Last night I watched a very interesting TV programme with a very good argument at its core.
The programme asked the question "Will we ever have a Black Prime Minister?"
I thought it was a very informative programme for a slightly different reason to the one the Production company might have expected.
With the current uproar about the election of Donald Trump (and how the Polls got it completely wrong) - as well as the UK Mainstream Media trying to claim it is the second stage in a "Political Domino Effect" (with the Elections in France and The Netherlands being the next "ones to watch" for signs of a Populist uprising) - I remain amazed that nobody has asked the most obvious question.
"Does Democracy - in the form we are currently presented with - work in reality?"
Forget the "Electoral College" idea that the US Presidential Elections are subjected to (my brain just exploded when I attempted to work that out) - Does "Democracy" give everybody an equal say in what goes on in our "Political Scene"???
All UK Nationals who are over the age of 18 have a right to vote in our General Elections. If you choose to move to the UK but not go for UK Citizenship or Nationality you can live here for the rest of your natural life and still have no say - even if you pay UK Taxes. (Given a choice between keeping her Dutch Passport and getting British Citizenship - my Mum opted for the former. That was in the 1970's. Her mantra was "I was born Dutch, I am Dutch, I will die Dutch". The fact she ended up living in England for longer than she lived in The Netherlands was beside the point.)
However, the programme concentrated on something which I have experienced my entire life - the challenges faced by people who are not seen as "Mainstream". Even though I am White there are barriers which my sight raises regarding how differently others can see me.
The programme discussed the differences in how Black people are percieved throughout their lifetime compared to both their White peers and White people who have the benefit of a Private Education, access to the top Universities, etc. Let's just say that someone from Theresa May's background has a 90 times higher chance of being the Prime Minister of the UK than a Black child from somewhere like inner city Birmingham.
We all know that people in the top jobs in the UK are all cut out from the same mould - White, able-bodied, people.
Surely, in an ideal world, your background shouldn't bar you from your ideal career choice, nor should any disabilities you may have???
Have you noticed that there are actually more Black and Minority Ethnic MPs in the House of Commons than there are obviously Disabled ones? In fact, the last obviously Disabled MP who reached the ranks of Government Minister was David Blunkett a few years ago.
I am supposed to elect an MP from a choice of candidates who have no idea of the challenges I face in my life. I have never actually seen my current MP in the flesh.
I really feel we should all be able to represent ourselves in Government. After all, "Democracy" comes from the Greek "Demos" - of the people.
Just over a week ago we commemorated Guy Fawkes - who was caught after the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Now - I am not for one minute suggesting we should have a re-run of that event. What I am suggesting is - we find a system of Government where everybody can represent themselves and their own lives.
I remember an advertisement aimed at encouraging people in the UK to go out and vote - it suggested that if we didn't vote we would let the Extremists in.
There was one thing about the US Presidential Elections that I wish we could see over here. In some States they had another box on the Ballot paper marked "None of the Above". I - for one - would be more happy about exercising my Right to Vote if that appeared on UK Ballot papers for all Elections.
First Past The Post (the current UK Electoral System for General Elections) is definitely not representative. Proportional Representation is only slightly better as we are still forced to choose between candidates.
Having "None of the Above" would be a clearer indication of the feeling in the Nation.
However, my ideal scenario would be to create Total Democracy and allow everybody to represent themselves and their own choices - with a small (unpaid) Panel to decide the major issues of the day.
Not only would this free up a lot of funding (no reason to pay Parlimentarians vast sums of money) - it would also create more of an even playing field as far as the ability to achieve Equality for Everyone is concerned.
How can people who have no experience of life in the "Real World" be expected to make Laws which benefit everybody??? How can the "Career Politicians" have any idea of how the world has moved on since they became an MP???
We need to claim "Politics" back for the people it is supposed to serve. Otherwise there will be more generations of people who feel left behind through no fault of their own as they watch the companies they work for close without any credible alternatives being put in place, or who find the system for applying for Social Security too difficult to bother attempting and live in poverty as a result, or who find themselves in jobs which are totally unsuitable (unstable pay, crazy contracts, bosses who waste no opportunity to make them feel too poorly to work, or employment which is unsuited to their health) with no obvious means of escape.
We need to somehow become a country where the people who are on the margins of Society are the ones who have the real power to change things for the better. They (or rather - we) are the ones who could make a positive difference for everybody if only we were given the chance.
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