On the evening of Thursday 9th December 2010 the streets of London descended into violent chaos.
A planned peaceful demonstration in the heart of London provoked angry clashes with the police, leaving some police and protestors seriously injured. Cars and buildings were vandalised, and ordinary passersby were shocked as the centre of the capital of the UK became gridlocked.
The cause of this anger was the vote in Parliament to increase University fees for students by up to 200%. The policy will mean thousands of young people will start their working lives with debts of around £27,000, whilst student finance companies make huge profits – as they do in countries like the United States.
A question emerges: Is this a sign of a political crisis for Britain?
There are several reasons for thinking so, that go beyond anger directed at the policy.
The truth is that there has been a haemorrhaging of trust in politicians.
Ten years after believing ‘things could only get better’, British voters despised Tony Blair, in whom they had invested so much hope. Blair’s era in government had been characterised by spin, lies and deceit – most famously justifying the war on Iraq upon a false premise.
Following this, British voters saw their MPs cheating them over expenses.
Now, one of the ruling parties in the governing coalition, the Liberal Democrat Party, which had pledged before the election’s to abolish student fees, have been pivotal in voting in the new policy to charge higher fees.
This has led to a new low in trust for politicians.
However, Muslims are constantly told that they should trust the politicians who promise the earth at election times, but betray those policies when they achieve power.
There is no significant divide between any of the parties on any major issue. There are merely shades of grey. This leaves people with a political system that looks after the interests of big business, landowners, the rich and other elite.
There is no fundamental difference between democracy in Britain, or in Pakistan, Bangladesh or elsewhere. It has become, inevitably, government by the people, of the people, for the richest and most powerful faction of the people.