Neither changing Prime Ministers nor changing ruling parties can save Britain from the ongoing crises.
Source of image: https://www.dw.com/en/uk-protesters-burn-energy-bills-over-pm-truss-mini-budget/a-63308987
Rishi Sunak was elected to lead Britain as the third Prime Minister this year, with the assurance that he had ‘a safe pair of hands’.
Ms Liz Truss, the previous PM, had promised when she was installed in power that “I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”
But behind the façade of these slogans, they warned the people of Britain that they are facing tough times and hence would have to tighten their belts.
Britain is facing a severe economic crisis. Britain’s debt-to-GDP ratio has shot up from 83% before the pandemic to nearly 100% now. This means that British citizens have more debt than what they produce in a whole year.
A huge energy crisis is looming over millions of families and threatening to bankrupt thousands of small and medium businesses.
Pay increases for many people are not keeping up with rising prices. This means that with the same money people can buy only lesser goods. Paying their monthly bills have become harder for the British families.
Overall, once inflation is taken into account, average pay has actually fallen by 2.9% in recent period. When workers demanded that wages should be linked to cost of living, the government argued that this could push inflation even higher.
Since the global economic crisis of 2008, the British people have been subjected to severe cuts in health services and pay packets. However, at the same time British monopoly houses have continued to make huge profits. They have kept their profits intact by borrowing money and shifting it onto the shoulders of the people.
Immigration is at a record high since the British business houses want to replace British labour with cheaper immigrant labour giving them super profits. But governments have not fulfilled their duty of securing livelihood of British workers while at the same time providing safety, security and livelihood for the millions of immigrant workers.
It is difficult to imagine that in a country such as the UK, which has one of the highest per capita income, there are food banks for the poor and hungry. Yet there are currently more than 2,500 of them. Low pay, low benefits and a lack of affordable housing have made it impossible for millions of people to do anything other than live hand-to-mouth. According to a media report, reports of adults skipping meals, and pupils turning up at school hungry, are frequent. Nearly one in five low-income families experienced food insecurity in September 2002, new data from the Food Foundation shows. Nearly 10 million adults and 4 million children, including around half of all universal credit claimants, didn’t have enough to eat or skipped meals.
The argument of those in power that a sensitive PM and Chancellor can turn the economy has proved false time and again. This has been the substance of the parliamentary Representative Democracy in Britain. People have been told time and again that your job is to vote the Conservative Party or the Labour Party to power in every elections. After that you can go home. We will manage it. We will change Prime Ministers and Chancellors, announce new policies, offer false promises, and somehow the problems of the people will be solved.
But in actual practice, elections only serve to provide a false sense of comfort to the people. It gives them the feeling that they have the power to change governments. This prevents them from realising that they have been marginalised from all other day-to-day affairs of the country, which have been left to be decided by the biggest corporate houses of Britain, who actually control the party in power.
In the drama that went on for months this year when three prime ministers changed, people were not consulted on what kind of views they had for bringing the British economy out of the quick sand it has plunged into. When the ex-PM Ms Liz Truss announced that she will be leaving the decision to the ‘free market’ she was actually telling the truth. That the biggest monopolies who control the markets will decide on the country’s policies, as they have been doing till now.
In recent months thousands have gathered in dozens of towns and cities across the UK to register their anger at the cost of living crisis in what organisers describe as the largest wave of simultaneous protests seen in Britain for years. Against this backdrop, the biggest rail strike in Britain for decades also happened. The people of Britain are emphatically declaring that ‘Enough is enough!’.
Neither changing Prime Ministers nor political parties in government will change the situation. In Britain too the people are demanding and fighting for a thorough-going reform in the political process. They are demanding the right to have a say in the day-to-day affairs of the country. They do not agree to let their elected representatives do as they wish after elections without any mechanisms to enforce regular reporting to the people who have voted them to power in the first place.
Real politics is a lot deeper than shouting “Tories Out! Or labour In!” There is only one solution: “Monopolies out, People in!”
The biggest challenge today is to expose the present political process which marginalises the vast majority of people, and expose the falsehood that changing parties in the government can solve problems. The need of the hour is to build political unity for democratic renewal and for vesting sovereignty in the hands of people.