Today is a rather busy day on the British political landscape. The Culture Secretary is fighting for his job after revelations from James Murdoch at the Levenson Inquiry, his father Rupert is on the stand today, and we are apparently back in recession. While a lot of it washes right over me, it’s still interesting. Why? Well hrm… because the decisions made by these general out-of-touch wealthy elites affects me more than I could possibly realize. I think it’s all a game to them, seeing what clout they can score, if they can oust each other as the Mayor of Parliament.
And yet, that is part of why I try to pay attention. If the average joe keeps an eye on what’s going on, it forces them to act closer to the standards one expects of a decent human being. That’s why I think the British government gets called out on things more – there ARE more people paying attention (or a greater percentage of the overall population). They are supposed to be working for us, and therefore, we have a duty to hold them accountable to make sure our money is being spent well. I often butt heads with friends and others in the States who don’t see this, or don’t want to know; this is something I cannot understand. In the US especially, we have seen time and time again how unscrupulous folks will continue to steal away rights and benefits, making it harder for the average American to attain and maintain even a basic standard of living. I won’t go so far as to say the inattentive deserve what’s coming to them, because that is not true. Nobody deserves to be screwed over, but that’s the Catch-22 of the situation. If people aren’t paying attention, then everyone will inevitably be screwed. And the reason it’s a Catch-22 right now: even with more people state-side paying attention, there’s still a high degree of screwage. But with that in mind, I am cautiously optimistic that the screwing is so severe that more people will start to demand their members of government will actually do their damned job rather than passively taking it.
There are also those who will say that the politics, the voting system, and supposed mass participation are all a smokescreen, a pointless game. X and Y are going to win, so why even bother participating? I can agree, insomuch that the lack of choice makes the desire to vote go right out the door. You can have Red, or you can have Blue, but don’t like either of them? Tough, pick one! I know that does my head in every election, and cycles like this one in the States means that I will be ‘throwing away’ my vote likely voting for a third party. Even if it counts for nothing (and as a Texas voter who doesn’t usually vote Republican, I’m already ‘throwing away’ my vote), at least I’m trying to participate in the system. You can’t win if you play, after all, but that gambler’s mentality is probably what keeps so many of us beating our heads in the hopes that something will eventually be different. Call me stubborn – I’m going to keep beating my head and try to have opinions and share them, ’cause that’s the system we have for now. I can hope that someday we’ll have something better that makes more people want to join in (even if it makes a bigger muddle), but I guess we’ll see what happens when it happens.