Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Rot

I've been away for a few days on a family wedding and have watch the revelations via my mobile phone with growing disquiet.

For those people who engage in politics the revelations on expenses are alarming but perhaps not surprising.

The army of local activists of all parties are going to get sick of hearing at the door step that all politicians are crocks, and a significant proportion of those who turn up at the ballot box will vote for parties that they think will annoy the establishment the most.

If we had a PR system, then I think you'd be looking at an Italian / Canadian scale changing of the political guard.

None of the major parties is going to come out well from this, although currently it is perhaps Labour who will suffer the most. ( Although given revelations about the shadow cabinet are due that can be by no means certain. )

We have a system where by the new political class, who are apt at playing the part of our representatives are able to deceive many of us.

I've just spend a few happy days in the world without national politics that is a family wedding, and its just depressing to look back into all this.

None of us know if politicians we admire, have campaigned for or supported will shortly be shown to have taken the tax payer for a ride. few of those of us who are volunteers can have anything other than a sick feeling in our stomachs.

The events that are reported are serious, disturbing and even revolting. But, but they are only a symptom of a deeper problem in the way we try to democratically govern ourselves.

"New Labour" is at the root of this problem. "The Project", "The Narrative", spin and of course lies deceit and triangulation.

The attempt to deal and manipulate peoples knowledge of the situation by controlling the media, emoting, using "sound bites" and political cross dressing.

What all those things have in common is a lack of moral integrity, unless you subscribe perhaps to the conceit of the left that only they are holy and have receipt of all wisdom and hence are justified in any actions, however reprehensible to destroy those who disagree with them.

Whilst Labour has lead on most of this, the other two main parties, including the Conservatives, cannot escape blame here. Defining yourself in opposition to your party's membership has become the standard trick of the trade of every new party leader. The poison of new Labour has spread to the wider body of politics.

I suspect Labour have suffered more as many of those who are at the top of the Labour party now went into politics believing something quite different from what the claim now. Having lost that integrity, its perhaps no surprise that they should lose moral integrity also, in the same way they trade political and intellectual integrity for power.

The test that comes now is how much shame those who have selected themselves to rule us now show. One of the abiding characteristics of the current government and Blair's before it was the shamelessness is showed.

Underlying all this is the need to stop politics continuing as a profession and a profitable one at that.

We need term limits and upper limits on the total amount of money any elected representative can ever receive from the tax payer.

We need men and women who see public service as a noble sacrifice not a career.

PS We should perhaps consider that dishonesty has become wide spread in our society. Many people lie on their CVs and embellish their expenses. There is a mirror here of our wider society if we can stand to look into it.

I realise I don't yet have a fully formed central thesis in this post, but I'm going to publish as its time to say at least something.

1 comment:

wildgoose said...

Fixed term triennial Parliaments and MPs allowed to serve for no more than 4 sessions, i.e. a maximum of 12 years, before they must take a break from Parliamentary duties of at least 9 years. They may then rejoin Parliament, once again for a maximum of 4 sessions. This way they will hopefully retain a connection to the "Real" World.

Generous salary but no benefits whatsoever, nor any kind of pension which must be provided for privately.

Minimum age before standing of 30 in order to ensure some life experience. (Yes, I know there is some hypocrisy here, my first time as a Parliamentary Candidate was aged 25, but the point still stands).