Whatever people may think about the content of the debate between Farage and Clegg, last night will prove to have a been a massive watershed in British Politics. For the first time in living memory, a major political debate took place, and neither the Tory Party nor the Labour Party were involved. The significance of this should not be underestimated.
For too long our political system has been dominated by the same two parties – parties who may have come from very different roots, but have over the years moved closer and closer together, to the extent that it is now very difficult to tell them apart. They both support Free Market Capitalism, they both think Austerity is the answer to our economic problems, they are both in hock to big business, and they have both been corrupted by the power of money. Add to that career politicians who don’t know what real life is like, a desire to ‘spin’ every policy announcement, a complete inability to tell the truth, and it’s no wonder the British public have become increasingly disillusioned with the pair of them. Their combined share of the vote has dropped in every single election since the Second World War, and finally some other political parties are starting to make inroads into the system.
It matters not whether you think the Clegg’s Lib Dems are the only party who really care about people, or whether you think they sold out by propping up the Tory Party in government. It matters not whether you think Farage’s UKIP are a breath of fresh air, or whether you think they’re dangerous extremists. The fact they can have a debate with each other and generate such media and popular interest, shows that people are waking up to the fact that the two main parties have both become increasingly disconnected from society, and that neither of them are capable (or even interested) in reflecting the needs of ordinary people. As they can’t bring about the change we need, that change is going to have to come from elsewhere. Last night showed that our political system is indeed changing, at last, and that can only be a good thing.
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