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.