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Broken Britain

In August of last year I was unfortunate enough to witness firsthand the riots which occurred in Manchester. The quarter I work in was one hit most heavily by the looters forcing all businesses including the office I work in to close. These were the events that led to David Cameron's declaration that we now live in a 'Broken Britain. A year and two months after the dust has settled is now a poignant time as ever to look into depth at Mr Cameron's comments and discuss their validity.

I want to begin this article with a short anecdote, devoid of any form of empirical evidence but to make one point: Britain isn't broken it's Britain's political system that is. An loose acquaintance of mine owns a local Post Office, not a particularly large one, that serves the local community. One afternoon whilst chatting with said acquaintance the subject of benefits and entitlement came up and he made one very alarming point. One of the clients of the post office is a young gentleman around the age of 30 who comes in once a week for one reason only: benefits. Every week he comes in, presents his documents and 500 of the taxpayers pounds is wired directly into his account. The friend of mine doesn't know what entitlement this gentleman is given the confidentiality agreement he has with the social system but what is extremely discerning is the figure. £500 per week equates to £24,000 per year tax free salary! RiotsThat's well above the national average for a gentleman who to the eye appears to be perfectly fit to work. If we take into account that he's not paying tax on said income the figure is closer to £30,000.

Cameron can argue that he has reformed the system all he likes but the matter of the fact is whether the system is being bent or abuses are going unnoticed IT DOESN'T WORK. My anecdote may be lacking in concrete evidence but we all know someone who is living off the state. My background simply means that I know a lot more. Of which I cannot use as examples in an article.

In Brtiain you have 2 choices. You can work and earn a decent living or chose not to. Incapacity benefits allowance is the most simple one to claim as the government require so little medical evidence that anyone with a minor trouble can receive it.


Representative Government?

This leads me on to my second complaint: the nature of our government. Let's start with Mr. Cameron as the figurehead of our state. The intended purpose of representative government is that our representatives are elected to represent our views. The question I pose is how can a spoilt, highly educated public-school-boy fully represent the wishes of the masses? The whole idea is perverse. Cameron's life experiences mean that when he and others(such as Mr. Osbourne who is from a similar background) make choices on cuts how can they relate to how it will affect the public! This means that instead of protecting people's livelihoods we're more concerned at maintaining our Triple-A rating. The Conservative Party can blame Labour's borrowing as much as they please but the end of the matter is that their actions have had catastrophic consequences.

riotsWho's fault is it then? We elected these representatives into Parliament. The Labour Party isn't much different either. Ed Miliband bangs on about how he went to a 'normal' school but is from an incredibly wealthy background. The fact is our government is not representative. All it represents is a small priviledged sector of society. Government should be representative of all elements of society as to best make decisions that affect all elements. 


What really is broken is our system not Britain. The days after the Manchester riots saw a huge effort by the community to hunt down the thieves that caused the damage. This is proof that we are not broken as a people and it's insulting for Mr. Cameron to say so. Just manipulated by a few privileged individuals who have enjoyed such privilege all their life. I'm not advocating a Communist revolution and I'm most certainly not a Marxist. But I believe that it is politicians who are breaking Britain. Politics at one stage was more than a profession. At the turn of the 20th Century Burt and Alexander the first two Labour representatives at Westminster fought hard to be elected to give the working class a voice. In the 21st Century the only voice that can be hear is that of privilege.

Please don't think politics is irrelevant to you. Politics affects every part of your life. If you have a problem speak up for yourself. Make your voice heard. Don't let them Break Britain. 

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History MA

GDL Student

Trainee Solicitor

Website: motor-mouth.co.uk/contributors/Greg
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