On last week's Question Time, a panel which included UKIP leader Nigel Farage and celebrity activist Russell Brand attracted more eyes to politics than normal in recent times. These polarizing characters represent opposing poles of the political spectrum and evoked several outbursts from a ruckus Canterbury crowd.
However, as the three main parties have merged into groups which share almost inseparable ideologies, the idea of pigeon-holing parties, or individuals as left or right has become obsolete in an ever changing world with different issues. Although the world we live in is constantly changing, there are long existing problems which creates disillusionment with politics in this country.
Firstly, the fact that a third of MP's went to private school shows disparity between the leaders of the country and the masses whom they are governing. How is a person who has had a privileged upbringing and comfortable life supposed to relate and cater for people who are working every hour God sends to make ends meet? Quite simply, they cannot.
IMAGE COURTESY OF UK PARLIAMENT
It is very easy for politicians, many living in suburban, affluent areas to assume that everything is merry in urban, inner city areas where, in reality, resources are being pushed to the limit and tensions amongst residents are at an all-time high.
The biggest irony about this, which is so bad it is almost laughable, is that 60% of Britons describe themselves as working class. Although there is debate as to whether this figure, recorded in a Daily Mail poll in 2013, is accurate it still illustrates the disparity of Britain's power dynamics.
I agree that those in charge of the country should be educated at the highest level to do so but that means that we must address the issue of social mobility. Prestigious institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, a breeding ground for so many of our MP's, need to do a lot more to have schemes in place to bring talented youngsters from deprived backgrounds to their classrooms. This would bring more ideas from people who have faced different, and some would argue more challenging, issues than their aristocratic counterparts. The fact I have used the word 'counterparts' to differentiate these backgrounds highlights the awkward tension between the two.
The origin of this difference lies in the fact that we live in a capitalist society. Whether this is a depressing thought or not, it is not in human nature to open up such opportunities for each other. The majority of people are too self-interested to increase competition for themselves by changing the system to incorporate talented, inner city and working class youths.
High education costs a high price and this is something that is never going to change. There is a large sum of money in a small pocket of society and it is incredibly hard to break that monopoly. I am in no way calling for an end to capitalism, I do not feel like there is an alternative but I do believe that the system could be better, and more fairly, implemented.
There seems to be quite an obsession at the moment with the gap between rich and poor as seen by shows such as Benefits Street and Made in Chelsea. The huge popularity of these shows suggests that the class question in Britain is something the population are interested in, but may not fully understand. I believe that if we continue at the rate we are going, we could be heading towards a time with the biggest disparity between rich and poor since Victorian times.
Another of the main issues stopping us moving forward is the problem of addressing controversial issues in such a politically correct climate. As seen on Question Time, the issue of immigration control was met by cries and accusations of racism. It seems that people throw ugly terms such as racist, fascist or champagne socialist towards people who have views that are simply just different to theirs. This is an example of the insecurity and fear people feel about discussing such issues without realising we can never progress if we do not face them head on. The media are actually the biggest culprits of this and set the precedence for the population to behave in similar ways.
One of the most humorous things about the debate on immigration control, and the fundamental flaw most people have made, is that it has been interpreted to mean that all immigration must stop and that immigrants are not valued in the slightest. That is not the case at all and is just one example of the fickle approach some people have towards politics. There is no way we can move forward as a society if this is how we approach controversial, yet imperative issues, which need to be discussed accurately and honestly in order to prepare national services and make plans which will best serve the population.
A democracy means that we listen to all views and then decide together which ones make the most sense by a way of voting. Another fundamental flaw in British politics is the fact that the voting system of First Past the Post is actually unrepresentative of the wishes of the population and favours the big parties. Each British citizen deserves the right of their vote actually making a difference and they should be given a voice in deciding who runs the country. However, this is another example of the system in place keeping a small portion of people in power and unwillingness to change that arrangement.
While it may feel that we are moving forward by actually addressing some of the issues which are so important to the progress and future of the country, there is still an awful lot of work to be done. Ultimately, everyone has their own agenda, and we are in a world where morals no longer seem to be necessary and any tactic to throw dirt on opposing views is seen as perfectly acceptable, regardless of who is right or wrong.
The irony about this is that people are finally starting to realise that is says a lot more about the ignorance of the person throwing unfounded and abusive terms to people they do not agree with rather than discussing things as rational people do.