Tag Archive | "electorate"

Does Cameron understand his “patriotic duty”?

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Does Cameron understand his “patriotic duty”?

With the results of the latest polls ringing in his ears, has David Cameron finally realised that he cannot rely on Labour losing the next election, instead, he and his party must win it? The electorate are not going to give the Conservatives an easy ride simply because they are fed up with the failures, broken promises and incompetence of the current Government.

It is no use Cameron telling us that New Labour has failed…we can see that. Instead he must tell us what his party is going to do to resolve the problems we face and he must do it in such a way as to convince the electorate that he is sincere, and above all that his party has the knowledge, skills and experience to deliver on his promises. The polls would suggest that so far, he has failed to communicate that message. I have previously written on this subject, when I suggested nearly a year ago, that Cameron wasn’t trying to win an election, instead he was waiting for the Labour Party to lose it. That is a very high risk strategy and I believe he is only now starting to realise the affects of that miscalculation. This does call his judgement into question.

David Cameron likes to tell us that his party has diversity at its core with more women and ethnic minorities standing for election. Perhaps so, but what the electorate wants and what this country needs is experience, not window dressing. Granted, some of these candidates may have the knowledge and skills to make a real contribution, but that has nothing to do with their race or gender, so why does Cameron feel the need to concentrate on these factors? Is he hiding something from us?

When New Labour came to power, the public were ready for a change, New Labour offered fresh faces with new ideas…it was a slick marketing campaign. However, we have all paid the price for buying the polish and not the goods…yet Cameron appears to be trying to do the same thing all over again. I believe that is a mistake…and it may lead to another term in office for Labour or a hung parliament and few of us really want another 5 years of Gordon Brown.

David Cameron thinks it is his patriotic duty to win the next election. No…it is his patriotic duty to offer an alternative to what we have endured for the past 13 years….it is his patriotic duty to outline in detail what he will do to reverse or address the mistakes of our present Government…it is his patriotic duty to ensure that he has the skills within his party and frontline to be able to deliver on the promises he is making…it is his patriotic duty to ensure that our money is being spent wisely before he introduces higher taxes on a struggling taxpayer…it is his patriotic duty highlight the strengths of his party, rather than focusing just on the weaknesses of the incumbent…it is his patriotic duty to return power back to the people…it is his patriotic duty to listen to the electorate and act for the majority, not just focus in on minorities…it is his patriotic duty to fall on his sword if he or his party fails to deliver! I could go on and on. We need concrete proposals and policies against which he and his party can be measured…not 100’s of qualifications of “get out of jail free” cards.

At this time…the Conservative party looks like New Labour, with younger faces and blue overcoats. Why should we risk electing the Conservatives…with all their inexperience when they are simply serving the same old dish with a little garnish?

Get off the fence Cameron and tell us what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, who will be responsible for delivery and how long it will take. We need stakes in the ground!!! Do not tell us that you haven’t got “all the detail” to come up with such policies and plans, because we just don’t believe it…you can make (and publish) “assumptions” in the same way as any businessman would do. Perhaps this statement highlights the weakness of our electoral system…which allows people with little or no experience to run one of the largest ‘corporations’ in the world. One of the reasons that New Labour failed was because they had ideologies, but lacked the ability to effectively implement them and the experience to consider the consequences of their policies. Why should Cameron be different…convince the electorate of that question, and Cameron may have a chance to win the next election.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, World | Comments (2)

Gordon Brown destroys our faith in representative democracy

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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.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (21)

One in 10 MP’s to stand down at next election. Its not enough!

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One in 10 MP’s to stand down at next election. Its not enough!

The latest news is that some 10% of MP’s are intending to stand down at the next election, if accurate, then we only have another 590 or so to go. It is clear, that many of our current batch of MP’s have failed to listen to the public, to the extent that, in my view at least, we have never had a period in our history where the people of this country have felt so disengaged from the politicians elected to represent us.

