One of the reasons we have such a disjointed and apathetic populous in this country is because of the perceived untrustworthiness of many of our politicians. I’m completely against the intellectually lazy idea “they’re all the same” and “they’re all in it for themselves” because this simply isn’t true. There are people in politics genuinely trying to do good- I’ve met some of them. The position is understandable, however, when the Prime Minister of our country, the man at the helm, is a complete liar.
He’s come under fire recently from various sources- from the Vice President of the European Commission for spreading myths about the EU to The Mirror slamming him for his dishonesty concerning the NHS. Perhaps some of his most blatant lies however, centre around how he represents our fiscal situation to us, as he knows this will probably be the key determinant in the next election (now his party have managed to shift the debate onto how we’re spending too much).
Take the claim in a 2012 political broadcast- “We’re paying down Britain’s debts”. This statement is either an outright lie, or born of a severe misunderstanding of the country’s fiscal situation- either way suggesting the man should not be in office. Britain’s debt has actually soared under Tory rule
The debt this country is in actually managed to increase by 300 billion in just 2 and a half years of Tory reign- that’s impressive Dave so why so quiet about it? And I’m not the only one to have noticed this little white lie either- he’s been reprimanded by the UK Statistics Authority for drawing false conclusions from the data.
So once this little irregularity is dealt with, what Dave really meant was that they’re reducing the deficit (how much more the government spends than it pulls in through taxes etc.) The first problem with this is that the Tory’s boldly declared that they’d have the deficit dealt with by the next election- now they’ve had to backtrack and say that we probably wont even be half way to that goal by May 2015. Secondly, to have the reductions in deficit we’ve had, has come at a huge social cost to our country- there’s a reason we’ve witnessed the largest political uprising in the Church in a generation. There’s a reason the amount of people using food banks in this country has tripled, and there’s a reason inequality increases hugely under a Tory watch. These cuts have come with the justification that we’re a country that has “lived beyond its means for far too long” and “tough decisions” need to be made for our finances- but suddenly when Tory voters houses are flooded, we’re a “wealthy nation” once more according to Mr Cameron.
This brings us to the next crop of lies, otherwise known as Conservative party slogans, namely: “We’re all in this together” and “Making work pay” (“Our long term economic plan” whilst not a slogan as such, more of a incessantly repeated mantra to ward off evidence bearing critics, is another personal favourite of mine.) If we’re all really in this together Mr Cameron, then why is it that average wage increases have been below inflation for 13 consecutive years, whilst during your reign FTSE 100 executive salaries have sky- rocketed? If we’re all in this together why is it that the cuts have hit the poorest hardest, whilst a reckless financial sector (the main cause of the recession in the first place) continues to hand out more in bonus’ than it pays in tax? If we’re really all in this together then why is it that you’ve handed millionaires tax breaks but given the poorest cruel and inefficient work capability assessments, the Bedroom Tax, the impending threat of Universal Credit (at a cost of almost £200,000 per head) and forced them to work for free for your big business buddies?
Then there’s his pledge to be the greenest government ever. This, coming from a man that has rolled back green levies (again, pandering to the whims of the energy corporations), appointed a climate change sceptic into Defra (with a subsequent reduction of funding into combating climate change), and threw us wholeheartedly into fracking- continuing along on a doomed quest to blindly try and live off finite resources whilst sustaining infinite economic growth. By their own measures, this government has failed in over a third of their “green” pledges.
So, whether it’s making promises in an election that he has no intention of keeping, fiddling statistics in his favour, or having double standards when it comes to how wealthy as a nation we are- the man clearly isn’t trustworthy. What we need is a fairer, more open system of politics, where our politicians are more accountable to us, where they simply aren’t allowed to get away with outright lies and manipulations. But of course, such a system would still not solve anything if we as a nation don’t bother to get clued up on these things. The responsibility is on us just as much as the politicians to create a more honest and open society. If we continue to not believe in change, if we continue to refuse to participate, if we continue throw up our hands in dismay at “the whole lot of them” and skip the news channel or ignore the excellently written blog on our newsfeed, then we get the politics we deserve. If we begin to care again though, if we start to see how the worlds problems are our problems, if we start to make our knowledge grow and our voices be heard then maybe, just maybe we wont have posh eton boys feeding us a pile of crap on tv anymore.