through this humble blog to help to bring about political change. With your help I want to be a catalyst for a new conversation about how we re-define our politics and re-conceive the role of government in our society
There is a lot to change and a lot to be angry about.
I get angry about the growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity: about injustice and economic exploitation. I am indignant at the moral dishonesty and financial corruption of the political class. I get incandescent at the way they have allowed money and privilege to distort our democracy.
I am ashamed that the trust of our fellow citizens has been betrayed by the dogma of unregulated individual self-interest.
I am disappointed that we have not had the political resolve to prevent the balance and social cohesion of our society being corroded by powerful sectional interests and vocal minorities.
I am embarrassed that we have one of the most unequal societies in the world and more poor children than any other country in Europe.
I am disheartened that the dividing lines between public duty and private interest have become so blurred.
I loathe the coded language developed by our politicians to deliberately mislead, and their virtuous public rhetoric which so often obscures patronage and a lack of honesty.
I am dismayed that political expediency or political collective self-interest is too often placed before the best interests of the community.
I am disgusted by the dishonesty of politicians and political parties who allow vested interests to influence their decisions by accepting favours and financial support.
I despair that our politicians are only able to deliver glacial change in an era of ever accelerating change.
I am incredulous at the failure to recognise inequality as the underlying cause of our social ills. I am deeply saddened that we have created a society that chooses to ignore the effect this has on the lives of so many of our fellow citizens. I am amazed that the inefficiency of inequality has not been recognised and acted upon.
Most of all, I mourn the loss of fraternity in our great country.
It is just not good enough.
We need to find a new voice that articulates our discontent. With purpose, wit and hopefully a little humour, I intend to make my contribution through this blog. I hope you will join me.