For the past 12 years, as a people, we have had to standby as our right to privacy, civil liberties and freedoms have been steadily eroded. Yes, this is the fault of the government, but it is also the responsibility of the opposition MP’s who have failed to wade in on our behalf. Our country is more like a police state than ever before, New labour has introduced during their time in office, some 3607 new laws. The police have been provided with massive powers to stop and search, arrest and detain. They have been provided with their very own ‘weapons’, including a steel truncheon, pepper spray and now all front line police officers are to be provided with lethal Tasers, some 10,000 of them. We no longer feel like a free country, instead we are ruled, monitored and controlled. Our police officers don’t care or don’t know the difference between a protest or a riot. Our action, words and thoughts are constantly monitored and recorded on a raft of databases, even our children have their every action recorded on a database, information from which, will be used to determine whether or not they are likely to turn into criminals (see: Onset Profiling Tool).

Much has been said about MP’s self-interest. They have benefited for decades from an expense and allowance system that actively encourages abuse. Yes, their actions may well be “within the rules“, but the rules were quite clearly wrong, yet no-one did anything about it, only now, when the Freedom of Information Act meant that the public could review their expenses have they started to consider revisions. Gordon Brown as Chancellor decided that he was going to raid the private sector pension plans, this action has raised approximately £10bn per annum, money that has been squandered, not invested. Meanwhile, they have done nothing about public sector pension plans which will, if not dealt with quickly, bankrupt this country, because they are paid out of tax revenues, not a pension fund. Our MP’s failed to consider the irony of the fact that whilst they were punishing those that had diligently invested in a private pension, members of parliament had one of the best pension schemes in the country. Now, there is a private members bill going though parliament that seeks to protect all public servants, MP’s included, from any wrongdoing if they can claim ‘reasonable discretion’. How can they claim to be representative or not full of self-interest?

No matter what political party you support, even the most foolhardy could not claim that our current government has any real direction, their rallying call is always “we will do whatever is necessary“, that does not provide much confidence, given it suggests that they are not in control, are lacking direction and any fresh ideas. Above and worst of all, it implies that they are reactive, not proactive. Whenever Gordon Brown or his cronies have to defend their actions, or lack of them, they always turn to party politics, by claiming that “at least we are doing something, the Conservatives would do nothing” or “we are investing, whilst the Conservatives would cut“. Haven’t they worked it out yet, the people of this country are simply sick and tired of this bullshit. Gordon Brown and his cabinet need to be reminded that the Conservatives are not in power, they are! In fact it is 12 years since the Conservatives were in power, New Labour can’t continue to blame the Conservatives for everything. All MP’s need their heads banging together. The opposition parties have not offered much opposition to this New Labour government, in fact, many MP’s have been complicit in the mess that we are in by failing to say something. Apart from PMQ’s and one or two ‘major’ debates, there is rarely more than a handful of MP’s in parliament to debate our future or protect our interests from what has become a over-bearing, increasingly authorotarian government.

More than anything, I would like to see a massive clear out of MP’s, not all, but most. Clearly we need to retain some experience, but equally, we need to elect people that will genuinely represent our interests instead of their own. During the debate over MP’s expenses, I heard some of the most impassioned speeches ever, it is quite telling that it had to take something like their expenses to illcit this type of response! It also brought out some of the worst aspects of the self-indulgent character of our MP’s, with some whining about how poor their wages were, or suggesting it was a vocation not a job, implying they are doing us all a favour. The bottom line is, they knew what the pay was before they entered parliament, if the money wasn’t good enough, they should have done something else. What they need to remember is that parliament is not a true meritocracy, MP’s get to keep their jobs irrespective of their abilities, at least for 5 years anyway. In addition, very few are promoted on merit, because in parliament, promotion is normally offered as a reward.

