Politics has, for too long, been a game only the wealthy can play. Everyone has known this for years, but it is finally being discussed (to some degree, anyway) in the mainstream political discourse.
As part of the recent character assassination into the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, his personal finances have come under scrutiny. Sunak is married to Akshata Murthy, a billionaire who has been described as being richer than the Queen. How can someone with such an absurd amount of money be expected to enact financial policies that directly affect the poorest people in the country? He’s never had to scrimp and save to make ends meet. Oh sure, he stands next to a Kia for a photo shoot, clearly he’s a man of the people. At least it’s reassuring to know that the cost of living crisis can be solved by a crappy photo shoot. Or so he thinks.
Although some working-class people have gotten into politics, the fact remains that it is still very much a field for privately educated, Eton and Oxbridge alumni who have faced very few struggles in their lives. The cost of living crisis means next to nothing to these people, and as much as they lament about their wages being ‘chicken feed’, I’d like to see them work jobs that pay less than the minimum wage. You know, actual ‘chicken feed’ wages. Politicians are wildly out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent, and this should never be something we accept. It’s a fault with the system.
Speaking of the rigged system, we’ve all seen this brazenly on display with regards to partygate. Boris and his cronies broke the law and were fined a paltry £50 for doing so, with more of these fines likely coming in the future. Compare this to students who were fined £10,000 and kicked out of university for the exact same lockdown violations; £10,000 means a lot more to a student than it does to the Prime Minister and his millionaire mates, that’s for sure. Fines should, rather than being a set sum, be a percentage of a person’s total income. Time after time we’ve seen rich people pay off fines that would bankrupt normal families as if they were merely slaps on the wrist. That’s not okay, and it’s certainly not fair. Breaking the law should have real consequences, not £50 fines to the elite for repeatedly breaking the same law.
To the wealthy, politics is just a hobby in which they can enact policies to protect their finances. Money should not be at the heart of any political discussions. Politicians who are caught accepting bribes of any kind should be fired immediately, and honestly, tried for treason. Conflicts of interest should be shut down the second they become apparent. Liars and lawbreakers should also be sacked. How can the people that make the laws be the very ones we see break the laws and face no repercussions? This could even prompt further rule breaks because we clearly see people getting away with this sort of behaviour.
With recent polling showing a drastically different outcome to the 2019 general election, it will be interesting to see if recent news stories have a tangible effect on the upcoming local elections. The tides may be changing.