Monday has come early with another blog from the indefatiguable John Calder. The media is exposing corruption en masse in our government and independents are gaining political clout with the discontent masses becoming disenfranchised with party politics. So, John Calder asks, Is this a Revolution?
The veil of secrecy that for so long has concealed what our so-called democracy really is about has finally been pulled aside by the Fourth Estate, and by the press that is considered right-wing at that! The Sunday Times has exposed peers of the realm willing to be bribed to bend the laws and The Telegraph how many elected members of parliament have used rules that they made themselves to swell their salaries by ‘expenses’ that are really luxuries usually only enjoyed by the wealthy. Those who are elected as public servants to manage things for us have come to believe that they are our rulers, unaccountable and protected by secrecy and with the power to remove themselves from public scrutiny. So all praise to the press.
At the same time individuals have emerged willing to defy the Diktat of ministers, such as Joanna Lumley, who has reversed the expulsion of the Gurkhas who have been in the forefront of the British army over so many years. If she stood for parliament now she would be elected by a landslide vote. In a previous blog I asked where are the independent candidates willing to stand against a party system that has lost the confidence of the electorate, and it is obvious from the press that the same idea has occurred to many others. In fact one of the few who have not taken advantage of the lax fees office is a doctor who was elected as an independent to save a local hospital. We need many more like him. What we need now is a printed list of the expenses claimed by all M.P.s available for scrutiny by all who have a vote. Those who have abused their position should be voted out.
Is this a revolution in popular democracy or will it lead to something worse, an opening to the rabble-rousing interests like the BNP or those like U.K.I.P who appeal to the ignorance and unwillingness of most people to understand what Europe is really about because we have been allowed by government to become one of the worst educated and cultured countries inside the European Union? There never was a time where the need for new popular movements, such as the Anti-Corn Law League and even more the Chartist movement that from 1838 attracted massive support for a better society? Different issue have thrown up individuals such as Martin Bell and Joanna Lumley and there must be more with the willingness and ability to get involved in movements that will attract support to a more open, humane and competently-run society. The current mood, if it can be made to last, will insure a higher standard of elected members of parliament and a return to a social regime that replaces greed with fair shares and incompetence with a proper professional approach to dealing with our problems, which will certainly get worse, not better. Around the world wars are multiplying because we encourage and subsidise our arms industries irresponsibly, because ever since Thatcher came to power inequality has created a return to Dickensian levels of misery and criminality, and by replacing the once enlightened government policy towards drug addiction has created a social and medical problem that it will take at least a decade to reduce.
Replacing one party government with another is no solution. Only the emergence of socially-minded and ungreedy individuals willing to raise local support and to get elected can lead to – not a return to affluence – but a way of living that depends on sharing, cutting down, helping those in greatest need and acceptance of a simple but no less enjoyable way of life where decency and responsibility replace the present mess. That means finding and training a new honest elite (I use the word advisably and without apology) to run things properly. The present New Labour government and the Conservatives, if elected to replace it, are both hopelessly lost and incapable of running anything. Many inside the party system would function better as independents. The people have at last begun to think about politics seriously. Now is the time for action and for responsible change.
John Calder 22/5/09