If you ever needed conclusive evidence that our political system is utterly broken and corrupt, then look no further than the suggestion made today (Saturday 7th March 2015) by Conservative Peer, Kenneth Baker, that the Labour and Conservative parties should consider entering into a Grand Coalition, in order to prevent the Scottish National Party from having any meaningful influence at Westminster after May's General Election.
Now, although I'm no fan of the SNP, if they did manage to win most of the 59 parliamentary seats in Scotland, at a direct cost to the Scottish Labour Party, then that's democracy in action isn't it?, where 10% of the UK population hand 10% of the nation's constituency seats to the SNP, so what's wrong with that? How on earth can anyone claim to be preserving the political, social, cultural and territorial integrity of the United Kingdom by deliberately committing themselves and their parties to some sort of grubby backroom deal, which will almost inevitably cause even greater nationalist rancour and resentment north of the border? Scottish Labour are already said to be suffering the repercussions of siding with the Lib Dems and the Conservatives during the recent Scottish Independence referendum campaign, so just how would it seem to the Scottish electorate if Labour were then seen to be entering into some sort of unholy alliance with the Conservative Party, simply to stymie the aspirations of Scotland's duly elected parliamentary representatives? Does Lord Baker really believe that such an underhanded and duplicitous strategy would settle the Scottish independence question once and for all? Really?
That stupid suggestion aside, we've also been treated to the spectacle of possibly the worst Conservative Prime Minister......ever, trying to avoid the planned series of TV debates, which only five years ago he was such an enthusiastic supporter of. And, it's important to be clear here, David Cameron's objections to the TV debates has absolutely nothing to do with timing, or the general election campaign per se, but has everything to do with electoral advantage on his part. He and his team of advisers, most notably the Australian election guru, Lynton Crosby, have calculated that Mr Cameron has little to gain and much to lose by participating in such debates; generally because the Prime Minister isn't very good at them, something that he proved in 2010, when he failed to outshine the worst possible Labour Premier of the modern age, Gordon Brown.
Although David Cameron might be in his element, playing to the sympathetic Conservative gallery in the House of Commons, or to a specially invited audience in some or other factory, in reality he lacks both the wit and the intelligence to be an inspirational public speaker. So for him to be forced to compete on equal terms with far more eloquent orators, in a time and place not of his choosing, has obviously presented him with a dilemma that he and his advisers have been desperate to escape from, with the result that he has simply made himself appear frightened, dishonest and arrogant to increasingly large swathes of the British public. Quite why Mr Cameron believes that his not accountable or answerable to the British people for the actions of his government over the past five years is unclear, but the very idea that he alone should be able to dictate what questions are asked, when and by whom would be an intolerable situation, given that he is after all, nothing more than an elected political representative, bought and paid for by the British taxpayer, nothing more, nothing less.
But then, doesn't that sort of sum up the problem with our current political system? That we have an entire class of political representatives, who because of personal beliefs, party allegiances and lack of proper public accountability, think that they can do, say or behave as they like, irrespective of what we, their paymasters, want or expect them to do on our behalf. Until we enforce true private and public accountability on our elected representatives, as they do in most other forms of commercial enterprise, where employees can be sacked for not doing their jobs properly, or for serious misconduct, then we can have little hope that our current parliamentary system will improve anytime soon. For any legislator to openly suggest that the system should be deliberately manipulated to deny influence to a third party, or indeed for a Prime Minister to purposefully refuse to put himself up for public scrutiny seem to be symptomatic of a political system that is not only broken, but fundamentally flawed beyond repair.
If indeed that is the case, then perhaps it's time that voters made the decision, to throw away our current political model and start again? Maybe we all need to be adopting a mantra of "anyone other than Liberal, Labour or Conservative" when it comes to electing our political representatives, as only by breaking the power of the three legacy parties, can we hope to rebuild our trust in the political classes, by forcing them to do what WE want, rather than what THEY want. Isn't it about time we began to DEMAND what sort of country we want, rather than relying on the sort of country they're prepared to OFFER us?
Wouldn't it be better to have a country that is truly representative of its inhabitants, by introducing some form of PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION, rather than having the continuous traditional stitch-up between Labour and Conservative parties? Shouldn't the country be run for the benefit of ALL of us, rather than the 30-40% who happen to vote for ONE particular party? The fact that most modern democracies and innumerable regional assemblies, including our own, are run on the basis of proportional representation, should tell us that the almost archaic FPTP system that we still employ in our national elections is one of the reasons why our country continues to FAIL, because it's a fundamentally flawed concept, designed purely to maintain the political duopoly enjoyed by Labour and the Conservatives, which as a result neither is minded to change.
If we want real CHANGE, then it is up to each and everyone of us to ENACT change, through the BALLOT BOX; and if that means each of us voting for a GREEN, ENGLISH DEMOCRAT, INDEPENDENCE FROM EUROPE, UKIP, RESPECT, NHA, SNP or an INDEPENDENT candidate at the general election, rather than for any of the three legacy parties, then that's the thing to do, as to do otherwise is simply to maintain the current, broken, inherently corrupt system that continues to hold our country back. If enough British voters choose to break away from the tired old two or three party model; and voted for ANYONE OTHER THAN LIBERAL, LABOUR or CONSERVATIVE parties, then the three legacy parties would have no choice but to refashion themselves and rebuild the political system, if they ever wanted to get themselves re-elected to office again, but while we keep voting for them like sheep, then there is no incentive for them to change; and as a result they won't.
It's worth considering that very few of us that actually vote, get what we want from whoever is elected to office, because often election turnouts are low and most choices are the result of voters having to compromise on some or all of their desires. It's also increasingly common for voters to cast their ballot in an attempt to keep someone out, rather than choosing to get someone in, which is probably an even greater indictment of our current political system. One only has to look at the present general election campaign, where more time is being spent by the right wing press rubbishing and attacking Ed Miliband, than is being spent telling us what a brilliantly competent job is being done by David Cameron, which he isn't by the way. It's a bit like voters being given a choice of poisons to ingest, which one will kill you quicker and less painfully! Roll up, roll up, pick your poison here! Labour's poison will make you linger, but the Conservative poison will kill you straight away. Roll up, roll up, get your poison here! The truth be told, given the dire state of politics in this country, were it a real offer of poison, I'd probably be happy to take it!