Sunday, 28 March 2010

And We Think We Live In A Democracy

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you who were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone!"

The words, it is reputed, were said by Comwell dismissing the Rump Parliament and are words that many feel are applicable to the present Parliament. Admitedly, there are a few members of the present Parliament about whom it cannot be said that they have bartered their conscience for financial gain.

Politics and the political process is cacooned from the demcratic process, it is conducted by politicians who have separated themselves from the values of the rest of our country; as a result there are few, if any, mechanisms in place whereby the public can scrutinise what is being done in their name. It can be no surprise therefore that interest in politics is falling with fewer people bothering to vote.

Parties, come election time, campaign on a theme of change only to be met by a public outcry of 'What change'? There is no change because what is offered is the same thing, but wrapped in different colour paper. There are indeed two worlds, that of the politician with their views of, for  example, superb medical services and 'targets' met:

and then there is the world the people see around them which bears no relation to that inhabited by the politicians. It is, unfortunately, a fact that in this respect Britain has become a mirror image of what was the old Soviet Union.

Parties bribe the electorate with promises of 'devolution of power', that we will all have more control over 'services' and then one reads this. Should not this be subject to public scrutiny? Regular readers will be aware that I often use the term 'democratised dictatorship' - and this must be a prime example of the practice. As Martin Bell so rightly says in the linked article, this process is a travesty of democracy, devised by and for the benefit of the three main political parties - which, I maintain, thus preserves their 'cabal'. One of the Bills involved is that dealing with a form of proportional election on which the electorate were to have been offered a referendum. But wait, the system 'chosen' was that selected by the government - yet should not the system by which people vote not be chosen by them? How many of the electorate actually know the technical differences between Proportional Representation (PR), Alternative Vote (AV) and Alternative Vote Plus (AV+)? If a change to our present constitution and the method to select representatives to speak for us is proposed, should not all alternatives be offered to the electorate and the differences explained, so they can make a logical choice?

A report is to be published Monday setting out the new rules for the remuneration of MPs - yet who has decided these new rules? Should not those who are the providers of that remuneration have been consulted on any new system? This example of politicians 'fixing' their own remuneration, perks and privileges in conjunction with bureaucrats is but one of the many, many defects in our democracy; defects too many to mention in this post. Much is made by Eurosceptics - and rightly so - of the assumption of 'governance powers' by the European Union without the agreement of the electorate, yet this practice has been prevalent in this country for decades - especially during the last 13 years and previously also by Conservative administrations, albeit to a slightly lesser extent - whereby our freedoms have gradually been taken from us. It should be borne in mind that power, once ceded, is never returned willingly.

Yet the present state of affairs does not have to continue - it can be changed. However that change can only be wrought by the electorate who must use their vote with care - and not continue to vote for non-existent change. for loosely-worded manifestos whose promises of change are discarded purely for political gain.

People in every corner of our country are utterly fed up with present day politicians who only interact with their electorate when it is time for their mandate to be renewed. To those people I would say: go read the publications 'Direct Democracy' and 'The Plan' (see links in right-hand side bar), read them and see what democracy could be like - and then read the manifestos published by all our political parties.

Then go and cast your vote!


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