Well. This was a session and a half. For those of you who were half hoping Theresa May would get struck down would be sorely mistaken, and really it’s absolutely no surprise. Though continuously maintaining a calm demeanour, May has always been a force to be reckoned with and she was out in full force at midday. I was lucky enough this week to score tickets to watch this session live from the balcony, and the atmosphere in the lower house has definitely had a lasting impact on what I deem important to write about this week.
I must say I was a little disappointed with the way in which Theresa May was congratulated on becoming the second woman prime minister, as well as May herself pointing out it was done without the use of positive action. There was also a lot of talk about Brexit, as per usual. Brexit means Brexit for Britain, and apparently, Remain means Remain for Scotland. Angus Robertson once again putting the house to shame with his strong, forceful yet polite manner in the lower house each week truly making me wonder whether I should throw caution to the wind and fully embrace my Scottish heritage.
However, what really struck me and inspired to write this specific response, is the complete disregard for real people.
As proud as I am to see my gender represented in the commons, it does not deter from the fact that my patience is wailing thin with Westminster as an entity in itself. Sitting in the balcony it’s pretty easy to get carried away with the old school banter, and those of us sitting in the galleries still find ourselves tutting, laughing or exclaiming (albeit under our breaths) alongside those in appointed positions.
On the subject of worker conditions, Theresa May gained a lot of support from her depiction of Jeremy Corbyn himself as an ‘unscrupulous boss’ who exercised dictatorial qualities over his party and it’s workers, following the Labour leadership fiasco. She used her words to hit certain people where it heard, it’s clear she’s learnt from her predecessors exactly how to work the crowd and play with the power.
On that note, I can see how those who are dissatisfied with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership feel, even when raising his voice and showing passion about important subjects I didn’t feel a connection, even when bringing up the hard subjects. He spoke up about the necessity for serious debate about the important issues affecting our country, but that did nothing to stop the unruly schoolboy behaviour on the benches. I understand that politics is a hard job, MPs, for the most part, work hard and in stressful positions; you do need to look for the little positives, and enjoy the lighter side of life. As the late Jo Cox believed, it’s good to laugh more. I recognise that debating in the lower house becomes so commonplace that you can lose yourself in a sea of disengagement, but I think the majority of politicians seem to be forgetting that these are real people you are talking about. The issues should never be a discussion on who can win an argument, who can raise their voice higher, whose party has statistics from picked-and-chosen sources that can help them win their argument, this isn’t a classroom, this is a government and it’s high time they all started acting like one. Statistics mean nothing to the individual, and to paraphrase Jeremy himself, for a lot of people in this country, austerity isn’t just a fancy term, unemployment isn’t a percentage and food banks aren’t just a measure, they are real life. For the majority of youths, and people in general, building luxury homes in London is not a viable solution to the housing crisis, but instead allows for overseas investors to make it worse. May can shout about Corbyn’s policies and placement as the leader of the opposition all she wants, but until she addresses the fact that she and her government need to connect with real people I’m really at a loss at what she and most of those appointed buffoons are doing there. Politics should never be an end, but instead, a means to creating real change. Being a member of parliament should never be anything but an occupational hazard, but unfortunately, a lot of those elected don’t seem to be seeing it that way, but rather a career path.
Even more ironically poignant, the discussion moved on towards electoral reform for the ten-minute rule motion, where Caroline Lucas talked eloquently and emotionally of the need to increase political engagement, a subject close to my own heart, but not a lot of people were around to hear that.
I was expecting to have my opinions strengthened on the small pocket of politicians seated in front of me, but instead, we need to look at the bigger picture and realise that party politics and the elites of Westminster are no longer applicable to the way our society works.
To find out what I think about political reform and why we need it, please go to makeit100.org