Friday, 8 June 2012

The Problem With Our Government

The problem with our government is that we have allowed it to become something that is done TO us, rather than BY us.

We have been utterly complicit in this. We have sat back and allowed others to do the work, and to take decisions themselves, whilst we have got on with more pressing and enjoyable tasks – such as pursuing our careers, looking after our children ... and going shopping and playing on the X-Box.

The problem now is that we are finding that a whole load of 'stuff' is happening to us – 'dumped' on us by government at its different levels – about which we are told little-or-nothing until it happens, and which we have no power to change when it does.  And we find that the processes of consultation and public engagement are often stitched up in such a manner that we have no way to have our say other than (usually futile) protest-after-the-event.

This applies to the Labour Party, just as much as it does to local and national government, or as it does to those great services of state such as the NHS, planning and transport.

This in its turns creates its own disengagement and apathy, because people think 'what's the point?'

Was it not different previously?  Do I remember a time when many more ordinary people were much more politically literate, and were much more keen to be routinely and regularly involved in the governance of their church, their union, their party?  Do I remember a time when the unions were active and radical, and when many dozens of people would turn up to the Branch to select their Labour Party candidates?

And is it not significant that those days were times when people were trying to and had a hope and belief that they could (and would) make things better.
And do you not find across society now a resignation, and a despair, that things can't be changed, and are only going to get worse?
These things are not disconnected.

The problem with our government is that we have allowed it to become something that is done TO us, rather than BY us.

I have no solution, beyond pleading with people to become more informed, and to get involved.

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