Our entrenched two-party system breeds nothing but an arrogant political climate, where the Labour Party and the Conservative Party argue that they are the only choices to vote for, when a General Election comes around. It’s bred a culture where the main parties can shuffle around the political spectrum, and advocate for nothing but minor reforms and shiny, misleading, oversimplified promises meant to keep the other party in opposition. It’s easy to see really, especially now, that these two main parties are nothing but fanfare and boring slogans. This can also be said of the other more minor parties, but I shall focus on the main ones for simplicity.
The General Election called by Theresa May will take place on the 8th of June this year, and is a key chance for the Conservative Party to increase its majority in the House of Commons, and solidify their dominance in the British political sphere. I won’t lie to you, I very much hope that the Prime Minister does not succeed in strengthening her majority, as I feel that the United Kingdom is being led down a very dark and dangerous route. But this is not new, it has been occurring for quite some time.
If these parties actually advocated for something new and bold, perhaps even tried to change something for the better, our country would be a much happier, healthier, brighter and better place. For example, according to PISA scores we are the 5th largest economy by nominal GDP in the world, yet we’re 15th in global science education rankings, we’re 27th in global mathematics education rankings, and 22nd in reading standards. We have over 4 million (yes 4,000,000+) children living in poverty, and our standards of care and health are slipping. We have an armed forces that could lose our country to a (thankfully theoretical) Russian invasion ‘in an afternoon’. Our roads and rail infrastructure is ancient and crumbling. The air we breathe is polluted with dangerous chemicals, poisonous gasses, and carbons that thicken our atmosphere. Clearly there is something wrong here? Haven’t the political parties had the time to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to something as important as education?
Why is it, that while we’re seeing all of the alarm bells of all of these problems are going off in the heads of policymakers around the country, Theresa May’s election campaign is nothing but a dull, cheap, and totally false claim of ‘strong and stable leadership’? Does she not understand the need for a strong armed forces? Does she not understand the importance of educating our children? I suppose it is possible to claim that there are policies in both the Conservatives’ and Labour manifestos on these issues, but what are they really going to do? Grammar schools certainly wont push us back up to the top of education rankings, because the vast majority of schoolchildren will never benefit from them. Building a couple of extra aircraft carriers that won’t have planes on them for a while to come won’t protect our country. There are simply no answers to any of the big questions in politics. We need a Beveridge-style political revolution that gives us a radical new angle at all of the problems facing the United Kingdom today, with a wave of contemporary ideas to boost Britain’s morale and better its people. We need proportional representation so that parties with these new ideas can come forwards if the biggest two don’t do enough. We need to invigorate the young to be politically active, and to make a difference and contribute to keep their interests at heart.
Without change, our country will die. Without change, we’ll become just another step closer to being an insignificant shadow with nothing to offer, and nobody should want that for their country. I know I certainly don’t.