The ‘cementation’ of the need for a political class

“I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform. All reforms which rest simply upon the law, or the threatening of certain penalties, or upon changes in mechanical or outward arrangements, are transitory and futile…. But through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move.”
John Dewey, 1897.*

Raedwald has posted on the loss of membership suffered by the three main parties – and the attempts by the political elite to rectify the shortfall in the voluntary contributions required to ‘keep them afloat’ in order that they may continue to impose their ideology upon us. What is the betting that there won’t be a referendum on the compulsory funding of political parties?

But then, this is but yet another ploy designed to further the continuance of their existence, the practice of which has intensified in recent years. Have we, the people, not suffered manifesto after manifesto promising ‘goodies’ untold, that have failed to be delivered? Have we not suffered subsequent manifesto after manifesto, conveniently omitting that former promises have not been delivered?

That we have not been ‘led’, but have suffered psychological ‘brain-washing’ from pseudo dictators whose only claim to the position they hold is a university degree based on ‘theory’, cannot be in doubt. Have we not been presented by political parties, at times of general elections, with candidates who have lamentably failed when given the opportunity, but who are lauded as the answer to our problems – many of which they caused in the first place?

All hail the system known as representative democracy!

* Is this not the purpose – and aim – of Harrogate?


4 Responses

  1. petermg says:

    If our current political parties were business they would about to go bust and disappear oops I mean be rescued; too big to fail or something like that. The more I think about it the solution for our politics has to do with better control over our money. I guess this is where devolving power back to local authorities makes perfect sense. We are obviously voting with our feet over party membership, and this is causing the parties great anguish as it should. At what point will the penny drop and they realise that we will only join them again if the serve up what we want, not what they dream up?

    • david says:

      A good point, however due to the ‘nature of the animal’ they will never completely give us what we want – consequently we should ensure they never have the ability to ‘give’ us anything.

  2. I must add support here, and also analyse possibilities.

    It is quite clear, IMHO, that the main political parties and the ‘Westminster Village’ have their own priorities, which are materially different from those of the people of the UK.

    The main political parties are too strong politically, but clearly distinctly weak both financially and in terms of grass-roots support. We need weaker political parties; but we cannot, in practice, do away with them. For what is a political party but a group of people with like-minded political views, at least to the extent that they are able to tolerate differing opinions sufficiently to take useful action on their common opinions.

    The current big problem is their strength.

    We could weaken political parties, from a political viewpoint, by a series of modest measures.

    We could have ballot papers with an Official Abstention, such that if those ‘won’ the election, it would be necessary to Re-open Nominations (the RON option) – and with all previous individual candidates excluded. This might actually encourage a somewhat greater turnout.

    We could have elections run by a ranking system (such as AV for single seat constituencies). This would allow electors to provide more information on their political views, and sometimes change the result from First-Past-the-Post (FPTP). It would also allow political parties (by not splitting their vote) to field a modest number of candidates (say 2 or 3 for each of the main parties), representing different wings of their own party (such as pro-EU and anti-EU). Thus, we would have open primaries all bundled in with the main election (which is both more efficient and less prone to fraud than single-party open primaries). There would surely be more interest and a higher turnout, through this, in ‘safe seats’. This approach can also be combined with the RON option. But, in the recent referendum, the electorate rejected switching to AV for elections to the HoC! That decision must be respected, for an appropriate period, though I much regret the decision. And next time such a referendum is put, there must be a more objective approach to putting over the benefits (and disbenefits).

    We could have more elections (I have suggested annual ones, rotating on a 3-year cycle between directly elected prime minister, HoC and House of Lords/Taxpayers). This would increase the load on the political parties, making money for advertising less important, and track record more important. In addition, I hope, it might make political decision making among the electorate more of an ongoing part of life than a 5-yearly exception.

    What we certainly should not do is allow the struggling (even near-bankrupt) political parties to be bailed out by the taxpayer.

    Best regards

    • david says:

      On the abstention aspect, Stuart Noyes suggested just that – and I agree with both of you.

      On differing methods of voting – the Swiss have that which could with careful though be introduced here.

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