That notwithstanding, if there are any MP’s that are not happy with the wages, prospects or allowances, then I feel certain there will be thousands of people who would be delighted to work for £65k per annum, and above all, for the privilege of being able to represent their constituents. I would like to see the political parties open their doors to ordinary people. By limiting their scope to mates, old Etonians, union leaders and the like, so they limit the spectrum, depth and ingenuity of our parliament. For me, unless we witness a substantial change to our representation, a return to democracy, renewed respect for the people of this country and an end to cronyism, then I think it is time to consider emigrating.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (7)

Does British public opinion really matter?

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Does British public opinion really matter?

A rhetorical question I know, but any enlightened citizen of the United Kingdom must have found themselves asking this question in the past few months. Whilst I accept that this could have been in relation to the economy, terrorism, the economy or civil liberties, I want to refer to the latter only in this post.

Liberty, the group tasked with fighting for our civil liberties and promoting human rights, recently conducted a ComRes poll in relation to this very issue and as a consequence of changes or proposed changes to the Human Rights Act. The results are not surprising, but perhaps the percentages are.

For example, 95% of those polled said that they believed respect for privacy, family life and the home and the right to a fair trial was either vital or important. Are there any member of parliament reading this poll, because I can see very few actually seeking to protect these areas that have been consistently attacked and eroded by this government? All the Conservative party does is attack Labour policies. However, they have yet to put on record that they would, if successful at the next election, repeal any legislation introduced by the current government that attacks the civil liberties and rights of the ordinary man and woman in the street. This failure to say anything implies that whilst they are now willing to attack the Labour party on every front, they are secretly in support of new, draconian legislation, designed to control the people of this country.

Elsewhere in the poll, 90% of those asked, responded that they believed freedom of speech, protest and association was either vital or important. Once again, this government has introduced legislation or proposals aimed at curtailing this right, or freedom, depending on your perspective. Perhaps the most frightening statistic, is that only 13% of those polled ever remember seeing or reading information from the government about this legislation. We could debate for months to come over whether this is the responsibility of a government intent on hiding draconian legislation within the small print of obscure or ill-described Acts of Parliament, or a failure of the media to highlight these issues. Either way, what is clear, is that that vast majority of the people of this country are not aware of major changes to our civil liberties and human rights on an almost daily basis. What is self-evident however, is that few will be aware until such time as they fall foul with the law.

This poll suggests that the people of this country do not want to see our rights and liberties eroded through draconian legislation. It makes clear that the primary reason there has been no public backlash is the fact that 87% of the population are not even aware of this government’s attack on everything we have held dear for hundreds of years. Legislation that was introduced with the sole aim of protecting us from repressive governments. It also suggests that members of parliament from all sides are either out of touch with the opinions of their constituents or they couldn’t care less, so long as John Lewis is open.

Furthermore, it implies that the opposition parties are either complicit or supportive of new legislation, given for the most part, they are only willing to criticise, rather than make clear statements that they would repeal the acts if they came to power. By contrast, take David Cameron’s statement on Heathrow, he has said if the Conservatives get into government, they will scrap plans for a third runway. Has anyone heard him say anything quite so direct when it comes to our liberty of freedom?

There are Groups and individuals in this country that are attempting to highlight this attack on our freedom, civil liberties and human rights, but it is an uphill struggle. There needs to be more column inches devoted to this topic, more bloggers need to get on board, journalists, with the notable exception of those fromThe Guardian ,need to educate the public about the affeacts of the new legislation and proospective MP’s should consider standing on a civil liberties platform, rather than anti-sleaze. I would also like to see, at the next general election, an influx of Libertarians vying for office, because if nothing else, they would ensure that this topic would be debated in public, at a time when the lectorate is actually listening.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Conservatives, General, Labour | Comments (5)

David Cameron, man of straw or conviction?

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David Cameron, man of straw or conviction?

As the tory party conference beckons and in light of the findings of the Channel 4 news poll, it is time for David Cameron to let us know whether he is a man of straw, or a man of conviction. Something that David Cameron should worry about is the fact that he is seen as a lightweight, although this is not particularly surprising given, he tends to come over as a person once removed from the public, all though it could be worse, because Gordon Brown is completely removed. It is also worthy of note, that those polled did not believe that the conservatives would be any better at running the economy than they were in the 1990’s and… that experience counted for something.

