There was time, maybe 30 years ago or more, when the people of the UK could choose which political party they thought would represent their best interests was elected into power.
The difference between the major political parties was clear. Labour primarily focused on running the country with a bias on workers’ rights and welfare, the Conservative Party was primarily concerned with capitalism and creating a country that rewarded the well-off, and the Liberal party was somewhere in between and looked to create a fair and tolerant society.
Times have changed dramatically, and instead of clear agendas and divisions between each party’s colours, they have turned into a messy shade of grey – not really representing any particular area of society or principle – or anything of any real value.
Political parties have come to represent their own interests, and the interests of party members and donors, rather than people.
The current coalition between the Conservative and Liberal parties has proven to be a shambles. The Conservatives have taken control by stamping all over the Liberals, and the Liberal party seem to have capitulated their values and pre-election promises so their members can hang on to the lucrative shirt-tails of government. The Liberals have blocked one or two of the Conservatives more outrageous policy or legal proposals, but nowhere near enough to prevent long-term damage being done to many areas of UK society.
The ‘opposition’ in the form of the Labour party are not much better either.
The one time champion of the people and more socialist agendas has become a quasi-conservative party. This trend started when budding Thatcherite Tony Blair claimed that ‘New Labour’ would be the saviour of the world. As it turned out, a claim that was completely the opposite.
Since Blair, Labour has never recovered. It remains a quasi-Conservative organisation and has not returned to its roots of looking after the interests of the general population.
Trade unions have never recovered from the wrath of Thatcher when in 1984 she took on the miner’s union and was determined to ‘cure the British disease’ of ‘strike fever’. Trade unions become powerless as Thatcher took a hatchet to many worker and union rights.
The close alliance between the Labour party and workers unions was never as strong after Thatcher’s intervention. Unions became ‘tigers without teeth’ and the long struggle unions had previously had to fully represent workers was lost, and the Labour party did nothing to rekindle the fire of union power under Blair.
Since 1984, the relationship between unions and the Labour party has been re-established to some degree, mainly through the financial contribution to Labour’s election campaigns. In return, Labour has done very little to change the social situation of the majority of the population – something that had previously formed part of the Labour party’s mantra.
Unions are operated more like businesses nowadays, and their action for the rights of workers are severely limited, both by regulation and their own agendas.
So the political landscape is devoid of any colour which truly represents the general population, becoming a grey and desolate space of self-interest with the odd flicker of colour from minority parties who do not have the resources to go into combat with the big three.
The ‘opposition’ Labour party has not seriously opposed any of the policies which significantly affect people in society that have been introduced by the Conservative/Liberal coalition– especially the policies and changes which affect the vulnerable and poor – the people the Labour party are supposed to appeal to. Labour may vocalise opposition in the comedy theatre that is supposed to be the House of Commons for public show, but don’t put any meat on the bones through significant positive action.
In the past twelve months, there have been several changes by the government that the ‘opposition’ should have taken significant action against.
Quite the opposite has taken place with Labour supporting controversial plans by the government which seriously impact on the daily lives of UK citizens.
When welfare reforms were proposed by the government, Ed Balls made it quite clear in December 2012 that the Labour party would vote against them in parliament. But when it came to the crunch, Labour failed miserably, with opposition to the bill only being shown by a few ‘rebel’ Labour MPs.
The proposed Communications Data Bill (also known as the ‘snooper’s charter’) proposed by the government was supported by the Labour party, despite real concerns over the extent of ‘grey areas’ within the bill which would allow the government (under the guise of the security services) extensive powers which go far beyond those the public were misinformed about by the government.
Labour supported a government proposal which (if introduced) would have a significant impact on the liberty of the UK population, and a significant risk of more data being held in ‘profiles’ for each person in the UK than is necessary for security purposes. In a strange twist, it was the Liberal party who blocked the bill at its last hearing.
As the developing culture of ‘us and them’ becomes more prolific as it goes unchallenged by the major political parties, so the government resorts to more fascist control, stopping just short of a full-on oppressive police state – for the moment.
