Now, I am aware that I am echoing Pobedonostsev in the literal sense of the phrase, “democracy is the greatest lie of our time”, but contextually I am in no way inclined to support his century old view that traditionalist and absolutist monarchies are the best form of government.
Democracy does work, theoretically.
In many cases, theories are often far more rosy than realities, and the same can be said for democratic politics, particularly in the West. Ever since such milestones as the ideology of the League of Nations and the creation of NATO and the EU, Western powers and governments have deluded themselves to believe that they are the peacekeepers and wisemen of the world. This is simply not the case.
The issue with democracy is not its theory, which in the sense of fair elections, nationwide opinions and equal opportunity is not at all flawed, but in its execution.
UK citizens can claim to live in a democratic and fair nation, but upon inspection this is untrue. Our leader bases ethical and moral judgements on his own personal needs, with his desire for the continued employment political aide Dominic Cummings seemingly casting an immoral shadow over the value of upholding standards and banishing hypocracy. When a nationwide lockdown is imposed and enforced by a government, that same government cannot hold men who’s status allows their personal defiance of those regulations and standards.
It opposes any sort of social equality, and endangers the lives of citizens such ministers are sworn in their profession to serve and protect.
How is a society democratic in each aspect, when one or more of such aspects is breached and therefore flawed? It is correct that we try to sustain human rights, host free elections and practising ‘equal opportunities’ in the contracts of many workplaces, but ministers are corrupt. It cannot be ignored.
Harassment of men and women continues on our streets, and yet the UK Parliament makes no concerted effort to change policy to protect citizens. According to statistica.com (Aug 12 2019) in a graph of date by Daniel Clark, reports of harassment to the police in England and Wales in 2018 reached a total of 214,075. This figure is an increase from 2017-18 of 6,611 reports.
The education system is in constant need of reform, with schools underfunded and understaffed, and University tuition leading to student debt that has the potential to financially cripple young workers. Yet, the government still makes no change, despite the UK now being “one of the most expensive places in the world to get a degree”
(The 3 Biggest Problems With The Education System In The UK | Shout Out UK, 2018).
The NHS is under an amount of strain it is struggling to handle, and the fact that on publicly shared media platforms including the BBC, politicians are ignorant on the subject of and avoid issues such as PPE shortages. This could clearly be seen even before the pandemic, when Matt Hancock (Health Secretary) failed to clarify the nurse recruitment scheme proposed by Boris Johnson’s manifesto
The global pandemic may have brought these issues of failing democracy and political corruption to light through increased media and public pressure, but it would be foolish of society to assume that these problems are new and not evolutionary. From Prime Minister to Prime Minister, from government to government, the principal problem of corrupt political leaders failing to correctly reform, protect and serve is as clear as ever. The international crisis may have exacerbated the issue, but we as a nation and as a global community cannot pretend it didn’t already exist.
Democracy is not a lie because of its principles, it is a lie because those who lead a democratic nation in the name of equality continue to reject reform and oppress areas of society.
Let’s speak up for political change.
Let’s speak up for an end to corruption.
Let’s speak up for true democracy.
Use your voice. Make change real.