Poll: Majority of Britons Believe Society Is ‘Broken’, Economy ‘Rigged’ to Benefit ‘Rich and Powerful’

Pro-Brexit activists march outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on February 27, 2019. - Prime Minister Theresa May will today face a vote by MPs over her newly revised Brexit strategy, which allows for a possible request to delay Britain's EU departure if her divorce deal is not …

A poll has revealed how Britons feel about the systems they live under, with a sobering report revealing the majority feel that society is broken, the economy is rigged in favour of serving the rich and powerful, and traditional parties do not care about people like them.

Ipsos MORI published on Friday findings from surveying more than 18,000 people in 27 countries worldwide on their sense of the democratic and social health of their nations, which revealed that dissatisfaction with the system and traditional politics was prevalent across the world and growing in Great Britain.

The British portion of the statistics were discussed by the pollsters in the context of Brexit, where figures were compared with other nations and previous years, going back to the year of the referendum, 2016.

The survey found that 63 per cent of Britons agreed with the statement that “the UK’s society is broken”, up from 56 per cent in 2016 and higher than the global average of 54 per cent.

Seven in ten feel that the UK’s economy is “rigged to advantage the rich and powerful”, higher than in 2016 (67 per cent) and 2018 (63 per cent).

When asked to respond to the statement, “traditional parties and politicians don’t care about people like me,” 69 per cent agreed, higher that the global average of 66 per cent and up 11 points from 2016 (58 per cent).

Britons also agreed that their country “needs a strong leader to take the country back from the rich and powerful” at a proportion of 70 per cent, higher than the global average of 64 per cent. When examining this statistic in the context of other nations, the UK is the fifth highest, with the top six countries agreeing with that statement being true for their own nations being:

  • India (80 per cent)
  • Mexico (79 per cent)
  • Peru (74 per cent)
  • Brazil (73 per cent)
  • Great Britain (70 per cent)
  • South Africa (69 per cent)

This means that Britons have around the same level of confidence in the fairness of their governing structures as peoples in developing nations in the Global South.

More than three years after citizens voted to leave the European Union in the greatest political mandate in British history, establishment politicians and progressive activists have been pushing to have the decision overturned, with just last week the Remainer-dominated House of Commons voting to force the prime minister to ask yet another delay to Brexit until January 2020 and other efforts to force the reopening of parliament during prorogation to give more opportunity for Europhiles to stop the UK leaving the EU altogether continue apace. In more than three years of that context, it is unsurprising that Britons feel less optimistic about politics and society than they did in 2016.

Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: “There is much debate about the roots of Brexit and the impact its handling has had on British public opinion, and this latest study shows that perceptions that British society is broken, that the economy is rigged, and that traditional parties and politicians don’t care about ordinary people are all high and rising.”

Other polls in recent years have revealed Britons are feeling dissatisfied with their state of being, with one finding last month that an overwhelming 89 per cent of 16- to 29-year-olds believe their lives have no purpose or meaning, while another from 2017 found that 73 per cent of older people feel lonely.

As well as the rising sense of loneliness and purposelessness, the British Social Attitudes survey revealed in July 2019 that profession of a Christian faith is at an all-time low in the country. In terms of the family, government statistics showed that birthrates in England and Wales had fallen to a record low, even lower than during World War Two, while figures released on Thursday detailed that the proportion of adults taking the ultimate commitment with their partners is dropping, with marriages now at just over half (50.5 per cent), while the proportion of single people continues to rise.


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