Looking at the past 2 or 3 months, it is not difficult to see why the public would have responded in this way. David Cameron really needs to look closely at his policy advisors, certainly if they are the people suggesting it would be risky or ill-advised to engage. There has been consistent bad news over the past few months and instead of grasping at this opportunity to demonstrate leadership, experience, empathy and conviction, the conservative party, lead by David Cameron have fired potshots from the safety of the shadows. Instead of standing up for the people of this country, they have allowed the Labour Party to stumble on relatively unchallenged, save for a swipes about how badly the Labour party have faired or performed. Nothing specific, nothing we can judge the conservative party by and truly, nothing of any value. A lost opportunity. Although Mr Cameron is not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, he should be reminded that she fought and won, she made a difference, she was a conviction politician. Irrespective of whether or not you agreed with her policies, or the way she went about them, she believed in what she was doing, much the same as other conviction politician’s, such as Nye Bevan, Winston Churchill, Enoch Powell, Tony Benn and so on.

My concern, is that whilst Gordon Brown’s attention has been focused on party issues and the economic woes of this country in terms of his legacy, rather than the affect on the lives of the people in this country. David Cameron has been wrapped up in how he looks in the mirror and the conservative party poll leads. Too frightened to make a move in case his carefully staged managed image should unwravel, or his party’s lead should fall. If he can remember his Latin, David Cameron would do well to consider the Latin proverb, “Fortuna audax iuvat“, fortune favours the brave, in other words, in case those around him don’t understand the meaning, good luck comes to those who are prepared to take chances.

We don’t need the conservative party to tell us that this government has failed, we already know that, we want them to tell us what they would do. Instead, David Cameron, the man of straw claims that he is not fighting an election, so there is no need to outline the conservative party policies until then, because the economic situation might change. Well, Mr Cameron, you have obviously never run a business, imagine the CEO going the the board with that one! He wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Maybe that is the problem, perhaps Cameron is worried that not only will we find that he is in fact a man of straw, but also he is lacking in depth, experience and, above all, conviction?

David Cameron has had a pretty easy ride, both from the media and the other political parties. None of them have really challenged him on why he has not outlined his party policies, conservative values and what they would do to make a real difference to our lives. Well, enough Mr Cameron, the public are getting fed up with the cheap sniping, yes the majority want to end this pain that is New Labour, but not if we end up with a man of straw, so frightened of his own shadow, that he won’t take the fight to the government even when they are on the ropes. David Cameron makes the conservative party look weaker than it did during the Major years, at least then, they were fighting for something, even if it was just their very survival. “Tis better to have fought and lost than to have never fought at all”. There is a latin translation if you prefer Mr Cameron.

From a personal perspective, I would rather have someone that is prepared to make decisions with the risk that they may end up being wrong, rather than one that is so indecisive that he makes no decision at all. So long as the man that made the decision and got it wrong, knows how he came to that decision, then he has every opportunity to learn and grow based on that experience. It is far, far easier to hit a stationery object, than a moving one.

Running government is not disimilar to running a very large business. Now you don’t see the chairman or ceo surrounding themsleves by their school pals or best mates. Why? Because they want, and indeed need, the best people for each role, they need experience and depth, but above all and this is important Mr Cameron, the ceo and chairman must have people that will challenge, question and fight their corner. There is nothing worse in business than being surrounded by people that agree with you, because, very soon, you will believe you can do no wrong. Ask Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who, for the most part, have surrounded themselves by so called “Blairites” and “Brownites”. Not only does this indicate insecurity, but it also smacks of weak leadership.

The electorate will often, some 18 months before a general election, deliberately go for the main opposition party simply because they want to make clear that they are fed up with the party in government, ignore this at your peril. If David cameron wants to succeed at the next general election, he needs to think seriously about who is in his top team, because from an outsiders persective, they all appear to be old Etonians or former public school boys, this may prove to a be a bigger problem than Mr Cameron thinks, come the time of the election.

