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Has political apathy eroded our freedoms?

(33 Posts)
mam29 Sat 14-Sep-13 14:46:27

Been giving this some serious thought recently.

I know lots people feel disconnected with politics that they all same.

But i have interest in politics, not sure who i support next election.

Im well educated read papers, watch variety of news

daily politics, this week, question time.

mostly buy the independent as the media bias annoys me.

but 2 bills have been passed that I diden't agree with

no right of appeal until 2 years employment

school holidays 10 days discretion.

seems not until its passed and live do people get wound up,

its too late now

I am strongly against increasing ratio preschool, ranking 5 and 11 year olds and new childcare policy but feel bit powerless.

how did these slip through and no one notice?

makes me wonder what else they done or doing that never gets highlighted until too late.

The media only highlight what they want to often with mistakes or bias.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 14-Sep-13 14:52:23

I was amazed that no one seemed to notice that you now need to be in your employment for 2 years before you get your employment rights. It is a massive massive erosion of rights,and I expect I only knew because I am a paid up union member who actually reads the magazine I get.

Is it political apathy though or something more underhand?

mam29 Sat 14-Sep-13 15:17:52

Not sure only heard about it recently ad sadly due to hubbys bad work situation this has become relevent to us thankfully he started 6d ays before law changed so he has right of appeal.

I also read about tribunual ,cost .increased and no legal aid.

loads about zero hours in news which has been going on for years
even when i was in uni some time ago.

It seems the employer has all the rights and employees rights diminsihed

Im no socialist not even a union member.

But just seems disturbing pattern of things blowing up.

most recent the school holidays fiasco I only knew about this as last term I asked for holiday request form and reception told me.

we took 1 discretionary last year to go lego land we cant afford a holiday term time or non term time.

Then i started to talk to real life mums and people i knew say you heard about this?


But was too late law was passed then media blew it up, mumsnet and face book people moaning they dident know they would have opposed it.

vaguely remember listening to queens speech major things get detail other stuff does not.

It worries me what else I miss others miss as feel so disconnected and powerless.

Where will it end?

I cant think of many things we heard about , fought against and not gone ahead.

Apart from maybe that coutry side bill and caroline speldman.

nothing that matters seems to have been contested and won

tax cuts for rich
universil child benefit but not touch pensioners
bedroom subsidy-oaps except from under occupation.
feel increasingly frustrated myself.

Underhand by who?

ttosca Tue 17-Sep-13 00:04:33

It's class war and the erosion of rights wont stop until people fight back.

ElizabetaLuknichnaTomanovskaya Tue 17-Sep-13 10:45:09

I think you make some very valid points but I'm not certain that people are completely disinterested in politics but there is a disengagement from mainstream politics. The upshot of this though may in fact have a silver lining, people are moving either left or right of the major three parties. Politics doesn't work and serves no useful purpose unless there is something to be contested. If all parties agree and keep the middle ground then they are no longer political.

ttosca Tue 17-Sep-13 18:29:21

You're spot on Elizabeta.

You're right, it's not politics per se that people are apathetic about, it's mainstream political parties and the political system itself. Whilst the percentage of the population who vote continues to decline inexorably, the number of people who engage in other form of political and social activism - whether it's joining a union, NGO, charity, or taking to the streets has never been greater.

The problem is, as your point out, the mainstream parties have become anti-political. They are no longer fighting over ideology or even values, they have all become competing parties for managerial Capitalism.

ElizabetaLuknichnaTomanovskaya Tue 17-Sep-13 20:50:55

I think one of the reasons we see the major parties moving to take up the same ground is because of the stage at which we find ourselves in terms of global capital. Although the government is separate to the state and the institutions of the state, and our elected politicians should represent us, they actually represent their own interests and they see a way of extending their own interests through the state. The state apparatus of law and security, national security and its role of ensuring national competitiveness both serves their interests and they serve it. This means that we citizens are out of the loop, no one represents our interests.

