Monday, 1 June 2009

The Tooting Popular Front

It's been an interesting few weeks listening to politicians speaking of reform and proposing absolutely nothing of the sort, apart maybe from Alan Johnson who is desperately trying to distance himself from Gordon's mess before he sticks the knife in.

When it comes to the two main party leaders, David Cameron has offered enough hot air for a balloon trip to Paris and Gordon Brown has promised yet another focus group. Has he not see 'In The Thick of It' episode 2? We just need an Expenses Czar and we'll have had the full gamut of knee jerk reactions.

Of course the Lib Dems could bore for Britain on the subject of constitutional reform. Proportional Representation, Freedom of Information, House of Lords reform... yawn! We've been there and done it, some of us for considerably longer than we'd like to admit, but until the two main parties understand that the sheer unaccountability of the representatives of the people is the basic problem with British politics we're not likely to see faith in the political process restored.

As a case in point, it was demoralising to see a report on BBC Breakfast this morning where people were just not interested in voting because they felt it wouldn't make any difference. In a constituency where you could pin a blue rosette on a donkey (and in the case of Gosport, that's exactly what they have done for the last 35 years) what is the point of voting? What is the point of a democracy where less than 50% of the voters have an absolute grip on power for up to 5 years. I can't remember the last time a ruling party had a mandate from more than half the population to implement their programme.

We like to pretend that we have the mother of Parliaments, but in fact we have a squalid system where vested interests continue to have their way over people's lives. You can see this in the way that nuLabour were seduced by the lobbyists, the bankers and the management consultants, the very same people who supported the Tories in the past and who will support them in the future. Labour or Tory? It doesn't matter. They both sweep up hangers-on who have no principles other than to be on the winning side for their own self-interest.

Politics in this country won't change until voters are given back control of their lives. In the words of Wolfie Smith: Power to the people!

1 comment:

Oranjepan said...

I'm tempted to debate the finer points with you, but I won't because it's difficult not to agree.

My personal wish is for a bit more creativity in the logic behind the system because while it is basically understood how our democracy works there are so many fiddles going on in the name of fairness that it's bent out of shape by the people on the inside before the rest of us get our hands on a ballot.

Coherence and integrity have been lost and they need to be regained.