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Lies Under Another Name
I keep seeing social media posts, supporting politicians who promise to deal with all the world's problems. If only they get into power. They make it seem so simple: they will end homelessness, they will end poverty, they will bring about world peace, they will end injustice. They will personally see that the public health services have all the money they need, they will ensure the ending of higher education tuition fees, they will change the world, they will ensure wonderful summer's of peace, love, and prosperity. They will end terrorism.
Do the people who praise these claims really believe that any politician can do these things? Do they really believe that any government, in the last 100 years, has deliberately not done these things, but could have done them?
Any political group that actually achieved a quarter of these things would win every election for the next 20 years and they know it.
Promises are so cheap, and meaningless. Action, pragmatic action is hard in an ever-changing world. The old saying, no person is an island, is true. The wishes, even if backed by real intention and genuinely felt; (and we are talking politics so the genuineness has to be suspect whatever the “stance ” of the speaker); will always be reduced to what is actually possible.
At the last British election, there was a bold boast that if the labor party was elected they would scrap student fees. After the election they admitted this could not have been done.
Homelessness is a serious blight on our British society but if anyone, no matter who, claims they can eliminate this just be being elected, it is someone selling bogus political snake oil. Yes things should be done to help the present situation, opening more shelters, using empty government buildings as shelters, taking over vacant industrial units as shelters could help BUT these things are only papering over the real problem and even this is far less easy than it sounds. Will the homeless want to go to government controlled mega shelters on some out of the way site? How do the authorities stop the drug dealers setting up shop in the site? Who pays for the services, how does the authority protect itself from the sleaze-ball lawyers who will try to sue every mishap that naturally occurs in well meaning efforts of help? Do the local authorities have the resources to deal with this? Every homeless person is an individual. They have their own personality, their own needs, and their own problems. No one has a magic cure for all these problems. Many of the homeless will have mental health issues, some had them before they became homeless, some have them because of their experiences while homeless. Such health issues need more than a shelter to solve, they need serious, individually-tailored expert help. Where are all the experts to come from? Will they instantly appear just because some politician promises they will?
Healthcare in Britain is underfunded but it is also badly organised and wastes so much money that it would be almost a criminal act to just give more money without radical reform. The power of the pharmaceutical giants to charge whatever they want, the utterly ridiculous management structure, the crazy way a manager can be seen to fail in one trust and resigns or gets a big pay off to leave, and a few weeks later is appointed to another well-paid job. The whole thing has to be improved before throwing more money at it.
Education, especially secondary and higher education, needs to be reformed, firstly to reduce or eliminate charges to students and their families but also to eliminate political bias and political influence by teachers. The cosy cartels who appoint teachers must be swept away.
Both healthcare and education should be taken out of the hands of politicians altogether. They should both have radical reform and then these reforms need to be enshrined in law so that future governments, of any persuasion, cannot change direction. Education and healthcare need open and diverse managements, these managements must reflect and follow the wishes of the majority. The structure of these managements should be part of the laws which take them out of political control.
We all need to be involved. Democracy, real democracy, needs to be returned to real issues, self appointed elites with their own self perpetuating clubs of people, have to be broken up. None of this will ever happen if people keep unquestioningly believing every politician's promises.
It does not matter whether the politician is left wing or right wing, all promises made by politicians, are always a promise of intent, they know that in reality they can not deliver and so they do not tell people it is only an intent, they train themselves and hire “spin doctors” to choose words that sound convincing. They practice seeming positive and certain, even when they know that they will never be able to achieve their spoken intentions.