Categorised | Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems |

Gordon Brown destroys our faith in representative democracy

Gordon Brown’s decision to remain as leader of the Labour pemocracyarty and, as a consequence, prime minister of this country serves only to shatter what is left of the publics faith in representative democracy. His decision to remain and those spineless Labour MP’s that surround him demonstrate their utter contempt for the people of this country. It is clear that the vast majority of Labour MP’s are petrified of losing their seats as an angry electorate reacts to the appalling way we have been treated and punishes them for bringing our country to the verge of bankruptcy through a combination of poor stewardship, lack of foresight, incompetence and their spendthrift policies. Rather than face the wrath of the people for their comprehensive failure, they choose to demonstrate and highlight the sheer impotence of the people of this country to exercise their will. I don’t know whether we ever had a truly democratic parliamentary system or if it is just accentuated by this government’s actions.

I find myself asking, doubtless alongside many others, just what it will take for the people of this country to be able rid ourselves of this unelected prime minister? Gordon Brown knows full well that he is despised by the majority of the people in this country, this is evidenced by numerous polls, we simply don’t trust him or his party any longer. This was further reinforced at the local elections as the public leave Labour in droves and then, the view was strengthened even more with the Labour party receiving just 15.3% of the popular vote in the European Elections. This is less than half the percentage that was needed to get New Labour into power in the first place. Or, to put in another way, just 1 in 7 of those that voted in the European Elections supported Gordon Brown and his Labour government. He has never never had the right or the mandate that would allow him to lecture us on “what the people want….” with 2 out of 3 people voting against his party at the last general election. Indeed, he has even less right to make this statement now, when 6 out of 7 voters said that he and his party do not speak for us.

The actions of Gordon Brown and his party clearly demonstrates that the people of this country have little or no power over what happens in parliament. Yes, we are entitled to vote for the party of choice once every 5 years, but under the current system, with less that 35% of the popular vote any party can get into power with a substantial majority, that allows them to do pretty much anything they want, up to and including a refusal to follow a manifesto commitment. If the public are dissatisfied with their MP they can do nothing, we have no right of recall. If the public are unhappy with a government, they can do nothing other than wait for the next election. This is not a society where power is vested in the people. Yes, the politicians keep telling us that we have a free society, that we are in a democracy, but where is the evidence?

The majority of people are angered by MPs’ abusing their expenses, but truth be told, they were angry before that. We were angry that our individual liberties had been decimated by successive governments, albeit the ultimate prize must go to New Labour who have virtually destroyed whatever was left under the guise of fighting crime and terrorism. We were angry that this government has taken our country to the brink and then, rather than accepting responsibility, chose to blame everyone else or, to lie, by saying that they couldn’t be expected to see what was coming. We were angry that in spite of successive tax rises, it was difficult to see the benefits, hard-working people were taxed even harder, whilst the workshy were cushioned with ever increasing tax credits. We were angry that in spite of the boom, this government failed to control spending, in fact, they continued to borrow. We were angry that this government were wasting up to £100bn every year through poor decision making, inept management and inflation busting increases in public sector budgets. We were angry that this government sought, against the will of the majority to introduce ID Cards, a database state and remove our inherent right to privacy. We were angry that as a direct consequence of the tax raid on private sector pensions, many excellent pension schemes were forced to close entirely or to new members. We were angry that this government sought to punish those that had prudently saved in a private pension scheme, whilst ignoring the burgeoning cost of the gold-plated pension schemes offered to the public sector. We were angry that MPs’ voted to introduce ever more draconian laws to control and govern the majority, whilst providing themselves with exemptions or immunity. The bottom line is we were furious well before the expenses scandal. The fact that MPs’ from all parties were helping themselves to our money was simply the icing on the cake, it became the conduit for the public to express their anger, frustration and contempt for those that sought to have parliament control, rather than serve the public.

We need change and we need it now. We do not want another talking shop that will allow this government to see out the next year. We need real reform. If we are to accept that we have no choice other than to retain our current prime minister and this pathetic government, then we must know that this will be the last time that we will be held to ransom. We need fixed term parliament, we need the power to recall individual ministers, we need the power to demonstrate a vote of no confidence in a government, we need the power to determine which local candidate will serve our local party, we need the power to vote on manifesto promises rather than having to accept an all or nothing situation, we need the power to have existing legislation repealed or changed to better represent the interests of all the people rather than a small section. In fact, what we need is power returned to the people. See Restoring faith in parliamentary democracy.

