Guess what? You learn something new every day, even at my age. This time it concerns the universal concept of democracy. When I grew up we were taught to believe that the UK held the benchmark for this kind of thing, setting the example for others to follow, thus no need to hold a gun to their heads. But in the last three years (of BREXIT madness) my faith in this has been shaken then lost, although the majority still seem to believe in it, if not more fervently. I actually feel ashamed to be British. Not just for all the injustices perpetrated by our ancestors in the colonies during the days of The Empire, but for what is happening right now to our own population. Effectively democracy has ceased to exist in the UK.
The dictionary definition of democracy is as follows:
…a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people collectively…
ie everyone has a say on everything.
Compare this to what exists in the UK now, bearing in mind government should exist solely to serve the needs of its people. How well does it do this? I would say, not at all. The only beneficiaries are those in power, the Prime Minister and her 22 hand-picked sycophants, backed up by their herd of backbenchers. The people have no say in anything, not its laws, nor how they raise money in taxes or how this income is spent. All the people get is a chance to vote for a party, once every four years. Except, since the Referendum, that is no longer true, as those who were not born in the UK and those born in the UK but not currently residing there, are now exempted. And no one can challenge this situation, short of a Civil War.
Meanwhile the tax-payers will continue to get poorer and services will continue to disappear. It is unimaginable that this situation could be reversed, but ever hopeful here is the beginnings of a manifesto for true democracy, just in case:
1) sustainability. The UK is dying ecologically. We have to dramatically reduce the human population and reinstate the habitats of all the other species. This can be done by social pressure and removing all incentives (and cost to the taxpayer) for choosing to have children. No new building except on existing footprints. Nationalise all public transport (including ferries) and make it free to everyone. Set up a ministry to spearhead sustainable policy. Nationalise electricity, remove nuclear power, force manufacturers to drastically reduce power consumption on appliances, set a maximum household/ business limit on consumption.
2) benefits system. Remove and replace with a universal wage for everyone over 16.
3) armed forces. Remove and replace with a civil emergency unit.
4) NHS. Totally revamp. Remove the current 70% unnecessary bureaucracy. Allow practitioners to spend 100% of their time treating patients. Ban private use of NHS facilities. Include dental and optical care. Make all GPs employees (rather than owners of their practices). Ensure consultants work the hours they are paid for. Create centres of excellence and remove the present geographical inequalities. Stop targets and all the other pointless statistical gathering. Remove all privatised elements. Restructure pay scales to reward those who actually do the work. Free parking at hospitals and health centres.
5) department of trade & industry. Remove completely.
6) embassies. Remove completely.
7) police. Total revamp. Remove terrorism from their remit. Re-introduce bobbies on the streets 24/7, re-open police stations 24/7.
8) secret service. Remove completely.
9) elderly. Introduce a new social care programme so they have an equal quality of life to anyone else.
10) state broadcasting. Remove completely.
11) royal family. Remove completely.
12) house of lords. Remove completely.
13) MPs salaries & expenses. Adjust (downwards) salaries to reflect their true market value, and remove expenses claims. Remove all perks.
14) feasibility studies. Remove completely.
15) assets. Sell all buildings/ land/ etc not in actual daily use.
16) government control over agriculture. Remove completely.
17) recycling. All towns to have a recycling point instead of landfill, where everything is sorted/ sold/ recycled.
This is still a work in progress…