The Political Parties Are The Problem 32


I am feeling sickened by the deluge of petty greed exposed in MP’s expenses. It is like lifting a big damp stone and stepping back in revulsion at some of the multi-legged creatures squirming underneath.

Remember, these are largely the same MPs who took us into a disastrous illegal war, who fostered the climate of the Ponzi economc bubble and crash, and then voted to hand their constituents’ money to the bankers. These are the same MPs who have dismantled centuries old liberties and complacently overlooked the return of torture to our public policy.

All these things could only happen because of the degeneracy of a parliament stuffed on all sides with venal careerists and self-servers, with little or no genuine concern for the public good.

How did it happen? We get the MPs our political parties give us. The truth is that the MPs are not decided by the public, but by the party in selecting their candidate.

In 70% of British constituencies, the party selection procedure of just one party actually decides the MP, with a 95% certainty of rubber stamping by a tribal electorate. In nearly all the rest, only the chosen sons or daughters of two of the party mechanisms are offered as a realistic choice to the electorate.

It has taken the expenses scandal to bring home to the British people what should have been obvious from the appalling quality of government. The whole system is broke. The political parties simply are not producing candidates of anything like sufficient quality to sit in the Mother of Parliaments.

Anyone who thinks a simple switch from Labour to Tory will fix this, is a fool. What is needed is a bold initiative to seize the moment and break the hold of the corrupt parties on the political psychology of the nation.

A start would be a “Clean Hands” campaign to force the resignation of the most egregious crooks, and then run “Clean Hands” candidates in the by-elections. Political views would be less important than honesty, independence and good intentions. The campaign for resignations might proceed one MP at a time to concentrate resources, and combine legal and media pressure with street campaigning in the constituency.

We have to start somewhere and I suggest target number 1 should be Margaret Moran in Luton South, as a plainly indefensible case.


32 thoughts on “The Political Parties Are The Problem

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  • Stephen Gash

    English people, and to some extent Scots and Welsh too, are generally distrustful of political parties. Hence the low membership.

    In countries like Belgium the situation is made worse by parties being funded from the national exchequer, private donations being illegal. This has led to call for certain parties to have their funding stopped for not following EU policies.

    How long before such a system is employed in the UK, especially if the ‘big three’ parties suffer in the imminent EU elections, with other parties gaining ground?

  • Richard

    These comments are relevant both to the Parties-are-the-Problem post and the BNP issues. The way STV in multi-member constituencies would deal with these points is wider than even Anticant and Ingo have said. Most PR systems, party-list systems, add to or at least maintain at its present level the power of a Party organisation, But STV/MMC breaks that power. A loyal Tory can choose between pro- or anti-Europe Tories, or even stand as Independent Tory if necessary, knowing that transfer of votes means you are not “letting in” the opposition. Blackburn voters could have voted for Craigknowing their votes would really count, either for him, if there were enough, but giving second preference to their real second preference so the vote would then still count

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