UK politics: falling apart

by Richard North

Note: I entirely agree with Richard in this analysis. We are ruled by a cartel of insipid bribe-takers. Their only visible accountability is to the pressure groups they fund with our tax money. I am still inclined to vote Conservative next time round, because they are probably a little less malevolent than Labour. Even so, the consuming interest I used to feel in British politics has evaporated. I much prefer listening to music to watching programmes like Question Time. When I do take notice, it is only to denounce. There are no institutional means of reformation. I see no powerful forces for change outside the system. In an age so decadent as ours, the sole function of bodies like the Libertarian Alliance is to keep putting the argument for a better world – not with any hope of success, but simply because it will be easier for the next generation to take over a movement in being than to recreate one from scratch. SIG

UK politics: falling apartMail 031-let.jpg

With our very necessary focus on European Union issues, it is easy to lose sight of other events, no matter how important they are. That is the fate of the specialist, but it is one which must be guarded against. What we might treat as “noises off” can well have a significant effect on our obsession, the EU referendum.

One such was Tuesday’s vote on constituency boundaries, and the reduction of the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The combined effect of that – in throwing out the proposed measures – was to make the election of Labour that much more certain, giving Miliband a built-in cushion of 20 seats before the first leaflet has been dropped through letter boxes.

No one will disagree on this that the electoral system has now been skewed. With the shenanigans over postal votes – in a system that is also crying out for reform – the British electoral system is acquiring more than a few of the characteristics of a banana republic, ensuring that the next election will be anything but fair and free.

It is hardly remarkable, therefore, that one of our better parliamentary correspondents, Quentin Letts, was outraged. “Watching our MPs on Tuesday”, he writes today in The Daily Mail:

I felt no longer as though I was in noble Westminster, “mother” to so many other democratic assemblies. I am sorry to say it felt more like being at a third world parliament, the plaything of one of those former Soviet states run by thick-necked ex-Communist thugs.

In Britain, he goes on, “we have long flattered ourselves that we play by the rules. In the Commons on Tuesday, the rules were blatantly broken. In the 23 years, on and off, I have been reporting Parliament, I have not felt so disgusted by our political class”.

Letts is quite clearly outraged: “The behaviour of Mr Miliband, Mr Clegg and their MPs is worse than cash-for-questions or the expenses scandal”, he adds “Those were fuelled by small-minded greed. This is the naked abuse of parliamentary principle. This, I am afraid, is anti-democratic theft”.

Sadly we could say the same thing of the insistence of our political class over our membership of the European Union, and yesterday’s debate on “Europe” was in its own way just as offensive as the to event to which Letts takes such exception.

There, you had MPs indulging themselves in a fatuous, ill-informed debate, not in the least reflecting the concerns of the people who elected them, rehearsing the same tired-old mantras. The debate was an insult to the very concept of democratic principles, without passion or fire. Lazy, disinterested MPs going through a sham ritual of debate without the first attempt to engage in the issues and get themselves properly informed.

What Letts reports of the Tuesday vote, however, is the lack of outrage inside and outside the House to what in fact is blatant cheating. Similarly, we see a lack of response to the lacklustre performance of our MPs yesterday. But what was there to react to? It was a debate hardly worth reporting (and many newspapers haven’t bothered).

Unfortunately, the two issues are conjoined. Kate Hoey in the debate yesterday felt certain that Miliband would soon fall into line and before the general election commit to an EU referendum. But, if the Labour leader feels he can win the election on the basis of rigged constituency boundaries, he will most certainly be less inclined to give us a vote on the EU.

If he cheats us, though, the pressure will not go away, and nor will the contempt. The British population may be slow to anger, and very slow to realise what is going on, but it is getting so bad that even Iain Dale has noticed something amiss.

When the chattering classes fall out of love with politics, one suspects that the centre cannot hold for that much longer.

29 responses to “UK politics: falling apart

  1. I agree with Sean here. Being in the position we are in, as the LA, is an exhausting, boring and repetitive drudge. I don’t know how Sean manages to keep on summoning up the energy to go on the wireless, and the like, as often as he does. But I expect that soon I’ll be oblliged to join him in his somewhat thankless endeavour.

