"The biggest error of any British politician, however clever they believe themselves to be, is to underestimate the intelligence of the British electorate and an unwritten national understanding that politicians are subject to the people’s desire for change – not the other way around. For Britain’s democracy is the people’s democracy. It should not be the plaything of the political establishment in Westminster."
Mark Pritchard - Mail on Sunday 02/01/11
However, he is quite right in what he writes, in the above extract from the Mail on Sunday article, but unfortunately Britain's democracy has been the plaything of the political establishment in Westminster and will remain so whilst the present status-quo is allowed to continue.
At present the Coalition are playing 'fast and loose' with our democracy and we are now led to believe that Cameron and Clegg may well get their 'comeuppance' at the reading of their flagship 'European Union Bill'. Helen, over at Your Freedom and Ours, posts on this where she writes that "fragrant hackette Melissa Kite" appears to be doing her utmost to stir up a storm where no storm exists, linking to the Sunday Telegraph article in her post.
The editorial in the Mail on Sunday rightly castigates Cameron for misleading his party members and those of the electorate who did vote for him. Peter Hichens weighs in on the subject of Cameron's broken pledges and especially on immigration, Hitchens writing on the attitude of our political elite, pens:
"Not for them the other side of immigration – the transformation of familiar neighbourhoods into foreign territory. Not for them the schools where many pupils cannot speak English, and the overloaded public services. Not for them the mosque and the madrassa where the church and the pub used to be. Not that they mind that so much. These people have no special loyalty to this country, nor much love for it."
Love him or loathe him, at least you have to give credit to Hitchens that he does 'speak his mind', rightly or wrongly. What Hitchens writes does have an element of truth in it, unlike for example Peter Oborne in his op-ed which appears in today's Sunday Telegraph. How on earth can the British people gain the slightest understanding of the ravaging that our democracy is suffering, when a 'journalist' - and I use the word in the loosest possible sense - on the question of reform of the House of Lords, writes:
"Above all, they will destroy the standing and authority of the House of Commons, which has been the cockpit of British freedom and democracy since the 17th century.......At a stroke, the sovereignty of the Commons will be compromised.......Clegg has secured a vital victory in Cabinet: that members of his House of Lords will be elected under the so-called STV system of proportional representation."
As a member of the 'Westminster journalistic bubble', it has obviously escaped the notice of Oborne that the standing and authority of the House of Commons, likewise the sovereignty,was compromised and destroyed in 1972! Note also, assuming Oborne is correct, the further tinkering of our democracy with the point that the political elites have 'decided' - without recourse to the British people - how elections for the House of Lords are to be held.
Christopher Booker, in his article in today's Sunday Telegraph, hits the nail squarely on the head when he writes about what politics means. All the political elite and the media seem interested in is how long MiliE will last; whether the Coalition will last; and who will be victorious at Oldham East & Saddleworth, whilst ignoring the real issues of the day, namely, the fact that borrowing is escalating at an alarming rate; that the City of London has a proverbial noose round its neck now; that social workers are employed to 'kidnap' children on the slightest of pretences; that pretty soon the lights will go out; and that this country is losing powers to the EU hand over fist. Confirming the lack of any political 'nous' amongst our elected representatives, Booker writes:
".....what we lack above all, in these days of coalition and consensus, are politicians prepared to step outside the cosy little bubble and face up honestly, on our behalf, to what is going on in the real world."
Linking Helen Szamuely's post with Booker's article, just what are those Eurosceptic Conservative MPs going to do by way of rebellion and, more importantly, just where are they? The vast majority of our MPs, when compared to a giant such as Enoch Powell, have no knowledge of democracy; obviously do not care about democracy; and most certainly have no pride in their country.
Reverting to the quotation at the head of this post, just how long will it be for the message that our political elite are, indeed, playing with our democracy to penetrate the dimmest brain amongst the electorate? Just how long will it be before they do, in fact, take to the streets? Just how long will it take the British people to realise that until they do take to the streets, the political elite will continue playing merry games?
Dwight Eisenhower is quoted as having once said:
"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it."
Well, to paraphrase that:
I believe that people will eventually decide that they do want the purest form of democracy; that they wish to be left in peace to live their own lives; that they do not want billions spent on an unproven science; that they do not want our nation subservient to a foreign power; and that when that times comes government had better get out of their way and let them have it - or suffer the bloody consequences!
Update: Really want to read about how our political elite believe they act for their constitutents; what those in the House of Lords really think of the place?