Is there room for hope, politically?
A few years ago, I made a choice to be optimistic, to believe that it is possible for mankind to pull out of the political and economic nosedive that we are in, to come back to earth in a safe landing.
If we give way to despair and pessimism, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy; we cannot take action, we become depressed and passive.
So I chose to be positive, to look for the reasonable solutions to the many problems that we face, which is what most of this blog is about.
But in common with many thousands of others last week's election result has tipped me into depression.
What hope is there for us, politically?
OK, the Green Party maintains its slow and steady progress. We got a bigger vote than ever before in percentage and absolute terms. Caroline Lucas kept her seat with an increased majority, a fact that many of all parties agree was one of the very few pleasant results last week. But it is too slow. Under proportional representation the Greens would have 25 MPs. As it is, we have one.
We are looking at the monstrously disproportionate results of our clapped-out electoral system, where 24% of the electorate deliver 34% of the vote which delivers 51% of the MPs which delivers 100% of the power to an ugly little regime of small-state ideologues who are determined to punish the poor and dispossessed even harder than before and sell our national assets off cheap to their corporate chums who will run the country into the ground for the sake of their own profits.
This ridiculous FPTP electoral system will not change short of sustained rioting in the streets, because the Government of the day is elected by FPTP and the Labour Opposition colludes unforgivably with the Tory Government in defending the indefensible.
The electoral system is one major block to progress, The other is the state of the media. Out of every 4 newspaper readers, 3 are reading right wing newspapers. Of TV stations, Murdoch owns Sky, and the BBC has make a sickening lurch to the right since 2010. Channel 4 is reasonable at the moment, but is prone to making awful propaganda in films like the Great Global Warming Swindle.
The massive failure of the media as a block is demonstrated by the way the media-led election "debate" excluded discussion of climate change, corruption and fracking. This despite one of the "major" parties having a policy of repealing the Climate Change Act.
To a small extent, social media compensate for the inadequacies of the corporate media, but social media is subject to its own vagaries (see the influence of conspiracy theorists and global warming deniers), and at present is too small to counterbalance the huge influence of the corporates.
In short, democracy in the UK is hobbled by an undemocratic electoral system and a deeply biased media.
Is there any room for hope in terms of peaceful democratic politics? It is difficult to see any, rationally. But we should not give up hope yet. Hope and despair are like the weather; they change. Today it is cold, cloudy and wet. Tomorrow, the sun will shine. Today we are in the grip of a false individualistic ideology, but Truth cannot be held back forever. The truth is that we are social animals, and we do need to look after our life support systems. If we cling on, hope against hope, these two truths may, in the end, give us political hope.