  2. Augusto el Avocado

    In an age so decadent as ours, the sole function of bodies like the Libertarian Alliance is to keep putting the argument for a better world – not with any hope of success, but simply because it will be easier for the next generation to take over a movement in being than to recreate one from scratch.

    Orchids. If your argument for a better world were based on reality, you’d be where Emma West is now. The state is presently stamping on the people and ideas it sees as most dangerous to its enslavement project. The L.A. is not among those people and its ideas are of little concern to the thought-police. This should give you some good clues as to what ideas are dangerous and where reality lies. But from your genuflection before the innominable ones, I suspect you’ve already followed the clues to the centre of the labyrinth.

  3. It is a very grim post. I wish I could present evidence and reasoning showing it was too grim. But I can not.

  4. There is an un-bridgeable gulf between perception and reality in British politics today. The commitment of the Conservative Party to the EU cannot be over-stated. The reality is that David Cameron has got himself painted into a corner as regards a referendum on our EU membership. The Conservative Party would far rather see a Labour government elected than subject our EU membership to the risk of a referendum.
    As far as your introduction goes, Sean, you must know that if you vote Conservative you will be voting for further EU integration. Surely that is not what you desire?

  5. I hope you won’t regard this as a ‘plug’, but that is why I have supported UKIP for almost twenty years.

  6. Yes! While waiting for societal collapse I often enjoy the rich savoury taste of a Pot Noodle.

  7. Sean I was hoping you might counter my argument or else agree with me! Your position seems illogical, if not downright defeatist; you are saying we must submit to government by Brussels either via Labour or via the slightly less malign Conservatives. I am voting for withdrawal. Once again, I am not ‘plugging’ UKIP, but their policy is withdrawal not submission, so they would seem a logical choice.

    • Not illogical. We face threats from more than one direction. This means we must keep them all in mind, but not become obsessed by any one of them. The American alliance is as much a threat to us as the European Union. Our own ruling class is the main threat, but this is so fragmented that, beyond saying it’s out to enslave us, it can be hard to find a unifying narrative to its efforts.

      I always vote UKIP in non-parliamentary elections. I usually vote Conservative at general elections – not because I have any illusions about David Cameron & Co, but because they are less immediately and utterly destructive than Labour. When you’re tied down in a restaurant and forced to choose between turd pie and snot pizza, the latter is probably less likely to poison you.

  8. I don’t follow your logic. You are not ‘forced’ to choose between those two unpalatable alternatives. Who is tying you down? You are perfectly free to select a third option on the menu which on your own admission you find more appealing. Why would you reject it in favour of something inedible?

    • I am forced so far as not choosing one increases my chance of getting the other. I live in Dover and Deal, which is a marginal. If I don’t vote Conservative, Labour might get in. I will only vote UKIP in a general election if it is already likely that it will win the seat, and if I see absolutely no difference between the two cartel parties.

  9. I think at times we all lose the plot, one does get so sick of programes like Question Time, many of these ill educated debates have any real effect on government policy, we just have to sit in our armchairs, listening to people in some cases regurgitating the same old political claptrap ideas they have picked up from somebody else, these programes, try and give the illusion people in the UK have a democracy, where, what they say has an effect on goverment policy, “Bollocks,” I say, let’s try and live in the real world at least, we all know for sure totaliterian regimes pay little attention to this, or question time debates, the government simply loves them on the basis of the outside world gets a false and missleading perception of political democracy in england, is the world audience really that stupid they believe this bullshit, one must ask!

  10. You must be eating out in the wrong place sean, even the local cafe has five main meals on the menue, try down the road the one on the right!

  11. Augusto el Avocado

    If we are so irrelevant, you waste a lot of time denouncing us.

    I’m trying to be maieutic. And it is working. Plus, where else can I use words like “maieutic” and “orchids” (as an insult) and know my interlocutor won’t need a dictionary?

  12. That’s all right Augusto, one can decipher what you are saying.

  13. Sean, I thought that was what you might say, and with respect that is why this country is in the mess it’s in. If people voted according to their convictions, rather than second-guessing what everybody else is going to do and then trying to counter it, we would have been out of the EU years ago. ‘Tactical voting’ will ensure we stay locked into the EU forever.
    Future historians will surely wonder why so many intelligent people who are fervently opposed to the EU consistently vote to stay in when they want to get out. It makes no sense.