There is no better time than the present for David Cameron to prove that he is not a man of straw. The government is on the ropes, Brown is floundering and the country is looking for leadership at a time when we are being run by buffoons, more concerned with losing their seats and lucrative expense accounts, than they are about the people of this country and the state of our economy. If he must, David Cameron could wait until the end of the month and tell us at the tory party conference, but that would be rehearsed, practiced and would not tell the poeple of this country that this possible man of straw can think on his feet.

David Cameron must engage, not just with the public, but with the government. He does an excellent job at Prime Ministers Question time, but he needs to be doing that in the street, in the media and on television. He needs to tell us what the conservative party stands for, what their policies are and why he would make a good prime minister, He must not wait for Gordon Brown to lose the next election, because contrary to what the polls may suggest, David Cameron could find himself having to deal with a hung parliament as the public move towards the LibDems, because they haven’t had enough time to get to know the conservative party.

The public need to know now, what the conservative party stands for, its values, policies and what they would do if we gave them the job of government, that’s right Mr Cameron, it is just like a job interview, and you are currently in the selection stages. Contrary to what David Cameron’s advisors may be saying, about keeping his powder dry, lest he goes down in the polls, he must come out of the shadows, stand up, and be counted now.

Yes, there is a risk that the public may not like his policies or agree with his ideas and of course, the Labour Party and the LibDems may rubbish them, especially if they are bold. But if David Cameron were to tell the public now, he would have up to 18 months to outline what his policies meant, why they would make a positive difference and to adjust, temper or revise them based on feedback. He would have a real opportunity to demonstrate his leadership abilities, not from the perspective of running a party of, for the most part, yes men, but a leader of this great country. It doesn’t matter if the Labour party steals the tories ideas, the public will know wo suggested them first, we are not stupid and in fact, most are a lot more politically savvy than they were 11 years ago.

If David Cameron fails to heed this advice and only tells the country what he and his party stand for in the run up to an election, he is taking a massive risk. He will have very little time to persuade the public and even worse, he and his party will be strangers to the electorate. It will be a hard sell, at least it will if the conservative party is to be bold, have new ideas for a new era and want’s to make a real difference. David Cameron would do well to look at Vince Cable, although he was ousted as leader of the LibDems, he will criticises the government and follows that up with what he would do, short, concise and language that is easy to the ear. I am not an advocat of the LibDem policies, anymore than I am for any other party, I am a floater, but I will say this, you have to admire a man that doesn’t just snipe from the sidelines, but suggests an alternative. You may not agree with him, but one thing he is not, is a man of straw. Mr Cameron, think on!

Posted in Conservatives, General | Comments (0)

Have MP’s lost touch with the British people?

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Have MP’s lost touch with the British people?

There are many examples, and I shall name a few in the coming days, of MP’s being completely out of touch with what matters to the British public. The latest instance has to be set by shadow education secretary, Michael Gove.

Yesterday he made a big noise about so called ‘lads mags’, claiming that “Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available.” What is this guy on? I don’t intend to argue the case for or against these publications, in a tolerant such as ours, I find it hard to believe that this was all the Conservative MP could find to talk about.

There are many things that may cause families to break up these include losing their homes as a result of negative equity and rising interest rates. Money worries as a consequence of rising fuel prices, food prices, utilities and taxes. Stress in terms of having to work harder, for less money, maybe in fear of redundancy. There are a whole string of reasons, another is perhaps taking their partner for granted, something Michael Gove would do well to consider, because he and his party seem to be taking their poll lead for granted by believeing they know best and taking on a policy of patronising the electorate.

What we should all be asking is where has this guy been for the past 6 months, what does he really think concerns the British public at this time? Now lets think about that… could it be, an impending recession, the credit crunch, rising fuel prices, knife crime, house prices, redundancies? If this is not enough, there are many other serious issues that are of real concern to the electorate, perhaps Michael Gove should get out more, rather than reading Zoo and Nuts!

