UK elite do not understand needs of masses: Scholar
The British people are furious at the failure of their “political elite” in understanding their problems, says a British scholar, citing public reactions to the high living expenses of the UK Royal Family as an example.
Dr. Rodney Shakespeare, a professor of binary economics, made the remarks on Sunday, while discussing an online petition against the Queen Elizabeth’s use of public funds to repair the Buckingham Palace, her place of residence in London.
More than 94,000 people had signed the petition as of Sunday, two days after the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond granted the 90-year-old Queen a 66-percent rise in funding required for the palace’s refurbishment over the next 10 years.
This “is really part of the wider issue as to whether the political elite is serving the population,” Shakespeare asked. “At this moment it has become apparent that the political elite, including the present government, do not understand or have the policies to correct the hollowing out of the middle classes.”
That is why, he argued, that British people are turning against the rulers and put their outrage into display by acts like voting for Brexit.
“In this circumstances where there is a wholesale failure of policy and of understanding and in particular of concern [and] of psychological empathy for the interests of the mass of the population, it is inevitable an expenditure on something like this,” would “upset” people, the scholar argued.
Shakespeare noted that the British monarchy has always enjoyed “considerable” support among Britons, “as long as the individuals do not behave badly.”
“But the monarchy, in practice, when it lies at the center of what is now essentially a complacent, smug, self-preserving and self-serving elite with no understanding and no desire to understand the needs of the mass of the people the inevitable happens and you get anger and resentment about expenditures such as this,” he explained.
Petitioners said the money could be used to mend the faltering National Health Service (NHS) or help families get more affordable homes amid a housing crisis.
“It is wholly unreasonable to cut the benefits of the sick and disabled, take away housing benefits from the poor, and then pay for this,” said one signatory of the petition.
The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic also took issue with the announcement, denouncing it as a “disgrace.”