Politicians must stop empty promises and restore our confidence in them

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By Anna Mudeka

Politics……. I have often wondered if I should get involved in that world but then I realise it’s not for me. The way I see it, despite the best of intentions, it seems that, in the end, the system swallows you up and you never do achieve your original plans and aspirations.

I have watched Western politics over the past few years with complete puzzlement and my only conclusion is that the so-called African dictators must be laughing their heads off at the moment. Finally Western politicians are following what they themselves have been accused of for years, corruption, changes of laws to suit themselves and refusing to leave office.

My question is: what is going on? It’s hard to believe the state of our politics at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, the political situation back home in Zimbabwe is far from ideal and there are things that happen which are questionable; but for years the world has considered UK and American politics to have much higher standards.

It’s still hard to believe that the Donald Trump era really happened and the present UK government is adamant that the current crisis we are in will pass and people will simply forgive and forget. Well I suppose time will tell.

I do enjoy a good political discussion and BBC’s Question Time on a Thursday night is a weekly highlight, giving us an opportunity to listen to different people’s views

Listening to people explain why they have voted for Trump or our current government for example, the motivation they all have in common is the need for change and the frustration with empty promises made by politicians in the period leading up to elections.

However, the post-election period never seems to reflect these promises and, to many, the system feels broken; not just here but the world over with no obvious solution. What seems to be lacking is a base of politicians with relevant life experience who are therefore driven to institute real change.

I remember feeling excited as a 19-year-old getting my voting card for the first time and no, it wasn’t in Zimbabwe, but right here in the UK. At that time, it was the end of an era for the Tories and the beginning of the New Labour Party with an enthusiastic young leader – Tony Blair. That was when my interest in politics really heightened.

There was no doubt that people wanted change and Blair sounded energetic and passionate. Listening to his campaign song, Things Can Only Get Better, I was enthused by him, happy to listen to him talk as he didn’t seem to mince his words. He was straight to the point and always spoke in a direct and forceful manner.

So, setting off with my card to the ballot box, I joined many others in putting my X in his box and Labour went on to win the election. Sadly, however, my admiration and support for Tony Blair vanished quickly with his decisions over the Iraq war which led to protests in the British streets proclaiming how wrong the war was. It’s only now that we are finding out the real reason behind that war and why Iraq is in such a mess.

More information is also now available on how his government dealt with the so-called white farm inversions in Zimbabwe.

I felt so much shame when hearing reporters constantly speaking about how the Zimbabwe government was persecuting white farmers; but I heard no reports whatsoever about the fact that Clare Short, who was the International Development Secretary in Blair’s government, decided that Britain no longer had a responsibility to meet the cost of land purchases in Zimbabwe – going completely against the commitment made during the 1979 Lancaster House talks in which Britain committed to funding the Land Redistribution Programme.

So over the years I have voted for different parties and as the next election looms I am in even more of a dilemma as to who I should vote for.

I listen to as many different points of view as possible and I am sure I am not alone in questioning what politics is really about nowadays.

After so many battles in the past which have given us the right to vote I will always use it.

But I have to question how long the politicians can keep making these empty promises.

In order to keep the population interested in politics and willing to support whichever government, they have to find a way to restore our confidence and our belief that honesty and fairness will play a part in their decision-making.