Knowing subjects, Knowing life: Politics I Oxford Open Learning
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Knowing subjects, Knowing life: Politics

I hope I will not come across as a bore, but I have always taken a deep interest in the political dynamics and shenanigans of the UK, something which I believe gives me a better understanding of how and why our society is shaped the way it is. And when I have the chance to have an influence on such an important decision as to whether or not we should be in the European Union, for example, it means I am ready to make an informed decision.

My interest in politics goes back to my childhood, when I first learned about the way that society is shaped by political decisions and events. With this, I am more than aware that the country will be dominated by several months of arguing a case for our being either in or out of the EU. For me, the dynamics of this election are reminiscent of the recent Scottish referendum and are mainly based upon exactly the same arguments, with the concepts of “Scotland”, “UK” and “EU” interchangeable. I find it quite funny watching politicians switching sides depending upon the nature of the day’s particular battle, and it is ironic to see Conservative politicians using the same arguments as the Scots Nationalists did a few years ago, all the while holding a straight face and thinking that people have very short memories. It is because of this reality that politics, and my knowledge of it, helps and influences my everyday life.

You see, the older I get the more I see the same interchangeable arguments. The only difference is that the colour of the rosette overlaps with the arguments being promoted. But the more I am exposed to political dynamism, the more I feel that I am turning into my deceased grandfather. I remember him berating at a canvasser who rudely disturbed his reading. “Ask no questions, tell no lies,” he shouted, just before slamming the door in the canvasser’s face and going back to read his newspaper. That is pretty much me these days. It is now true to say that the older I get, the more disillusioned I become because, in effect, I have heard it all before.

So, is there a remedy for this? Perhaps we should just show disapproving disrespect, as per my grandfather? The choices are, I suppose, to turn off from politics and risk having politicians treat us with more contempt; respond with angst and face being accused of being troublemakers; or become increasingly engaged with the subject. What I know is this: that the political elites need keeping on their toes and this can only occur through increased knowledge.

Whatever your decision as far as the EU vote is concerned, please realise that there is no end game to the political race. This race is sometimes lost, but never won, and the decision that is taken will impact upon future generations. Making that decision means educating ourselves, even if we don’t want to be bothered or have heard it all before.



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Having taught for over ten years within an array of environments, I remain passionate about education and the learning process. I am also an academic researcher and have written on a large number of contemporary issues and relevant subject areas.

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