By Edward Adoo
Regardless of your political allegiance, there seems to be a big problem hounding our politicians: members of Parliament seem to be unable to connect with the electorate. And we’re not just talking about a small group of the electorate who move in high up circles, we’re talking about those who work tirelessly to ensure food is on the table for their families, those people who wake up daily at 3am to jump on a night bus to do the cleaning run. Those are the people who seem to have been neglected in the current political debate.
Many people I have spoken to through radio phone ins, cab drivers and elsewhere have questioned whether politicians are even in touch with their constituents. They question whether our political elite are able to connect with people from different classes and backgrounds. It’s important to say not all politicians should be typecast like this. MPs such as Matt Hancock, David Lammy, Sam Gymiah and Dawn Butler are a few examples of those who do actually work tirelessly to ensure their constituents are prioritised through their parliament work.
But beyond the Westminster bubble, life for many people is uncertain, especially those EU citizens who don’t know what their future will look like after 29 March. Their concerns are also shared by British Citizens, who have been given no clarity on whether the price of food or petrol is about to skyrocket, or our monthly mortgages will become unaffordable. It’s not just Brexit though that’s causing this disconnect, but other aspects of the Westminster bubble. Concerns about how this government treats people who have lived here for most of their lives but who are deemed not to be British enough and shipped off to a country they have no connections with. Also the current situation within the Labour Party, the government’s opposition, concerning how they are failing to deal with antisemitism hasn’t helped matters.
Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to face up to those who are wrecking his party and turn things around has led eight MPs to leave the Labour Party and form an independent alliance, which has also recently welcomed three Tory rebels. Whether or not it was intended to reassure those disillusioned over the future of our democratic process, Chuka Umunna and his friends did not consult their constituents before jumping ship. Yet again, this shows MPs making decisions for themselves but not informing those who put them in power. And herein lies the problem: this one-way communication, which is disenfranchising many people who believe their voice will not be heard within the current system.
Our MPs must realise these key points and listen to what those concerns are, especially those concerning Brexit and other matters relating to local communities. Very real issues concerning our economy, healthcare and people abusing the system, seem too often to be overlooked or stifled. With the recent announcements made by Nissan and Honda to cut jobs and trade elsewhere it casts doubts on whether our economy will be able to withstand the blows that Brexit will no doubt inflict. Those are the answers people need, yet we find ourselves embroiled in an egotistical Punch and Judy match with no end in sight. It’s essential for politicians from all sides to start listening to the electorate or else this will have a detrimental effect on the next generation of voters, resulting in those passionate about politics to neglect their votes which will lead to our country and society becoming less democratic.
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