Neo-liberalism as ideology and as economic process is about both regulation in favour of global capitalism but de-regulation too which effects the autonomy of nations states. I think this is fundamental to understanding the real reason all mainstream political parties are paralysed.

mam29 Wed 18-Sep-13 12:35:04

I guess does not help they all chasing centre ground.

hard to see differences between them.

I enjoy politics, take interest in it, but feel bit disenfranchised at same time I make the effort.

Lots of policies I dont agree with but feel powerless to stop it.

seems we miss stuff it goes through.

Or theirs lots of noise ie childcare vouchers but makes no difference and gets passed anyway.

Im SAHM so not in a union.
I voluntreer so guess i fit big soceity which long been forgotton.

Im really not keen on labour.
normally right leaning but dont agree with so much done so far,
it facts its pushing me more left thinking but not to labour.
Im not sure which party right now represents me.

Unless its mainstream can small parties influence policy?

I wish things would change that they would be bold and brave.

But no one ever will.

I am not sure britsh media helps

that rich peoples fund the blues

that unions brought a labour leader of their choice.

both feel dirty.

I think most people want some fairness anc ommon sense.

yes the countrys in mess but are we fixing it feels like we getting increasingly divided and no one knows who to vote for?

SinisterSal Wed 18-Sep-13 12:47:31

I think globalisation means that nation states don't hold the power now.
It's all about free movement of capital. So in that sense it's about bottom line, and there is not much a political party in any country can do about it. Imagine in this atmosphere if someone started on about Protectionism, say, they'd be shot down.

But people are getting involved in single issue or local movements.

mam29 Wed 18-Sep-13 13:54:06

Ok I could scream.

Apathy in action.

Freind delights in new free schools meals announcement on fb.

other freinds use the old tesco classic

every ilttle helps.

but its unfair as only covers infants and high earning families?

that older ones should understand that lifes not fair.

so even with parents who have kids diffrent ages.

They supporting it as a good move?

Im not oing to say to eldests lifes unfair you not worthy.

next year i either pay dd1 school lunches if dd2 gets free lunches
or dd2 and dd1 take packed lunches.

why are so many people happy with crumbs.

does it cancel out all the bad things they done?

im so confused why people lack passion and just take it.

niceguy2 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:56:43

In my view there are several factors at play here.

Nowadays who do you vote for? Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems? They're not that far apart in reality. There are minor differences but on the fundamental issues of austerity, economics etc. there's not much to set them apart.

So it doesn't matter who you vote for. And recently it seems like the best you can vote for is the least worst choice.

In that context you can understand why people have become disconnected.

Globalisation has changed the ball game much more than most people realise. Multinationals now often have bigger GDP's than entire countries. They are effectively playing governments off against each other much like a spoilt child playing his parents off for their affection.

And much until the governments of the world unite and take some serious action then this will continue. We'll see tax avoidance on a massive scale and any attempt by a single national government will result in these huge companies 'punishing' the government.

moondog Fri 20-Sep-13 15:01:43

Am academic involved in policy review once told us that a mandarin had told him (when challenged on the ineffectuality of the policy being pursued) 'It doesn't matter if what we do makes no difference. The important thing is to be seen to be doing something.'

This, combined with the pandering to a 24 hour media machine and an obsession with style over substance plays a major part in the endemic apathy about politics.

Also bureaucracy is such that any change becomes increasingly more difficult to implement.

Furthermore, Cameron, Clegg and Milliband are loathsome toads.
It must be a strange sort of person who believes they can tell everyone else what to do and how to do out, even more so when their experience of doing a proper job is virtually nil.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 09:04:26

I don't agree with the suggestion that apathy erodes our freedoms. If anything, I think political fanaticism & extremism allows that to happen more easily. When Labour were last in power and could steamroller anything they liked through parliament with their majority, our freedoms were under severe threat. Remember ID cards, 90 days without trial, DNA database ideas? There was no public pressure for any of it and (unlike the last four years) no external crisis driving the agenda either. Life was good, money was plentiful and, rather than give the country a solid foundation, more houses or boost industry they chose to go the sinister route of keeping tabs on us all. Whether you personally like their policies or not, the Coalition has had a far more difficult environment to manage and has had to tread far more carefully seeking consensus.

ttosca Mon 23-Sep-13 18:55:31


Eyerything you say is the opposite of the truth.

