Burned. That’s what I think of the moral fabric we claim to have as a country.

The recent King’s Speech which outlined the Conservative government in Westminster’s priorities for the next year shows a stark disconnect politicians have concerning their constituents and who they are supposed to be representing.

We are heading towards an era of unrepresentative democracy, as a former Prime Minister gets appointed to the House of Lords for life to serve as Foreign Secretary in Rishi Sunak’s government.

David Cameron, an unelected official, is now in charge of representing the UK at an international level. Is that the precedent we want to set?

The UK government’s inability to factor in the consequences its ill-thought policies are having on citizens shows a chilling amount of apathy from the people who are supposed to be our elected officials.

The Rightwing government’s paranoia that led to measures such as the Terrorism Bill being amended to the extreme shows that the polarising divide in politics is feeding Rightwing populism, which is bad for the democratic values we cherish so much.

For example, Parliament is continuously failing to acknowledge the wants of the electorate, and how the majority of the UK population wants a ceasefire in the current Middle East conflict.

Millions of people have become involved in peaceful demonstrations across the UK to ask our leaders to call for a ceasefire.

However, politicians are wilfully choosing to marginalise vast tracts of the population, which shows how far we truly have strayed away from being a democracy.

The then Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s characterisation of pro-Palestinian marches as ‘hate marches’ culminated with the ever-increasing extreme Rightwing approach of the Conservatives, demonstrating an erosion of the now utopian idea of national unity and broad political public support.

The UK government’s decision to push through controversial legislation only exists as a ‘virtue signal’ for hardliners of how committed they are to taking Britain on a path of Fascism, even while every day, people struggle to put food on the table.

Around 14.4 million Britons live in poverty, including four million children, revealing that the government simply does not see itself as responsible for the people.

It is incomprehensible to me that the sixth-richest country in the world has 3.8 million people living in destitution – the lowest form of poverty, but we choose to believe it is too expensive to take care of our own.

It is harrowing that the UK government has lost its humanity – if it ever had any.

It reflects an erosion of Western democracy and a passage into Fascism when people are living in destitution, and yet the now ex-Home Secretary Suella Braverman said homeless people using tents to survive were making a “lifestyle choice”.

Her decision to dehumanise people suffering in complete destitution reveals how some politicians do not see citizens as human beings who are entitled to live a life of dignity.

It should be shocking to us that this person was responsible for our national security.

We are reminded time and time again that the UK government is incredibly disconnected from the public it swears to protect.

It was only after Suella’s Braverman’s words incited a Rightwing frenzy, which was followed by ‘counter-protestors’ who injured nine officers who were protecting the Cenotaph in central London, that she was sacked.

The arrests of 145 counter-protestors show how political extremism has wrapped itself around many people.

Arguably, political extremism has been made to seem viable to them due to the shift in our Overton window – broadly defined as the policies which are generally acceptable to a mainstream population – which seems to always be geared towards turning even more Right.

Living 600 kilometres away from Parliament gives me a sense of unease when incredibly influential decisions regarding the country’s future, that also affect me, are being made, but my MP refuses to sit in Parliament.

While I understand the ideological reason for Sinn Féin’s abstention from Parliament, it seems unfathomable to me that they criticise the DUP for boycotting the Northern Ireland Assembly because that party disagrees with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Sinn Féin is refusing to sit in Parliament, where decisions that will undoubtedly affect their constituents are made, and yet no-one is representing them.

We discuss how Fermanagh is ‘the forgotten county’ of the North, but our politicians are not doing anything to represent us.

Defeatism is present amongst every young person around me. Why bother voting if parties will not do anything about the looming ecological crisis that haunts our future, tackle how higher education is beyond the means of most, and focus on how stagnant economic growth is affecting our prospects at employment?

Having had the opportunity to observe the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last Saturday, it left me feeling conflicted.

While the Motions presented by party members and voted on seemed sound enough, will they ever make it into a programme for government?

Sinn Féin went above and beyond in staunchly supporting Gaza, and how they want to put forward a Motion in Dáil Éireann in Dublin to take Israel to the International Criminal Court.

However, that’s all whilst seven of their MPs refuse to sit in Parliament. They will undoubtedly not vote on Wednesday’s Parliamentary vote, where – at the time of writing – the possibility of a ceasefire is due to be debated by politicians from across the UK.

It seems hypocritical for Sinn Féin to have lengthy monologues at their Ard Fheis on how strong their support for Palestine is, and how they are against what some people claim is an apartheid nature of Israel, but won’t use the political tools at their disposal for a cause they believe in.

Innocent civilians need support and international condemnation of Israel’s actions in Gaza, where people do not have the privilege of sitting and trying to understand the troubled context of Irish history, and why Sinn Féin does not sit in Parliament.

Sinn Féin's choice to deliberately not use its political capital in Westminster makes one question extremely prevalent.

If they don’t use their current political capital, what guarantee is there that if they get elected in the South’s elections next year, will they use their political capital for Motions they aimlessly voted on?

If the mass loss of human life in Gaza is not enough for them to use their political capital now, then what is?

The political context behind their abstention is important, but so is realism – does Sinn Féin lack it?

Living in an era of feeling an extreme disconnect from all major parties – where no one party seems to represent the electorate that votes for them – makes me question whether we have representation or not.

Has our democracy just become an illusion of choice?

Monesha Talreja (17) is studying history, politics and English literature, and lives in Fermanagh.