Anything less will be a lost opportunity, it will demonstrate complete and utter contempt for the people of this country and will further reinforce the belief that there is a ruling elite and then the rest of us. I don’t believe that Gordon Brown has what it takes to deliver these reforms, but then again, I know that David Cameron won’t, he is all talk and no action. So, I live in hope that Brown, who is clearly so desperate not to go down in history as the worst Chancellor and Prime Minister ever, that he might just try and push through the reform that we so desperately need….the thing I am left with is whether or not he has the competence to deliver anything.

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21 Comments For This Post

  1. xenophon19 Says:

    They’re spineless because they know it would be suicide if they ousted Mcsquinty now and had to go to the country – it would be a bigger wipeout than Islandhwana. They know it, McSquinty Brown knows it, we know it, they know we know it – they’re buying time is all. Once again they treat the electorate like idiots, we’re not and when the election looms they’ll definitely know it

    Gordon Brown has been the Tory Party’s biggest asset since Neil Kinnock


  2. Frustrated Voter Says:

    xenophon19: You are absolutely right. Cameron will probably give Gordon Brown a peerage given he is doing a better job that the Tory Whips!

  3. CJ Says:

    Labour – “bringing our country to the verge of bankruptcy through a combination of poor stewardship, lack of foresight, incompetence and their spendthrift policies” – EXACTLY!

  4. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ CJ: Yes, I suppose that sentence does sum up their 12 years quite well, how I wish my statement could have been wrong!

  5. DepressedInUK Says:

    There must be a way of forcing an election does anyone know of any websites that are calling for an election.

    How about setting up a protest site calling for an election, and trying to get people on the streets calling for an election, is anyone else up for this ?

    If are there any campaigns already running to achieve this please make a comment telling us if not I will set up a blog to start one.

    The government get away with this because we don’t do anything about it, lets take the initiative and do something.

    The latest political rubbish this morning is the government are concerned that if you teach your children at home you could be covering up child abuse, so they want councils to monitor home educators and enforce visits on them.

    Brown OUT !!! Brown OUT !!!!

  6. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ DepressedInUK: I don’t think there are any websites that are actually campaigning for an election, that is if you exclude the mainstream parties who are desperate for one. There is of course the petition on the No.10 website calling for Brown’s resignation, but that is about it. I am as keen as the next man on an election, except for the fact that I would sooner have electoral reorm introduced prior to the election rather than have to wait up to 6 years before we can see the benefits, assuming, of course, that the mainstream parties don’t kick it into the long grass.

  7. xenophon19 Says:

    I would go for electoral repeal rather than reform 😉

    Cameron was right in PMQ’s when he said something like “12 years in government without a squeak about reform and now they’ve been hammered twice they want to reform the system”

    If only he had something better to offer – he doesn’t

  8. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ xenophon19: It isn’t difficult to determine Brown’s motive for electoral reform, but personally I don’t think Labour or the Tories have an appetite for reform. In addition, they are suggesting that it could not take place until after the next election, so in all liklihood, if there is a reform bill (which I doubt), then we would not benefit for another 6 years!

    Cameron has rejected AV, but I would like to know what he does believe in, surely Cameron is not suggesting that there is no need to reform the electoral system? There are many alternatives and I don’t know which is best, because they all have their faults, but I would like to see a system where every vote counts, smaller paries and independents get equal billing and the electorate are given the ability to choose, from a shortlist, who they want to represent their interests for a particular party rather than the current system where the party or party members decide who we must vote for.

  9. xenophon19 Says:

    I’ve always been an advocate for proportional representataion – “Look at Italy” they cry, “weak, corrupt coalition governments, deals behind closed doors” Eh? and the current British system is better in what way again?

    Yeah, anyway – I haven’t voted in my life, I have no-one to vote for in Hove (I would never “tactically vote” for a candidate because he/she is the lesser of two evils), and I have better things to do (go to the pub for one) than go and spoil a ballot paper. If an independent, or Libertarian (the cat’s out of the bag!) stood, that would be different. Yet, people like me are actually castigated because we have ideals and are honest?

    “Go figure” as they say across the pond

  10. Frustrated Voter Says:

    xenophon19: I have always voted for the party that most closely matches my own beliefs. However, at this time, I can see none that meet even half. I am keen on electoral reform in order that all parties small and large have an equal chance of selling their message and getting elected. For this to happen, PR is a virtual must, so I am happy to be labeled an idealist. No electoral system is perfect but, of the major parties are against it, we all know that it has little to do with idealism and more to do with the way it could directly affect their own vote. The fact that Labour and the Conservatives are against it, whilst the LibDems are for speaks volumes. I would also like to see more Libertarian candidates fielded, there are simply not enough. The mainstream parties argue that Libertarian’s are only present on the internet, that is utter rubbish.