  14. But it makes little to no difference when they are equally committed to rule from Brussels. Indeed I would argue that the Conservatives are more committed to the EU than are Labour. I always voted Conservative until 1992. Then Francis Maude signed the Maastricht Treaty, was subsequently sacked by his Warwickshire electorate and was parachuted into my own constituency of Horsham, the safest seat in the country, as a reward for doing the Conservatives’ dirty work. Come the 1997 election there was no way on God’s Earth I was going to vote for him, and, in the absence of a suitable alternative, I decided the only logical course of action was to stand against him as a candidate for UKIP. Luckily I never gave up the day job, but at least my conscience is clear, which it would not be if I had voted for further EU integration as you propose.

  15. On Friday night I was busy listening to the M.P. for Daventry (“Daventry Calling” as they used to say on the World Service) explaining how we were going to get all sorts of powers back from the E.U. and that if we did not, we would leave the vile E.U.

    I wish I could be as confident as the M.P. for Daventry – but I am not (not at all).

    My own M.P. (Kettering) is totally opposed to the E.U., says so publically, and regularly votes against Mr Cameron and co – so I have no problem voting for my M.P.

    However, what if my local M.P. was a lobby fodder type?

    Then the difficulty of our “First Past The Post” election system would indeed make itself felt.

    So Sean has a point.

    As for Labour…..

    There are anti E.U. Labour M.Ps Hugo.

    But they could all fit comfortably in the room I am in – and this room is not very big.

  16. It’s an attempted vote puller paul, the promises of falsehood!

  17. Glad to see you’re a man of great sense Hugo, not voting conservative that

  18. Our politicians are not chosen by the people. They are chosen for us by those that run the political systems and that includes Westminster MPs. They do not use our criteria in their choice, we want representation and good laws that favour our community. Those that chose our leaders want to serve their own interests. Where we would chose an MP for his/her strength, they chose them for their weaknesses. A lot of them have a lot to hide a and that is their weakness. One picture of them inside a childrens home when they should not be there would destroy them. Any criminal activity or other scandal would have the same effect. They are thus vunerable. Ambitious politicians are driven by either greed or fear not patriotism. This is why we need to abandon the party system. Ban political parties, elect independents that must come from the local community and make them accountable with severe penalties for misrepresentation.

  19. Yes mutton! you’re right, but we must never forget those in authority do in
    fact effectively hide a great deal indeed, when you say elect independents do
    you mean like the Police Commissoner elections, where every independent
    standing was destoryed by the police using minor convicitons to destroy them, and the in some cases the police got elected themselves after resigning and standing for the elections.

  20. Augusto el Avocado

    Very well, but please try not to multiply your alternative identities any further.

    I see your point, but I’d prefer not to remain static. When I retire a name, I don’t use it again. I don’t like my posts to be “trackable” over long periods and regular visitors should easily see through the new name.

  21. Of course one of the biggest problems british politians face at the present time is a result of the technological revolution, there are three elements now working against them, 1. The Freedom Of Information Act, 2. The Computor Revolution, 3. In General The Higher Standards Of Education, people are now more able to comprehend and understand the workings of the British Politian and establishment, if you talk to the Mr Average man in the street and refer to the government, their reply states; criminals ! where in past times governments could hide behind the official secrets act, or the cover of internal corruption, these remedies are no longer an option for them, the people, or electorate, are more aware today than ever,that our establishment is effected by crime and serious corruption, just listen to the comments in the waiting area of any court, or Lawyers Office, Doctors Surgery, people are scared of the crime in government, they do not want these people in government, but in reality have no option, their reaction is to vote for another party, and thus as history shows the cycle just repeats it’s self, again, and again and again, the historical aspect of the government will change, as people become more aware of the activities of these people, it will slowly fall apart, people do not respect those at westminister, it is a bad sign for democracy when you find the public refering to to the establishment and government as criminals, it will destroy it’s self, and real change will result, the change is not that far away. At the moment the people have no realistic alternative, but when one manifests, this outdated system will be removed from the political map forever!