Every party claims to be “listening” to their public, well who are they listening to, it sure as hell isn’t you or me? Is Michael Gove going to seriously claim that one of his constituents came to see him to claim about lads mags? If he did receive a complaint, maybe someone could remind him about placing things into perspective.

It is high time all MP’s started to talk to the people that put them in office and more importantly, learned to listen. It is also time the Conservative party started to act like a real opposition party, the truth is, they only look good, because the Labour party is so awful. In my opinion, all Michael Gove has done, is to confirm, that it is not just the Government that has lost touch with the voters, but also some MP’s of the official opposition.

David Cameron needs to reign these guys in, before the electorate catch on to the fact MP’s within the his party are as removed from the public as government ministers and labour party MP’s. He should also consider bringing in real people to advise, people with real world experience, or better still, have real people stand as the local Conservative MP, rather than career politicians or local ‘faces’. Now, more than ever before, this country needs MP’s that talk, sound and look like the rest of us. No wonder the electorate feels so disenfranchised.

MP's are NOT in touch with the public mood

View Results

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MP's are NOT in touch with the public mood

  • I strongly agree (77%, 37 Votes)
  • I agree (13%, 6 Votes)
  • I am neutral (6%, 3 Votes)
  • I disagree (2%, 1 Votes)
  • I strongly disagree (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 48


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Posted in Conservatives, General | Comments (8)

Is this really democracy at work?

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Is this really democracy at work?

Lets face it, the only people that keep extolling the virtues of democracy are the politician’s and yet, here in the UK, some 60 million people are ruled by less than 650 members of parliament. So, if we keep hearing that we live in a democracy, then we will believe it…right? Now lets look at in a little more detail.

Every 5 years or so, we get the opportunity to vote for our preferred party, by electing a local MP who represents the party we support. Of course, some people support a particular MP, but the vast majority are thinking in terms of who will govern us, rather than who the local MP will be.

Each party creates a manifesto, theoretically, a commitment to their aims, goals and values. It is supposed to be a mandate on what they will deliver during their term in office, or if you like, a commitment or promise to the electorate. Now we have all seen how worthless that commitment can be, most notably in recent years with the broken promise made by the current government in respect of the EU Treaty. Made worse by their willingness to treat the electorate like fools.

The Manifesto

Now, when we vote for a new government, we are provided with a party manifesto, and each party will assume that if we vote them in, we support the manifesto verbatim…but this is so often just not the case. For example, with so many things needing reform during a parliamentary term, how many people would really have voted for a ban on fox hunting? Some, but not many I suspect. So, the manifesto of the party elected to government is likely to include many things that we simply do not agree with, but how can we communicate this to those that are supposed to represent our interests in government. We can’t and it was probably designed that way!

For example, the only people that believe the labour party will get into government at the next election, is the labour party, unless they are being honest, but that would be an unusual trait. Therefore, theoretically, the opposition can create a manifesto and include virtually anything they like. Granted, it can’t be too controversial, but if they offer for example, 80% of what the electorate wants, the chances are they can do pretty much what they want with the other parts of their manifesto.

So, in other words, we must accept all of the terms of the manifesto, if we want to support a particular party. So why can’t we also vote on the contents of the manifesto? If we assume that most will only have 10 or so key commitments, then surely they can include on the voting forms, a brief description and the opportunity for the voter to indicate whether they are for or aganist a particular manifesto commitment. Of course they won’t. This is either, because they assume we are all too stupid to be able to form an objective opinion on their commitments or, more likely, they believe it passes too much control to the electorate…! Ask yourself this, if we are capable of voting on a manifesto in its entirety, why aren’t we entrusted to vote on the individual issues that make up the manifesto?

Delivering on their commitments

In the real world, few people would get away with a failure to deliver on their commitments, whether they are in business or even in their personal lives. At some stage we are all called to account. However, when we look at a government, we should really be judging them in the same way as we would a public company, with the electorate as shareholders. Think about it, the UK government is just a huge company with social and economic responsibility.Therefore, we should really refer to is as UK Plc.