    I feel certain that many Conservatives and a good number of LibDems would, if required to complete a question and answer poll on 10 major policy issues would find that they are more Libertarian than Tory or LibDems. Many of the people I speak to sound like Libertarians, yet they claim that they support the other parties, it would be an interesting experiment. It is also, of course, in the interests of the mainstream political parties to put down the prospects, or support for, other smaller parties.

  11. Charlie Says:

    I was really disappointed with the election results, particularly the local ones. It just seems to be that people in this country either vote Labour or Conservative, as if there are no other options. A bad Labour Government just seems to be mean that the Conservatives will get a landslide victory and the cycle continues. We had 18 years of Conservative Government followed by 13 years of Labour, presumably I can expect another decade+ of Conservative Government.

    What we really needed, as xenophon19 said, is a good mix of different parties and therefore voices and an end to the days of huge majorities and Party elites just getting through their own personal agendas. Personally I don’t care if it is the Green Party, UKIP, Christian Party, the BNP and the Monster Raving Loony Party who grab large portions of seats, they don’t have to represent my views specifically, anyone will do as long as they don’t share the same views as the Government. All we need is several viewpoints. That way the only legislation that will get through Parliament will be good legislation, common sense stuff that the majority of people agree on, rather than just something that the Labour elite want to see go through.

    Our only buffer against the Government agenda at present is the House of Lords, which naturally is first on Brown’s agenda for constitutional reform. We don’t need a second chamber of Brown’s (or the serving Government’s) cronies to just act as a second rubber stamp on the PM’s decisions.

    Incidentally, I suppose that I too am a Libertarian, I believe that we should all vote on every issue personally as the Athenians did 2000+ years ago (and regular voters should get tax rebates) and abolish parliament entirely.

  12. CD Says:

    The current events are the most stagggering I’ve ever seen in my life, in this country. It is just so brain-busting that Brown is actually trying to reform a system of voting that has stuffed him and his party good and proper; and also that they are tinkering with the freedom of information act. It is a naked act of desperate self-preservation. And, to add further insult to injury, Mandelson now announces in the Daily Mail this morning that “we want to join the euro”!
    Moderation will prevent me from airing my thoughts as I opened the paper to page 2 and read that…..I just KNEW that miserable monster was going to start the push sooner or later! And there it was. Despite all the euro-sceptic voting, despite all the loud, clear voices of the people…….Mandelson pushes the boat further and further out towards EU-union.
    Personally I think he’s been handed too much power….there’s an alternative agenda here, absolutely and definitely. Mandelson is the one to watch out for; he’s gaining control over more and more, day by day. MPs expenses and other things are just biscuit crumbs to send the mob into a fury and cause huge political fractures. The main victims will be the British people.
    Cameron is constantly accused of not having policies…..the thing is, if he were to reveal all his hand, Brown would simply copy them and adopt them into Labour’s plans, subsequently claiming that they were “always planning to do these things anyway”.
    It is hard but I think Cameron should keep his ideas close to his chest for a while longer yet. This is a stunning game of political chess and Brown will look for ways to exploit any openings in the Opposition defence-wall. The other thing that is hard for Cameron is the speed at which political events are developing….if he plums for a particular attitude to “Policy x”, he could easily be wrong-footed by an unexpected turn of events and have to change his attitude to “Policy x” altogether, to keep favour with voters; otherwise he will be accused of constantly changing his mind. Thus, better to keep mum and simply observe what is going on.
    This is just the start. I dread to think what is coming next.

  13. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ Charlie: I don’t know if my experience was typical, but in the local elections, I was only given a choice between 3 parties, the usual suspects, Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems. But the point you make is a good one. Our current system often ends up with the ruling party having a massive majority, which means that they can do pretty much whatever they want, even if they did not tell the electorate about their reform agenda. The opposition parties have insufficent numbers to hold the executive to account and the ruling party has so many ministerial positions and committees, that well over 35% of the ruling party’s MP’s owe their patronage in one way or another to the prime minister. This hardly looks as if anyone is capable, able or willing to hold the executive to account.