Some of the legislation that indicates the present government (and perhaps future governments) have intentions of creating a totally controllable state are:
- Justice and Security Bill
If this bill becomes law, it will allow the following:
- Allow the government to introduce ‘secret evidence’ into proceedings which the defendant’s council would be unable to see or challenge. Public and press would not see this evidence.
- Prevent the court from ordering disclosure of information from intelligence sources.
It would allow government control by permitting secret courts.
- These decisions will be made by government ministers, not judges as is the case where evidence is considered sensitive.
- The bill also fails to ensure that the Intelligence and Security Committee, which provides parliamentary oversight of the intelligence community, is sufficiently independent of the executive.
- The bill has significant grey areas which would allow the government to take more control of court proceedings based on flimsy arguments.
- Data Communications Bill
This bill (also known as the ‘snooper’s charter’) would open the doors to almost limitless intrusion by the government into citizen’s communications. At the current time, security services, police and other authorities can access this information with an appropriate warrant. The bill would change powers in the following ways:
- Internet service providers will be required to keep ALL details of online communication for a period of one year. This includes time, duration, originator, recipient, location of the device used to communicate.
- Communications covered by the bill are web browsing history, messages on social media sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, gaming activities, emails, and voice calls made over mobile networks and landlines.
- Police will not have to seek permission to access the information.
- Police (and other authorities) will have to get a warrant to see detailed information contained in messages.
- Police, Serious and Organised Crime Agency, intelligence services, and HM Revenue and Customs will be able to access the data.
The bill contains grey areas which would extend the powers granted under the proposed act.
Recent revelations about the extent of government spying on its own citizens through GCHQ has caused outrage among politicians, human rights groups, and the general public. Although we could have reasonably assumed the government were covertly monitoring the activities of the UK public, there are still many citizens who tend to have a misplaced blind trust in their leaders who were shocked to hear that they have been under surveillance for years. For a more in-depth explanation of government operations, see our article on the intelligence services.
The government’s social engineering implementation through changes to the welfare system means that families and social networks (or what remains of them) are being broken up. The vulnerable and poor are being ‘exiled’ to already poor areas of the country, some being moved to the other end of the country, away from family and friends. The bedroom tax and benefit cap mean that anyone who once lived in an area that has become desirable to the better-off will be effectively evicted for profit.
The health and care systems are in crisis. The crisis is not the result of increased costs, or overwhelming demand, it is because staffing levels have been cut, services have been cut, and management has been disproportionately increased along with ridiculous and demoralising financial and operational targets – all originating from government. Instead of putting the money where it is needed and supposed to be – frontline services – it is being wasted on reports, committees, questionable private contracts (with companies usually being owned by government associates) and other rubbish that does nothing to improve services and only serves to put more pressure on a creaking system.
If you keep your eyes open and take notice of what is going on around you there are many, many other examples of how government is manipulating society for its own purposes – which do not include looking after the people who allowed them to be in power in the first place.
Even when another political party enters government at the next election in 2015, it seems that oppressive and damaging policies introduced under the Conservative regime will remain in place. So far, none of the major parties has expressed any intention to make significant changes to laws or policies which have been designed to give the government more control over the population, or those which have created significant hardship for the poor and vulnerable.
It would seem that the Conservative government has set the stage for any party that follows it into government, and it will be foolish for the British people to presume that a new party in power will make any significant difference to the established system.
As more revelations of political corruption and control hit the mainstream media – perhaps more than any other period in the political history of the UK – there seem to be few citizens who are prepared to take a stance or challenge the validity of their government as representatives of the people., There are some, but the majority of people seem to be stuck in a state of apathy, denial, and self-interest.
If you take the pieces of the puzzle and start to put them together, what is happening in the UK is more than obvious. If you CHOOSE to ignore the information that is readily available then you will reap what is to come – which is more control and much, much more misery for the majority of the population.
Even those who feel they are relatively safe in their ‘middle-class’ lifestyles will suffer in the coming years. If you want to know what that will be like, take a look at the USA where a high proportion of American middle-class families are struggling, some failing and some just about hanging on.
When we get to the basics of the matter, how the future unfolds is up to YOU.