First of all, you contrast 'apathy' with 'fanaticism and extremism'. That's quite revealing. it shows your undemocratic tendencies. It appear that you think if people aren't apathetic they are extremists.

Secondly, any government or coalition can steamroller through practically anything they like. The UK doesn't have a constitution. No Parliament is bound by the previous Parliament. The only thing constraining Parliament is popular opinion, precedent, and human rights laws. This government now wants to abolish human rights laws.

Finally, the coalition has no mandate for half of its policies. Quite the opposite, it is now implementing policies which it explicitly rejected in each of the parties respective manifestos: no top-down re-organisation of the NHS and no increase in tuition fees come to mind. It has no mandate for selling off the Royal Mail. It has no mandate for the myriad policies which attack the poorest and most vulnerable and have killed people in the thousands.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 24-Sep-13 16:57:37

"It appear that you think if people aren't apathetic they are extremists."

Maybe to you, but I think you'll find you're in a minority. hmm

ttosca Tue 24-Sep-13 19:09:19

It follows from what you wrote.

Either you don't express yourself well, or you think people tend to only take two political paths: apathy or extremism.

claig Wed 25-Sep-13 00:10:31

Or you have failed to understand cogito's post

ElizabetaLuknichnaTomanovskaya Wed 25-Sep-13 17:44:58

Cogito wrote "I don't agree with the suggestion that apathy erodes our freedoms. If anything, I think political fanaticism & extremism allows that to happen more easily"

I assumed this to mean that governments and politicians pursing fanatical and extremists policies eroded freedoms.

This would be true only if the population is apathetic.

The same as an apathetic population would allow extremist/fanatical/tyrannical ideas and policies to be carried.

I'm not certain what cogito meant because she/he seems to imply that an active engaged citizenry wouldn't prevent tyranny or extremism but it seems hard to accept than anyone would seriously think this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 26-Sep-13 07:09:44

That's a good point Elizabeta. An apathetic population and an extremist government is a dangerous combination. But an extremist government egged on and supported by an enthusiastic, actively engaged population has to be much worse.

MiniTheMinx Thu 26-Sep-13 10:18:41

That's why we should hold back any enthusiastic support from the likes of UKIP

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 27-Sep-13 17:29:49

I would agree with you! Someone on a workfare thread pointed out that the workfare scheme is similar to communism and I can see their point.

People aren't earning enough to live, food banks are needed, employment rights have been undermined by migrants (not their fault) but people don't dare complain about their jobs as they are easily replaced.

We have secret courts where people's children are taken from them and dementia sufferers money are going to the state against there's and their families wishes and you can go to prison for discussing the cases.

We have the levensen enquiry undermining freedom of the press. Most press agencies are now propaganda machines the BBC and guardian for labour and the mail for the Tories. And there's Rupert Murdoch who I've always compared to a James Bond baddie.

Then there's teachers and doctors with so much state bureaucracy they are hampered in trying to do their jobs.

I really fear for the state of the country especially as becoming a politician seems to be reserved for the rich and well connected no longer the average man/woman

claig Fri 27-Sep-13 20:10:25

Wannabe, things will change because there is a new party on the block - a party of the people, ordinary people, not Oxbridge and public school elites, and that party is UKIP.

The elites will smear it but they can't stop it because ordinary people have lost faith in the elites.

claig Fri 27-Sep-13 20:14:01

There has been apathy. We know that lots of them are lying about lots of things. We know they are all the same on catastophic climate change and every other con that the people don't believe in.

But that initial apathy has led to the rise of UKIP as an alternative. That will reinvigorate political debate and breath new life and hope into ordinary people which terrifies the privileged elites.

MiniTheMinx Fri 27-Sep-13 20:34:39

I think someone doesn't understand what communism is.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 27-Sep-13 20:47:45

I fully admit I haven't read any or Marx's works but I can see some similarities between the Soviet Union and Britain with regards to secret courts, the levensen enquiry etc.

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