British politics through the eyes of a Veteran ...
But what is 'normal'? Does it actually exist? Isn't it a subjective analysis based on our own attitudes, values and frames of reference which are an amalgamation of our own life experiences? I smile when I see people use the word 'normal' because in the area of human life experience it doesn't exist. There are too many variations and at an age when we should be celebrating diversity and exercising tolerance, many people still seek solace in division and xenophobia. The Romans ruled through the policy of 'divide and conquer' and our governments still use the same policy. While we're divided on our expectations of society, nobody wins, progress is slowed down to a crawl and we keep repeating old patterns as the pendulum of power swings back and forth from one extreme to the other which is wasteful and non-progressive as we trudge along entrenched in the wheel tracks of our former mistakes...rather than coming together and examining our mistakes, learning from them and moving forward in an energy of mutual respect, awareness and tolerance.
The same pendulum that gave so many rights to children over and above those needed to stop abuse by failing to differentiate between abuse and discipline, broke down family units, gave us rioters and brought heart ache to local communities. One can understand the calls asking for 'National Service' to be reintroduced to provide some discipline into our youth accross the board.
This is the second time that the tories have been in power in my lifetime that I know of. I remember seeing the riots, education, social and medical care cuts, the loss of many industries, the privatisation of national services and nation of inventors and industrialists were brought to their collective knees. The unions were rendered less affective and, I feel, never recovered and traded sides; more and more of their membership suffering because political decisions were made on some cases rather than fighting on moral and legal grounds.
Politics became more deadly than the sword as those too weak to do their own fighting relied on the greed of others to supply fighters, either through the promise of wealth or ideology. As technology advanced, it became easier to start wars, sacrifice our youth and hide behind lies in the halls of power, safe in the knowledge that contacts in positions of influence would save you should anything untoward happen.
And we're still doing it. Some western powers in fear of not being able to supply natural resources to sustain the current habits of its populace with regard to the consumption of gas and oil have, I feel, created scenarios and manipulated events to further their goals: the acquisition of more natural resources and the maintenance of a global intelligence service. If it was a global intelligence network for the greater good, I wouldn't have a problem with it ... but everything in this day and age is materially driven whe it comes to war, otherwise we'd have combatants in war torn countries of Africa instead of UN 'observers'.
Enter the common man or woman in uniform. Some chose the life as a vocation, some through the love of violence and others for whom being an honourable peace-keeper in defence of their own realm or the protection of people under their duties as members of the United Nations...but all of whom are subject to misuse by politicans, some returning with emotional and/or physical scars.
Can you imagine how some of them feel as they return home to be ridiculed, ostracised and discriminated against? Some are labelled as lovers of violence when they've never hurt anyone during their service, others are considered 'blinkered' in their views because they chose to don the uniform. Others will be stereo-typed because they have the same ethnic appearance as the 'enemy'. The most common thing that a veteran will feel if left unsupported, is betrayal. You don't have to be a veteran to understand how that feels, it happens in families, relationships, work and business all the time. The difference is that the veteran, by signing on the dotted line said, 'I understand that I may have to pay the ultimate price while wearing this uniform...that I may lose my life...and I am ready to do so'. Doesn't that same system have a duty to care for the people that survive but end up in difficult circumstances as a result of their service? The system could argue that it does provide adequate care and support. My experience suggests otherwise.
What's the average age of our people in conflict situations? I don't know nowadays but in my day it was 19. We're still developing as children at 19. Some cultures say that a male isn't regarded as a man until he reaches 40. When I look back over the experience that I've accumulated over my life time, I agree with that sentiment. Our societies create a lot of smoke screens and the majority of people don't have the ability or the inclination to seek the truth of the matter. Ignorance can be bliss. Our politcal rug has had so much dirt swept underneath it that it resembles a huge hill.
How do we move forward from such a situation? The first stage has to be for the populace to make democracy an effective tool rather than a toy given to the masses to pacify them. The next thing that has to go is 'one party government'. How can we have a governement that represents our people as a collective if they're only providing policies and services that only serve a fraction of the populace?
If you look back over the last three decades or so there has been a pattern in british policies: Labour build up core services until there's a recession pending and the Conservatives then come in and reduce the nation's expenditure making brutal cuts until it's time to hand over the reigns again.
How would british politics look if we had 'proprtional representation'? Would such a government be able to take a holistic over view of any situation affecting the nation and so govern more carefully and wisely rather than have a blinkered approach dictated by a single manifesto?
Would it mean less avoidable deaths of armed forces personnel or perhaps the sanctioning of force where it's actually needed to protect people?
Greed and materialism sustained by corruption and fear are at the heart of the nation's problem. You only have to look at the events of the last few years to see how many people in positions of power have abused their roles.
My feeling is that, like councillors, MPs shouldn't be paid. They should get an honorarium and their travelling expenses. It should be an honour to serve your country as a politician, not a means to feather your own nest. I realise that there are some 'honest' politicians out there in different walks of life but experience suggests that they're in a minority.
Have a good Saturday...