With austerity cuts, political scandals and environmental concerns, Britain’s looking like a difficult place to live.
This mood is reflected in an annual survey released charting social attitudes among the British people.
It’s obvious from the report that belts are tightening and compassion is fading. Support for tax increases to fund the NHS is weaning. More than half of those surveyed feel that benefits paid to unemployed people are too high and discourage them from working. And only a quarter of people are willing to pay more to protect the environment.
But it’s their opinions on political engagement that’s particularly worrying. Voter apathy is on the increase, trust in politicians has been destroyed by issues like the expenses scandal, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the two parties who have ruled this country for the last ninety years.
According to the survey, only one in five people feel that there’s any difference between Labour and the Conservative party. This highlights the issue that people don’t feel that political parties represent their views anymore.
Younger voters seem to be most turned off by politics – less than half of those under thirty five voted at the last election.
But how do the survey results compare to the opinions of the average person in the British capital.
Fraser fits the profile represented in the survey. He feels that politicians can’t be trusted, that all political parties are the same, and that there’s no point in voting.
Braden on the other hand goes against the flow. Although he also feels that politicians are untrustworthy, he thinks that voting is a positive thing, and that politicians do represent his views.
The report concludes that the gulf between politicians and the public is widening. With interest in voting dwindling, it appears that parliament needs to do more to reach out to its electorate to halt a potential threat to democracy.