More divided than ever

Theresa May's failed attempt to strengthen her position ahead of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations has resulted in a hung parliament, creating more instability in these uncertain times.

We are facing greater challenges than at any point since World War II.

Brexit, terror, global warming, debt, the housing crisis, an ageing demographic and many other big issues need addressing.

We need to come together to resolve the many challenges we face, in a way not seen in recent times and yet, as the general election result has shown, we are more divided than ever.

The starting point for greater unity needs to be the establishment of a political system that returns a government that actually reflects the will of the people.

Our current system marginalises minorities and gives disproportionate power to others.

The Conservatives under Theresa May will now return to office having gained significantly less than 50% of the popular vote, propped up by a party that returned 10 MPs.

The country will be ruled by an alliance that the majority of people voted against. The Tory/DUP MPs will be able to implement whatever policies they can agree on having received less than 14 million votes combined.

In a nation of over 65 million people, this is not democracy in action.

The SNP won 35 seats in the new parliament having gathered just under a million votes. In contrast, The Liberal Democrats 2.37 million votes gives them 12 MPs, while the Greens' and UKIP's million plus votes combined gives them just one MP between them.

We require unity to meet the great challenges we face today, yet there will be none while people's voices continue to be marginalised and disproportionately represented in parliament.

Theresa May asked the electorate to get behind her 'strong and stable leadership'. A majority rejected that at the ballot box and there is a feeling people want a higher degree of engagement from our politicians and more of a say in the decisions that effect them.

We need strong and stable government like never before. Only a more consensual politics can provide that and prevent the wild swings from left to right (and vice versa) that have plagued the UK for years and left us in the mess we now find ourselves in.

Kennedy Stewart
Lerwick

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