If we must have ‘government’ then any government, during an electoral cycle, can only exist with the consent of the people. Under representative democracy the consent of the people now is only sought once every five years, during which periods the elected government can and does govern pretty much as it well likes with no real mechanism in place whereby the people can effectively force a government to change course. Matters are not helped when those elected to form a government indulge in party politics for their own ends and thus the continuation of their place at the table of power – of which examples are a plenty today.
Politics Home is reporting that the Liberal Democrats will kill off the proposed changes to constituency boundaries if Tory rebels block Lords reform, Nick Clegg’s former director of strategy, Richard Reeves, is quoted as saying there would be “consequences” if a vote next Tuesday did not pass the Commons. Daniel Knowles, Daily Telegraph, has posted on the subject of the Liberal Democrats playing ‘party politics’ ending his piece: “So much for government in the national interest”; and Isabel Hardman, The Spectator, writes along similar lines about ‘party politics’. Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph, in his now regular Friday op-ed piece contends that the Osborne/Balls spat in the House of Commons yesterday is a fight to the death with both men having one eye on the 2015 general election. Thomas Pascoe, Daily Telegraph, has a most interesting article on the real reason why Gordon Brown sold some of our gold reserves.
Reverting to the comment by Daniel Knowles, since when has government always acted in the national interest? Underlining that question, Fraser Nelson comments that there is much outrage about traders fiddling the figures – yet do not politicians fiddle the facts, especially where the implementation of new laws are concerned, conveniently omitting to inform us of the fact that the majority are as a result of EU directives? Does not the media fiddle the facts by not reporting the true facts of political decisions?
If our previous governments were governing in the national interest would we as a country be in such dire financial straits; would our society have become emasculated as it has; would our armed forces be in the position they are; would our politicians be so reviled; would we be part of the European Union?
That we are where we are is due purely to the political culture that we have allowed our politicians to adopt, one wherein the country’s national interest is the least of their concerns.
Now can we please change our system of democracy?