Where Is The Love?
Empathy is an intrinsic value in human nature – a desire to help the vulnerable is hardwired within us. It is for this reason that I bring to attention again the refugee crisis currently raging not only on the continent, but globally. I can practically guarantee that every individual reading this will be descended at some point, from someone fleeing war, persecution or disaster. Is it not our responsibility to aid those experiencing the same thing today?
Very recently in Eastern Ghouta, more than 580 people have been killed and over 1000 have been injured in the ongoing violence – all of this destruction has happened in a period of just eleven days. Even if we are unable to be present geographically, raising awareness that these issues are still existent, and donating to charities and organisations helping with the crisis are both huge steps in bringing an end to the suffering currently endured by so many.
Objectively, Prime Minister’s Question Time seems quite boring, the scrutiny of the government by other members of Parliament. However, if you watch PMQs, you’ll soon notice an interesting pattern develop. Someone says something, it’s met with boos and jeers from the other side, and (usually) cheers or murmurs of agreement from the same side of the House. Occasionally, John Bercow will bellow ‘Order!’, and, in a somewhat more eloquent fashion, tell the members to shut up.
I’m not advocating for the the removal of PMQs as it enables the opposition, and more importantly the public, to view and scrutinise the executive’s policies and actions. It also allows the Prime Minister and other ministers to defend said policies, but the playground nature of PMQs should stop. It makes a mockery of Parliament, and only exposes members as immature and unable to properly critique without resorting to childish taunts.
I don’t have an exact solution to the problem, at this time, as quite frankly I’m writing this because we had an empty space in the soapbox section and something needed to fill it. That doesn’t make the issue any less important, let us hold the government to account without relying on soundbites to make their way round social media.
The Power of Politics
Whether we like it or not, politics invades every part of our lives. It affects us from the day we are born to the day we die. Healthcare, education, income - they are all aspects of our life dictated by Westminster.
So, when people turn around and say 'I don't see the point of voting' or 'I don't understand politics', it is incredibly annoying. We live in an age where vast mountains of knowledge are at our fingertips. A simple Google will tell you everything you need to know about political parties, policies and how these issues affect us. There's even the Facebook page 'Simple Politics', whose mission is to break down bills passed in Parliament to everyday language, so that everyone can understand.
I get that politics appears to be an inaccessible world of the elite. Yet, although Parliament is still dominated by wealthy, privileged men, by engaging with politics we can influence the decisions made. There's a reason young people are ignored by politicians. Not enough of us care - and those that do need to work harder to make our voices heard.