Saturday comments

1. Simon Heffer’s article in today’s Mail mentions that an opinion poll this week gave the Labour Party its biggest lead since 2007. This begs the question why are people’s memories so short that they seem able to forget that the political party they now appear to favour were the cause of the hardship they are now suffering. It would seem to illustrate the fact that people vote in protest to whatever conditions they are experiencing at a given time without considering exactly what they would then be wishing on themselves. When it is remembered that there is little difference in the ideology of all three main parties, that then becomes a worrying thought.

Reasons for the public’s apparent indifference to politics have been given: that they feel their vote makes no difference; that they are conditioned to accepting the status quo of two parties being the natural alternatives for government; that politicians do not speak in a language the average member of the public can understand; that politicians are self-centred, careerists who care not one jot for those they are supposed to represent but merely go through the motions of so doing; that politicians are not truthful, but just lie for their own ends – the list is almost endless.

When Harrogate finalizes their demands/suggestions for a new vision of democracy and political life in the UK it will not be sufficient, methinks, just to publish those demands/suggestions – a massive programme of explanation, almost re-education of the public, will be required.

2. The Mail also carries a story about the 6-month ‘ordeal’ of a 15-year-old schoolboy charged and brought to trial for throwing a snowball at a girl, mentioning in passing the case of March last year, in which Dean Smith, 31, of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, was handed a two-week curfew after he admitted assaulting a woman Police Community Support Officer by throwing a snowball.

What has our society and system of justice come to when what is basically children playing and in so doing getting a tad out of control results in a court case? So a PCSO got hit by a snowball – ye Gods, when I were a lad the local bobby used to join in snowball fights, especially when the object of the game was achieved which was to knock off his helmet! What happened to a stern ticking off by the police, followed later in the privacy of family life by a clip round the ear from a parent?

3. Once again in the Mail, John Bercow makes the news with the result of an FOI request showing that a replacement shower door cost over £1,000 and that also claimed on his expenses was his tv licence fee. It may well be that, bearing in mind where the shower is, that is the cost and it may be considered reasonable that Bercow could at least offer part of the cost out of his own pocket. What is considered unreasonable is the cost of his tv licence as surely that is something which is not an essential requirement in order that he may carry out his job to a satisfactory and acceptable standard.

Perhaps, as part of “Referism”, the people should be the final arbitrators where MP’s expenses are concerned – it is, after all, our money.

4. With the Mail providing the source for this post, another story in that newspaper informs us that George Osborne is proposing that ballots for strike action by trade unionists should only be recognized where a minimum of 40% of the membership actually voted.

Perhaps, in return, politicians and political parties would accept that they have no right to office and government unless each secure 40% turn out?

5. From the Daily Telegraph we hear that Louise Casey, the head of the Government’s troubled families unit, says the state should “interfere” and tell women it is irresponsible to keep having children when they are already struggling to cope. And when such advice is ignored, what then? Should the proposed ‘interference’ continue until, as a last resort, both parents are forced to have ‘the snip’?

Perhaps it is time to remind politicians that they too should be ashamed of the damage they are doing to society and to cease being politicians.

Just saying………



8 Responses

  1. Peter C says:

    The seeming inability of voters to remember past incompetence is quite simple to me. I have long maintained that the ‘floating’ voter, that approximate 10% who, if they are fortunate enough not to reside in a ‘heartland’ seat, actually decide elections, votes for whichever party appears the least obnoxious at the time, which naturally favours the opposition outside of general elections as they are not really under any meaningful scrutiny.

    This is partly a consequence of all parties having identical policies as you point out, but more lays, I believe, in that any thinking voter realises nothing politicians say or the policies they espouse can be taken at face value or believed.

  2. david says:

    Agree about the 10%. That and the point politicians held in disrepute, the public’s lack of knowledge about real issues, means that we do indeed need a re-education programme.

  3. cosmic says:

    I haven’t looked at the polls very closely.

    I spotted this

    More than a third of people who voted Conservative at the last election will refuse to back David Cameron in future, but the Tories will not stay in power by drifting to the Right, research has found.

    This suggests it’s more than floating voters. Cameron is damaging the tribal Tory vote bY appearing weak, dithering and slippery. The Pasty Tax and all the rest; none fatal in themselves, but adding up. I think people are also coming to the conclusion that there is very little difference between the Conservatives and Labour..

    As for his stance on the EU, it’s the old Tory “The hand is faster than the eye”approach, which they’ve taken for years, basically making a few noises and relying on attention drifting away from it. With the Euro crisis, it won’t drift out of attention, so they are trying to kick it into the long grass.

    I still doubt that the EU is a clear and solid issue with impact at GEs, but I’d guess most Tory supporters would want Cameron and the Conservatives to have a clear and consistent position even if they don’t agree with it, and to have an honest story. We have a referendum lock, but it’s in name only, we’re not having a referendum, we are having a referendum but not now, we are having an audit of EU powers, we’re repatriating powers, but we don’t know which ones and how we’ll do it, and he’s decided that under no circumstances can the UK leave the EU.

    Anyone can see that’s a muddle and hardly something reflecting leadership.

    I’m sure a lot of the discontent is down to the way Cameron is handling things and coming across as weak and wishy washy.

    • david says:

      The only reason the EU is not an issue during GEs is that it is never discussed in any bonest manner by politicians nor the media.

      As to the discontent aspect you mention – agreed.

      • cosmic says:

        It’s true the EU isn’t discussed at GEs, Part of this is the hollowing out process whereby everything still seems to come from Westminster. However, the problems of the Euro will cause it to be forced onto the agenda. The Tories want to appear to be dealing with it while not dealing with it and not showing their hand.

        Cameron and Hague did the Tories an immense amount of damage with their handling of the LT; the Cast-Iron Promise and encouraging people to believe things that weren’t true, then referring to the small print. It showed they were quite prepared to take their supporters for fools in the crudest possible way. It wasn’t necessarily frustrated anti-EU sentiment which annoyed people but the dishonesty.

        I think it’s too easy to focus on Cameron. The Tories policy of being thoroughly pro-EU but hinting that they are not, has worked very well. If they make their position clear, they lose a lot of their support. If they keep showing a bit of leg e.g. with the Europlstics, their support drains away more slowly.

        It’s not a policy Cameron originated, it’s been the same for decades. Now it’s running out of road and they happen to have a particularly flaccid specimen at the helm.

        As for Cameron’s handling of things, it seems to be a matter of saying, or hinting at, whatever he thinks the audience of the moment wants to hear and he isn’t very skillful at doing it. Of course that comes across as weak.

        • david says:

          Quite agree – the only reason I continue to home in on Cameron is that he is my MP and I do so enjoy making my self a nuisance with him……..

  4. Ian E says:

    Yes, the Public need reeducation (badly) – bu they don’t want to be educated and, with the BBC a massive barrier to any chance of eye-opening media, there is little that can change that stark fact.

    W.R.T. newspaper stories (e.g. Mail!), one must always remember that information is very selectively imparted to the reader. ‘Horror’ stories about snowballs etc. should be read with a big pinch of the white suff!

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