We see from the Guardian an article by their Political Editor, Toby Helm in which he states that with Tory women MPs quitting Westminster over its old-fashioned ways, Lib Dem reforms failing and the young being urged not to vote, parliament could be called unfit for purpose. The article rehashes old ground, such as anti-social hours and the lack of gender inequality, but also hints at a subject that is rarely mentioned which is the lack of say an MP has where policy is concerned.
The article concludes with suggestions from a selection of vested interests, including Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society. For this person to suggest that politics needs to be opened up to a wider talent pool and that the voting age be lowered to 16 or 17 calls into question the talent pool from which she herself was chosen.
Just what does a 16 or 17-year-old know or understand about ‘the way of the world’? Why stop at 16, why not lower it to 14-year-olds? Looking around at the intellectual understanding of ‘matters world’ and ‘matters home’ I would not lower the voting age – I would justifiably raise it. With regard to Ghose’s wish to widen the talent pool, it could be said that with the rise of Ukip that is being done – however when one looks at Ukip – and a recent statement by Janice Atkinson, one of their prospective MEPs (brought to our attention by Autonomous Mind) – one can but shake ones head at what a widening of the talent pool is producing.
The other suggestions are, it is presumed, given with a ‘tongue in cheek’ approach, especially where that of Philip Blond is concerned. Claire Annesley, in arguing for the need of quotas, undermines her own case because that could only lead to the installation of unqualified and ill-suited people purely on the basis of equality. Nan Sloane and Kayte Lawton obviously have their ‘vested interests’ to promote and as such calls into question their right to proffer any substantive view whatsoever.
What none of the above ‘stakeholders’ thought to mention is the lack of separation of power twixt the Executive and the Legislature, which is one of the reasons for our living in what I term a democratised dictatorship. There are of course, others; such as the selection process of potential MPs, the inability of the electorate to question, halt, or amend any political decision made by those in Parliament; and the inability of the electorate to have any voice in how their money – extracted from them by means of taxation over which, again, they have no voice – is spent and on what it is spent.
Being the Guardian, what we are treated to is yet more socialist thinking and that they are unable to see the wood for the trees is illustrated, one might say delightfully, by an article appearing in Politics Home by Natasha Engel: Labour, North East Derbyshire. Writing about the influence and power Quangos have, she writes: While the transfer of power to these agencies may have been motivated by a genuine commitment to improve public services, the result has been the creation of a bureaucracy which lies beyond the reach of people or Parliament. Where the creation of a bureaucracy which lies beyond the reach of people or Parliament is concerned, I can only reply to Ms. Engel: the EU? No doubt the irony of that which she complains lies easily within her party’s wish – and that of our political elite – to remain a member of that monstrous construct.
Let us by all means widen the talent pool – but not within the constrictions imposed by those who are only interested in the preservation of a means for self-improvement to the detriment of the majority. If politics needs a revolution to change it, then by all means let us have one – and the sooner the better.