After more WikiLeaks revelations, LibDem committing mass betrayal and the return of Arctic conditions I have been thinking for some time what happened to my trust in government. Growing up in Lowlands country I was raised with the idea that the government is there to take care of the people. Corruption happened in far, uncivilised lands -or just south of the border where clientelism is a far bigger feature of society than it is in the land of dykes and windmills- and seldom if ever would you hear about a politician displaying dodgy or unsound behaviour. Of course people would say that politicians can’t be trusted because they say one thing in the run up to the elections and do another when they are in power or executing their role as legislators in the opposition. But since Dutchies are champions in whining about the most trivial things, which is a clear sign of the good life, The Hague most be doing something right. And with this view of government being the good guys I never really understood why Americans in particular have such an ingrained mistrust of their government.
In the years I have been in the UK I have been rather impressed with how the British state is able to look after its citizens: Free healthcare, free contraception, free libraries for all ages, heavily subsidized leisure centres and no age limit for studying an undergraduate course with government support (all this is not available in Lowlands country) to name just a few features. But after the events of the last few weeks I have started wondering if politicians are really there for us, the people, or just to benefit a small circle of the rich and powerful. It has been long known that the world of money has a very powerful grip on US politics heavily influencing if not entirely determining policies. Similar things seem to happen here with the government wanting to involve the world of business in policy making. That one party that has portrait itself as ‘the real alternative’ has disgracefully broken its election pledge and after the latest austerity measures I am wondering why the less well-off are expected to carry a far heavier burden than the rich. It’s not my aim to propagate marxist ideals or sound like a pessimist, but something is rather rotten in the state of politics today.