This government and others have been great supporters of corporate governance and as a consequence, we have seen a good deal of legislation brought in to “protect” the shareholders of these big companies. Whilst it is right to question just how far this legislation has gone, the principal was a good one. Why then, have we not seen something similar for UK Plc? If the chairman, or the board of a public company fails to deliver, the shareholders can oust them at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), yet we have to wait up to 5 years. Imagine if you will, a chairman of a company that has consistently failed to deliver, or has mislead his shareholders, having the right to determine when he leaves, or is put up for re-election. Ludicrous, isn’t it? Yet that is precisely what happens with UK Plc.

Now the government of the day will probably argue that there are various committees that scrutinise their actions. True, but whilst they may have the right to publicly admonish wrongdoing, they can’t fire a minister, or call for the government to step down. Nor is there anyone measuring the government’s performance against their manifesto commitments. Whenever a government fails to deliver, all they do is ask the electorate for more time at the next election, typically stating that they need to continue their “programme of reform”. So what have they been doing for the past 5 years, that is what we should be asking, if they make a manifesto commitment, they should make clear how long they expect it to take. Imagine the chairman or chief executive of a public company making bold commitments without placing a timescale on it, this just would not happen. Yet UK Plc, our government, get away with it time and again.

Can we expect the opposition MP’s to do anything about it? Unlikely, because they have no more wish to be judged by their delivery of manifesto commitments, than anyone in government.

Your local Member of Parliament

We could all be forgiven for believing that when we vote for our local MP, that he will or she will be representing our interests. That they will be our voice in the houses of parliament. Sadly, in most cases, the truth is invariably something completely different. True, some MP’s will raise matters in parliament which relate to local issues, perhaps a hospital, post office or school closure. But when have they ever asked you what you want? The only time you may get asked is if you bump into a prospective MP seeking your vote, but even if they do make promises to you, can you really trust them to deliver?

Ask yourself why, if MP’s are supposed to represent the interests and views of their constituent’s, every party has a ‘chief whip’. This person, or people, are there to ‘whip’ MP’s into shape. To ensure the government receives the backing of all their MP’s to support, what is often, a controversial issue that divides parliament and therefore, most likely, the country. Government Whip’s may cajole, bully or perhaps even offer incentives to an MP to ensure that he or she supports the government line. So when are your interests represented? Local MP’s are always keen on sending us details on what they have done for us, so they know how to write and theoretically, they know how to communicate, so why don’t they ask us what we think?

If our local MP is supposed to represent the local constituent’s, then surely they could provide the electorate with their own mini-manifesto and at the same time, tell us where they stand and therefore, how they will vote on national manifesto issues. That way, we the electorate, will know exactly what our MP stands for and will know that no deals can be dome behind closed doors. Too much to ask?

British voters feel let down by their MP's

View Results

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British voters feel let down by their MP's

  • I strongly agree (65%, 55 Votes)
  • I agree (13%, 11 Votes)
  • I am neutral (11%, 9 Votes)
  • I strongly disagree (6%, 5 Votes)
  • I disagree (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 84


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Posted in Civil Liberties, General | Comments (3)

Power to the People

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Power to the People

In my view, not for a great number of years, has the UK electorate felt so remote from their politicians. Our members of parliament, from the prime minister down claim to be listening to us, but just who are they listening to?

This government has been in power so long, they have forgotten how to listen, they have lost touch with their voters and no matter where you go, everyone appease to be equally frustrated…and who can blame them?

The electorate could be forgiven for believing that the politicians only listen to the press and who gave them the right to talk for us? They seem to dip their toe in the water and then read the press the following day, if there is no outcry, then it becomes government policy. These are just gesture politics. Anyone that believes we live in a democracy is simply fooling themselves. The simple truth is over 62m people are rules by some 650 MP’s. Few if any, actually bother to talk to their voters unless, or until it becomes a necessity because of an impending election.

Posted in General | Comments (0)

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