Continuing the them of my preceding post, where the state of our nation is concerned it is very easy, as far as I am concerned, to apportion blame.
Was it not the political class who informed those men and women who worked hard, in some cases extremely hard holding down two jobs, that they had to pay taxes in order that they, the political class, could govern? Was it not the political class who, through economic mismanagement, created the situation whereby our country is mired in debt? Was it not the political class who led the people to believe that only they had the ability to take the decisions that were necessary in order that our country might prosper?
When considering the last general election in May 2010, admittedly generalizing, was it not the same old tired politicians that presented themselves to the electorate (ok, there were some ‘newbies’ but they, too, were indoctrinated with the same ideology), pleading for their vote, based on manifestos that weren’t worth the paper on which they were written? In those manifestos,was there any mention of past errors or apologies for mistakes made? At that general election not one political party could boast of having especially talented individuals – men or women of learning.
Not one politician can claim ignorance of, nor responsibility for, the financial and social mess in which we find ourselves. Not one politician of the previous administration can afford to act irresponsibly by playing party politics, yet is that not what we witness week after week at Prime Ministers Questions? We have a country that is split in two and it is fair to say that any country split in two is one condemned to stagnate both economically and socially. Needless to say, the split is now between the political elite and the people and it is on three levels. First, we have the ‘political split’ between ‘left’ and ‘right’, with the country steered first one way and then the other depending on which side gains power. Second, we have the matter of Europe and the fact that the political class have managed to ride roughshod over the wishes of the populace can no longer be accepted by them as a ‘given’. Third, probably most importantly, is the question of devolution of power, a subject on which the State is being questioned more and more.
If politicians are to play the part that they say they do then surely they should take heed of the wishes of those they maintain they represent. Is it not about time that the political class exhibited that one quality that they have all failed thus far to so do, namely that of responsibility? The responsibility of admitting past errors, the responsibility of working together to get the country out of the mess that they created yet wish the people to pay for? The present system of representative democracy may well create a few ‘political winners’ but, unfortunately, it also creates many millions of ‘non-political losers’.
Is it not time that we changed the menagerie that inhabits our politics, most importantly the leopards that cannot – and never will – change their spots? Is it not time that we reduced the numbers in that menagerie and increased the number of keepers? Is it not time that an old, tired, system of democracy was painlessly, or painfully, ‘euthanized’ (the choice is that of the politcians) and from the ashes a shining phoenix created?
With acks: I Kathimerini