    The current sustem of ‘First Past the Post’ positively discriminates against the smaller parties and this is why the Labour party and the Conservatives will never vote in favour of a move towrds proportional representation. They often arge that it will lead to a hung parliament. So what, that is preferable to the authoratarion rule that comes about as a direct conseqence of massive majorities. Lets face it, this government introduced the requirment for non-executive directors for pubic companies to avoid the executive directors from wielding too much power, but then again, it is one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

    Like you, I would like to see more Libertarians (and other non-mainstream parties) field more candidates, it will offer us more choice and, if elected, will provide a real opportunity to hold the executive to account because they will not be required to follow the party line, will not be intimidated by the ruling party whips and above all, will be difficult to bribe with the promise of minesterial pots. We desperately need electoral reform to place power with the people, but will it happen? I don’t think so!

  14. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ CD: Like you, I am increasing worried that we are placing more and more unelected people in ministerial positions. For example, even though Mandelson was kicked out twice, he has returned with unprecedented powers. He was made a lordship, and then put in charge of a department with a massive budget and significant influence. He has also become the government’s defacto spokesman on all matters governmental. On top of that, he has, in effect, become the deputy prime minister and yet, he is unelected and is not required (because he is prevented from doing so) to report to parliament. It is ridiculous and makes a mockery of having an accountable executive.

    Now, as you have alluded to, we are starting to see Mandelson’s pro-European credentials, with his open support for the Euro, despite the fact that the majority of people in this country don’t want a common currency and in the face of the fact that the people of some major European countries that have adopted the Euro having a serious second thoughts. However, as we have seen from this government before, they couldn’t give a toss what we think. Take the Lisbon Treaty as an example, of the Human Rights Act which automatically introduces European laws into British law without any debate in parliament. As a people, we are subservient to our government and Europe, little wonder we all feel so helpless, disengaged and angry.

    I take you point on Cameron and that is one strategy. However, I firmly believe that he would be better telling us what he stands for now, that way we can start to see why his party would be different, rather than what it appears to be at the moment, which is more of the same. In addition, if his policies are right, then it will not be a hard-sell to the public, I have always voted Conservative in the past, even though I have not always supported all of their ideas, but from a personal perspective, Cameron does not come over as a true Conservative. Instead, I am now hoping that there will be a Libertarian candidate.

  15. Charlie Says:

    “I don’t know if my experience was typical, but in the local elections, I was only given a choice between 3 parties, the usual suspects, Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems.”

    Some people in my area have said the same thing about the local elections but it seems to have been in my area if you voted by post, you were given the choice of Labour, Lib Dems or the Conservatives only, but if you went to the polling stations on the day, you had a choice of about seven parties! Very strange, and it makes me wonder if this discrepancy in voting choice was widespread or just restricted to voting by post.

  16. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ Charlie: You make an interesting point, because I also use a postal vote, I think I will investigate a little further because if the postal votes only have the 3 main parties listed, then it cannot be described as a genuine alternative to a polling station.

  17. michael Says:

    Problem with Labour dumping Brown is he was an unelected leader (by the people). Even Labour dare not let Brown resign and put another unelected leader in his place!!
    But in my view Brown is now only a figure head. The real power and the person running this country is Mandelson and he is not even an elected MP!!!!!!
    I suspect that Brown is now an obedient poodle, taking orders from mandelson and others. I reckon that he paid a high price for what I consider to be his incompetent and disastrous leadership, both as chancellor and as prime minister.
    Tony Blair should take some of the responsibility for the parlous state of the UK economy. I reckon that he saw what was coming and bailed out. No problem doing that but he should not have left us with Brown to cope with it!!!!

  18. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ michael: I completely agree, the power behind the throne is Mandelson, it is a bit reminiscent of the Blair/Brown relationship, where Brown used his control over the purse strings to drive much of his personal agenda. Brown had become too powerful for Blair to address, now it is Brown’s turn with Mandelson, they say what goes around comes around. Meanwhile, they continue to play their silly games and we must continue to pay the price. What makes me really angry is Mandelson is not even elected; it is very worrying that we have so many unelected ministers in charge of very large government departments. It is also true, that Tony Blair must also shoulder much of the blame for where we are to day, which has to include his act of political cowardice in not reigning in Brown when he started to get too big for his boots. Bottom line is this government has let the people of this country down in an almost unprecedented way. They should be ashamed.

  19. Cool Cat Says:

    I see an Un-elected British Prime Minister, supporting an Un-elected Afghanistan President and sending our troops to fight for ‘Democracy’. How can these two leaders, from their un-elected positions uphold a dream of democracy ?

  20. Gardner Recall Says:

    The citizens of Gardner, KS are currently working to recall two members of their City Council. The recall is tied up in the courts at the moment, but it should go to a vote in March of 2010.

  21. Beverly Says:

    I would encourage a closer look at ‘Common Purpose’, including YouTube and google search. We need to know if Mr. Brown and New Labour are in any way affiliated.

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