A general election is approaching, but this country needs a deeper change

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(Daniel Hambury/@stellapicsltd)

As the two Tory candidates seeking to replace Boris Johnson as leader of their party and Prime Minister of our country prepared to debate yesterday, union leader Keir Starmer was in Liverpool to make the case for the upcoming general election.

Yes, we have one coming sooner than you think. Look at the crisis the Tories are creating themselves – blue on blue attacks can now be seen live on national television. It’s not just these two candidates either. Think of how Labor and Tories are at each other’s throats. There is a rancor that infects our politics and it stems from our electoral system, which further divides us – just when we need calm unity to tackle the huge problems we face.

I loved general elections because I knew who and what I was voting for. Maybe it was youth or naivety. But until 2019 I voted for the best candidate, I hoped he would win and his party would form a government. Hardly a wizard.

In the last general election, I couldn’t bring myself to vote locally for either of the two main parties. And when I voted Green, I didn’t want them in power, but I was hoping they could help avoid a Jeremy Corbyn government.

The parties are still grappling with their identities now. Work, for its part, has its own crisis. Even though Starmer tells us that he asks himself and his members some serious and intriguing questions, that won’t be enough to win back the voters they lost in the last election. So if Labor is to be in power again, they will have to create a coalition with another party.

The obvious partner would be the Demo Lib. But I have no idea how it will work. Labor is now, by its own admission, a pro-Brexit party. The Lib Dems really aren’t.

This is all very concerning to me because as someone who believed in the mantra that the UK has the biggest democracy, I see very little in action at the moment.

We have a UK cost of living crisis, a war in Europe as climate change kills millions of the world’s poorest people. Yet none of this seems to be a priority for those looking to win the next general election. That is why I hope that we will finally accept that we need real electoral reform. The first-past-the-post system is not suited to our complex world. The idea that a single political party can govern and serve a diverse country is ridiculous.

This country isn’t really divided by red or blue walls – despite what breathless commentators claim – but it is united in hope for a better future for our children, our communities and ourselves. As corny as it sounds, I know we are tired of the dumbing down of our political system and the awful tribalism that ensues. It does nothing for this country or those in need.

So whoever the next Prime Minister is, I hope he is ready for change, because it is coming. Whether it’s alternative voting or proportional representation, our electoral system simply has to catch up with the world in which we live.

In other news…

As a perfectly normal person, I have of course spent the last few weeks watching the island of love and I had a glimpse that I did not expect. This year, what stood out to me was how strong and confident the girls are – and how the boys are the same as always. Boys assume that girls will fall at their feet and beg to be chosen.

This year, however, the boys’ egos came in for a kick. Oops. It’s common knowledge that girls are much more emotionally and socially ahead of boys, but in the world of Love Island – still based on looks – girls are always worse.

Until this year. Now the girls have their heads turned and are unsure of the boys around them. I’m so here for it. If it was up to me, Ekin Su would win the show as an individual because she’s been brilliant — she’s just playing the game boys have always been allowed to play.

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