It’s a classic idiom that reverberates through our culture. ‘You simply can’t please everybody.’
You can apply it to anything and everything. You’re in a band? Someone is going to think you’re worse than papercuts. You’re an author? Someone wants to see your books burnt. You’re a politician? Well, it’s likely a lot of people are going to think you’re the reason their life sucks. Politics is, and will always be, the ultimate divider. When your decisions affect so many people, naturally some individuals will suffer, but the idea should be that if it’s for the benefit of the majority then some sacrifices will have to be made. This is a sad fact. It would be a true utopia if literally everybody could be pleased. However, once you accept that you can’t please everyone, the logical next step is to ask yourself: how can I please almost everyone?
Ultimately what you should be working towards as a government (correct me if I’m wrong) is a fair and equal society, where all needs are addressed and all opportunities are available to everyone. Of course, people will always find a reason to moan, especially here in the UK. We love to moan. We always have and that won’t change anytime soon. Look past the people who hate for the sake of it, as you would hope they’re in the minority. Look instead to the rest of the country, to the people who just want to have the same opportunities their parents did. This, again you would hope, is the majority. In there lie people from all walks of life. Bankers, cleaners, musicians, teachers, dentists, doctors, historians, authors, plumbers, electricians. Right now, as far as I can see it, only one group from that list is actually being catered for, by which I mean, only one of those professions is being supported to the extent that our incumbent politicians are willing to stick their necks out on the line. The chummy relationship between the banks and our UK Government is one constantly under scrutiny, and these days it’s always the first thing we go to when we complain about the state of the UK in 2014. I’m not knocking that. It’s clearly way too entwined, now resembling a sordid late-night orgy that everyone told knows is a bad idea, but continues anyway because all involved think that it looks cool. All calls to exit this damaging quasi-sexual relationship appear to be falling on deaf ears as Cameron and co. repeatedly forget that not everybody here works in a bank and, surprise surprise, some of us actually want to do something else with our lives.
Forgive the generalisations at this point, but I don’t think it’s unfair when generalisations seem to be what ConDems seem to have…condemned us to. In their eyes, all welfare claims must be scrutinised because you’re probably lying and you’re fit to work. In their eyes all those seeking the ancient right to shelter are crusty criminals who don’t deserve a roof over their heads. In their eyes, the average individual is simply a statistic that can be rounded up or rounded down depending on how it suits their political spin. The true outrage of it is that none of them would be in the position they’re in today were it not for the fact that their predecessors viewed us average individuals as, well, individuals.
Allow me here a moment of poetic license as I illustrate the absurdity of the modern political ethos. Let’s take, for example, tuition fees. Don’t groan, I’ll be quick. Prior to 1998, studying at University was free. This of course was greatly beneficial to all those who wished to attend a higher education establishment, like say, a politician. A degree is more-or-less a standard requirement for anything that might be considered a typical ‘well-paid job’. It was considered important, I’m sure, that this should be free. As individuals, we should all have the same opportunities. The lack of a financial burden therefore makes it easier for that equality to be enacted. Now step into the future, to 1998 and the years after it. Suddenly you need to pay £1,000. Within ten years it will be £3,000. Within fifteen, it will be £9,000. The people who reached a position of such influence that they were able to introduce fees to university reached those positions of influence because they benefitted from free higher education. I hope the irony of that is very clear. However, this lack of common sense is surprisingly common and it is not only restricted to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. After all, Labour introduced the fees and this is a party that supposedly existed for the benefit of the working class. I hope that it was a simple lack of foresight, but I can’t help but know that it was likely a total lack of respect for the ideas that were once held up as sacred. This is the kind of decision that can only be made if one forgets that each of us is different. Even in the form of loans, not everybody will be able to afford this and the drop in the number of University applications is a clear sign that a certain group has been entirely alienated.
Once again, you can’t please everybody. I know this. You know this. But this is not the point. You don’t have to please everybody, but that isn’t to say that instead you should simply focus on pleasing one small group of people. Sure, it might be easier, but that is not the reason a Government exists. I sometimes feel so wildly disconnected from the issues that are touted as important that I begin to wonder if I’m even living in the same country. I feel even sicker when I remember that I somewhat contributed to all of this, but then I was young and naive and I thought things could change. There are people living under the UK Government that are cold and hungry and yet an important point of contention appears to be whether we can frack gas out of the ground. Am I crazy? Is there something I’m missing? Was I out of the office when they sent round the memo saying that feeding people wasn’t a priority any longer? What we have seen in the four years since the Liberal Conservatives (let that sink in) came to power is a slow, painful erosion of the concept of a ‘United’ Kingdom. You could argue that this is a disease that has been carried over from the days of Brown and Blair. Once they bailed out the banks, they created a lasting bond between the entity that is Government and the entity that we refer to colloquially as ‘The Banks.’ Since that time, the focus has had to be on keeping them strong, because to do anything else would apparently be both economic and political suicide. This has effectively driven a screwdriver into the beating heart of the rest us and unless someone drives this shivering wreck to the nearest hospital, we’re all going to bleed out. We need a country that caters to as many of us as it possibly can. Right now I do not think for a second that this is what is being done and that’s part of the reason that people are suffering.