I remember when I first came to the UK in 2003. I lived with my Uncle, a staunch Labour supporter, who made me understand that for the UK's immigrant population, there was no real alternative to a Labour government. I believed that for years, until, like the animals in George Orwell's classic, I looked from pig to man and man to pig, and couldn't tell the difference any more.
What, really, is the difference between the Labour and Conservative Parties these days? Even the Liberal Democrats have abandoned their "party of protest" status and jumped in bed with the Conservatives. They have no identity whatsoever.
I have no idea who to vote for in the next elections. I don't even have a credible protest party to vote for! No, the Monster Raving Loonie party doesn't count.
(Sigh). A few years ago I was ready to defect from Labour to the conservatives. I was ready to be a card-carrying member, actually. Now, I seriously feel the Conservatives are a party designed to maintain the traditional status quo - the hereditary rich preserve their status, the 'old boys' are taken care of and rich corporates shake hands with the politically powerful behind closed doors, smiling as they draw up plans to throw crumbs to the deserving poor, to help them some way up the social ladder. Not too far up, mind. The status quo must be maintained, after all. After all these years under a Conservative-led coalition, I now understand why my dear Uncle felt there was no option for socially mobile immigrants than Labour. I just wish, dearly wish, I could look at the Labour party and believe that they'd produce credible alternative policies.
I'm rambling, I know. I'm just upset right now. Upset at a political system that prides itself on open theatre (read Prime Ministers Questions), ministers and shadow ministers jostling for cheap party-political points, the main goal apparently being to hold office. The good of the country and its masses don't seem to be paramount in any politician's mind.
This is why I've often touted the idea of benevolent dictatorship. An epiphany! Eureka! I've finally got it! The trouble with UK politics is that nobody cares, really. The politicians don't care, the people don't care, everyone's just trying to live from day to day, to build up their careers and their lives. People know politicians aren't working for them, politicians know that we know, and just do enough to convince us that there's no point changing them for an alternative set of rogues sitting across the room.
What's the solution? Let's just abolish Parliamentary democracy altogether and hand powers back to the Monarchy. Wait a second... Charles is next in line... (sigh)... I'm not so sure about that idea now....