Friday, 10 December 2010

Politics Today - Honour, Principle & Representation

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible...Thus, political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness...Political language [is] designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable."
George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language",  1945

Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home, today continues his musings on the future of the Conservative Party, and broaches the subject of mainstream Conservatism compared to the present liberal Conservatism. I leave readers to link to the ConHome article and make up their own minds on the views expressed therein - suffice it say that, in my opinion, Tim Montgomerie has missed the most important aspect.

The missing aspect is highlighted in a post by IanPJ on Politics who writes:
"Also certain was that our Parliament was once filled with honourable men and women, admired as role models, leaders of men who could be looked up to, whose actions the public would aspire to, and the whole world could rely on. A parliament of elected representatives who if found to be dishonest, dishonourable or broke the law would resign, cast themselves out, no longer able to hold their heads high in public office.

Yesterday saw that parliament disgrace itself on a nuclear scale. It finally laid those certainties which have been slowly eroding over time not only into a coffin, but it also covered it in lime, burning away and eradicating any remaining vestige of honour from its collective gathering. Never again will people trust the word of an MP.

The past 15 years has seen a demise in our politics approaching that of a third world country, with the everyday introduction and acceptance of sleaze, lying to the house, press and voters, double dealing, corruption and fraud, but yesterdays debacle tops all that.

Having not just made promises, manifesto commitments or rash and vague undertakings which some would say in politics it is normal to ignore these days, many MPs made written, signed pledges not to raise tuition fees, and they did so in order to garner votes.

A Pledge is different, it is a contract and it is enforceable in law. The pledge was written and signed in order to gain an advantage, a seat in the Commons, and for many that now means a Ministerial Post with all the remuneration and benefits that goes with it. To break such a pledge is a clear unmistakable Fraud. That so many undertook to break the same written, signed pledges is without doubt Collective Dishonourable Electoral Fraud."
Any discussion of a political party's future cannot take place until its elected representatives can understand that their allegiance is to their country and constituents - not their political party. I make no apology for 'banging on' about this deficit in our politics today as it is a subject which cannot continue to be ignored. The current practice of governments who legislate - and in so doing - change our society are practising what is no more than social engineering. If society wishes to change then it is up to society to make that decision, not our politicians. Yes, ok, political parties issue manifestos setting out their ideas on how we should be governed, yet those manifestos bear little relation to what actually then transpires and they are too generalised in content and invariably do not tell the whole truth in respect of policies.

Governments have for decades decided to legislate and interfere in matters which are not their concern. All governments, including those of the Conservative Party, have retained the idea of central control: control of money, control of implementation and therefore control of the electorate. Where they have interfered in matters which are their concern, they have done so in a dictatorial manner, without any reference to those they are supposed to represent, of which the most blatant has been on the subject of who governs us and sets the laws by which we live.

IanPJ writes about sleeze, corruption and fraud and I have written many times about honour and principle - all of which are only too apparent today. Witness the release, at a time when the media's and the public's attention was on the student protest/riot, of a report that more than a dozen MPs were re-elected this year without voters knowing they had struck secret deals over expenses breaches. This is manipulation of news and as such, in my book, is no more than fraud - pure and simple. News manipulation was practised by Blair, Brown and now Cameron, as was the practise of lying and obfuscation.

If readers want an example of corruption and lack of principle, the first exhibited by the Conservative Party and the latter by their MPs, then one can do no better than to re-read this post, one in which the link to an article by Alex Singleton shows that Conservative candidates are forced to make a choice between a career and their principles - no doubt a decision candidates of other parties have to make. Whilst political parties impose conditions on their candidates and those candidates acquiesce, politics will never return to being an honourable profession.

Cameron vowed to 'clean up politics' - a vow the other Leaders echoed - yet nothing has been done, no real 'clean up' has taken place. This is probably due to the obvious reason that those lacking honour and principle can hardly impose those characteristics on others!


Katabasis said...

Brilliant post.

It reminds me of how much I would like everyone to read Oborne's 'Triumph of the Political Class'

No one, after reading that, could conclude that our political settlement is not now completely corrupted.

Witterings From Witney said...

Thanks Katabasis. Oborne's book is a classic, fortunately written before he became subverted by the Telegraph and the Conservative Party!