I kind of take the view that the forthcoming British general election, the most important and the most uncertain for a generation, according to most polling experts, represents perhaps a final opportunity for the British public to take back ownership of the country from a political elite, who for far too long have contrived to serve their own narrow self interests, rather than those of the people they purport to serve.
If the British electorate wants to re-establish some form of ownership, or control over their population numbers, their international borders, their legal systems, their health services, their armed forces, their welfare state, their native languages, their culture, their history, their schools, their transport infrastructures, their economy; and perhaps more importantly their political governance, then they each need to be brave enough and bothered enough to vote for the sorts of changes that will bring such electoral ownership about.
It is precisely because the British people have surrendered their control over the executive, which has allowed unrepresentative minorities, special interest groups and well paid lobbyists to not only drive the cultural, social and economic agenda of the country, but to also shape the personal views and political ideologies of those who we have elected into office. After all, how many of us willingly and consciously voted for mass migration, the widespread adulteration of our native British culture, the establishment of foreign ghettoes in most of our major towns and cities, the legalisation of same sex marriages, the protection of criminals by the British legal system, or the wholesale transfer of executive competencies to a foreign parliament? I know that I wasn't asked to approve those measures through my vote at the public ballot, how about you?
How many people were asked if it was okay for the Coalition government to spend billions of pounds reorganising the NHS, just to make it worse? How many of us were asked for our permission to spend around £12 billion every year on Foreign Aid, ingratiating ourselves with foreign states, whilst significant amounts of that same money was being used to fund armed conflicts, build presidential houses, finance pointless job creation schemes, or encourage corruption in third world countries? Just how many English, Irish or Welsh voters were asked if they wanted Scottish citizens to be treated more favourably than them, or for Scottish MP's to be allowed to vote on purely English, Irish or Welsh issues? I know I wasn't asked, how about you?
I wonder how many voters were asked how they felt about having their landscapes destroyed by forests of unsightly and highly inefficient wind turbines, whilst paying hundreds of pounds extra per year on their electricity bills, in order to pay for the privilege? In fact, how many of us are being asked, or consulted about the latest carbon based technology, "Fracking"? After all, isn't it our country, our homes, our regions, towns and cities that are going to be most directly affected by these new technologies, so wouldn't you think that it should be all of the local people who decide whether or not they want fracking in their area, not just a few elected parliamentary representatives who rarely visit, or a handful of un-elected hippies? At the end of the day, with potential problems like earth tremors and water pollution resulting from such activity, shouldn't it be the people who might have to live with such problems the one's who must decide whether they want to expose themselves to such risks?
Just how many of us were asked how we felt about halving the numbers of our armed forces personnel, at the same time that the world is becoming a far more dangerous place; and our non-existent national borders pose an even greater risk to our communal safety? How do most voters feel about having their most vital utilities, their water, their gas, their electricity, their railways, etc. owned and run by foreign companies, corporations that not only ruthlessly exploit their market position for their own national interests, but also owe not a shred of allegiance to Britain or its people?
How many people would consider having a national debts of £1.4 trillion to be a success story, when so few of those same people are feeling any direct benefit from the so-called economic recovery that Mr Cameron and Co. keep telling us about? Even though most impartial commentators might credit the Coalition with having reduced the Deficit by 33%, as opposed to 50% claimed by the clearly financially incompetent Chancellor, George Osborne, ultimately, what has been the social, economic and personal costs associated with imposing those savage austerity measures; and how many of us would have willingly voted for them, had we known the severity and extent of them? How many voters in 2010 would have signed up for a massive increase in VAT, or for real wage levels to remain stagnant for the best part of four years? Just how many people feel that the pain and the suffering caused as a direct result of the Coalition's cuts have really been worthwhile? I know I wasn't asked for my approval for the government to do so much damage to the lives of so many people, were you?
The point is, that most if not all of these issues, these often life-changing decisions, are sometimes so big and so important that they simply cannot be left to the 650 individuals that we commonly elect to serve as our parliamentary representatives, much less the un-elected mix of activists, minorities and paid lobbyists who seem to regularly hijack many of the more vital issues of the day. Quite how we make our elected politicians more representative, or neutralise the often damaging effects of these generally undemocratic activists, minorities and lobbyists is unclear, although obviously the only way at present is through the ballot box, where what you vote for, isn't necessarily what you get, as has often proved to be the case to date.
Of course, until such time as all MP's are forced to stand by their electoral promises and are properly penalised for their often glaring manifesto omissions or non-disclosures, then the situation, as it stands, is unlikely to change. For the most part, party political allegiances and dogma will always outweigh specific promises made to the wider electorate, as was the case in 2010, when guarantees on Student Fees, VAT Increases, an EU referendum and top-down Reorganisation of the NHS were all obviously sacrificed in pursuit of a specific political ideology and irrespective of anything that the electorate had previously been promised.
The only likely change to such practices, of breaking electoral promises, as and when it suits the governing party, will only finally be brought about when the electorate start demanding change to the parliamentary system itself, by insisting on a proper recall bill to hold MPs to account and by allowing individual representatives to vote with their consciences, or to reflect the will of their own constituents. No matter how much the traditional legacy parties might try to justify the existing party political system, of selecting, sponsoring, incorporating and even disciplining individually elected representatives into one single voting group, the very act of subsuming the votes of potentially millions of wholly different constituents into a very narrow policy band, some of which they voted for and others that they didn't, could be deemed to be both undemocratic and unrepresentative. Given that they didn't win an outright majority in the first place, just how many Conservative voters in the last election voted for a VAT increase, or yet another top-down reorganisation of the NHS, costing an estimated £3bn? How many Liberal Democrat voters wanted exactly the same things, or a tripling of Student fees? How many of these combined Coalition voters wanted to spend £12bn a year on Foreign Aid, when the UK is struggling to reduce its own national debt?
Just how many people who voted Labour at the last election actually want a referendum on our country's membership of the European Union? How many of them willingly voted to increase their utility bills by several hundreds of pounds every year, in order to meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act that Ed Miliband steered through parliament? How many of those same voters voted for limiting their rights to a freedom of expression under Tony Blair's legislative programme? How many voted for Gordon Brown to sell off the nation's gold reserves at a knockdown price, or to ruthlessly raid people's pensions? The truth is that they didn't vote for any of these things deliberately, but indirectly, by having made the mistake of voting for party candidates who only gave them part of the story, the parts of the manifesto that were deemed to be palatable, rather than those which were not, or that were introduced at a much later date.
Until such time as we're able to hold MPs and political parties to account for their omissions, their misrepresentations, their lies and their transgressions, then we're almost certain to suffer the same sorts of executive incompetence and wrongdoing that we've witnessed over the past few decades; and in truth we probably deserve to. Only be depriving them of a winning electoral mandate will we start to convince the larger legacy parties that they need to change, that they are elected as our representatives; and that each of them needs to reflect the wishes of their own constituents, rather than those of the party's leadership, management or its financial sponsors.
As a huge fan of the electoral system generally, but not of the traditional legacy parties, it's encouraging to see an increasing number of smaller parties beginning to emerge onto the British political scene, as more parties means more choice for the voter. Whether you vote Green, UKIP, Respect, SNP, Plaid, NHA, or even for one of the various Independents who will doubtless stand around the country. it's vital that every eligible voter in the UK takes advantage of their right to vote in the forthcoming general election, if only to exercise their hard won franchise. Unfortunately, doubtless millions will still continue to vote for the two big parties, ensuring that nothing much will change in the immediate future, although one can only hope that enough people will decide to take back their ownership of the electoral process; and maybe give the legacy parties something to think about.