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Posts Tagged ‘Fixing Broken Britain’

Yes, Farage, Dolan and many other ‘names’ could play a part in what comes next. But their ideas, their passion and their anger only cover parts of what the comprehensive change we need is all about

August 19, 2020 1 comment

To date I have made a conscious decision not to get involved in the threads or ongoing arguments on social media. I didn’t do it as a Councillor. I didn’t do it over Brexit. I’m not doing it with my feelings about the Lockdown, Social Distancing or the growing list of things that this Government has screwed up either.

The problem is that in the greater part, the debate, movement for change or whatever you wish to label it is transitory at best within this media ravaged age.

As we face the considerable challenges that this rancid political class have created for us, we need a movement and political vehicle that connects with the masses on a visceral level. Not just something in vogue that leads only to a ‘protest vote’ that doesn’t really dictate anything than a direction for the existing political classes, rather than establishing the change that we now need.

By protest vote, I am of course talking about Brexit, the Brexit Party, UKIP and the Anti Federalist League that led to its creation before that. Not because Leaving the EU wasn’t just or the right thing to do (I have no doubt that it was). But because for many of those people who dared to say NO to the establishment on a June day in 2016, the whole process was a safe opportunity to tell our political classes that their behaviour simply wasn’t right.

No matter what you say or how you present the detail of what is happening around all of us right now, people will only see what the Government and these politicians are doing and what they have done through the lens of their own experiences.

Yes, they will vote for something different if it makes sense in relationship to their life experience to do so. But that vote will be as far as the commitment goes unless a direction or way of doing things becomes safe or something that is encouraged to shout in public about.

Agreeing with something is a lot different to being that thing and living it. That is why the votes that worked for Vote Leave in the Referendum and the Brexit and UKIP parties in EU Elections simply evaporated when it came to making choices about the everyday things that really matter to people when a General Election came around.

It all worked out well for Boris in December because he managed to distance himself from the deliberate choice of the Establishment to attempt to overturn the will of the people over three years of Parliamentary intransigence.

The 2019 General Election was a comparative rarity in contemporary British politics. People from all sides came together to show they were collectively miffed about something and supported an established political party whether they would normally support them or not. Boris and this political class will not have that opportunity again.

Whilst many are accusing others of being asleep to what the Johnson Government is doing and has done, very few are awake to the reality that the activism that is growing against the Establishment and the choices that have been made by the Johnson Government are in danger of becoming just like another Brexit-type situation all over again.

We simply have too much to lose if all this new surge in activism succeeds in doing is convincing this Political Class to change direction – and they in turn then continue to change that direction behind closed doors in the ways that they then decide work best for them.

This is what happened before and what will inevitably happen again if WE do not get it right this time.

Right now, Nigel Farage is doing an epic job of shining a light on the issue of illegal immigration via the Channel from France. He was a pivotal player in the Brexit campaign and should have been sent to The Lords at the very least for his efforts by either May or Johnson by now – especially as the current Conservative Regime has now elevated people like Claire Fox who was on the same ticket and arguably did much less of the same thing.

Meanwhile, Simon Dolan is a new player to the whole political game and has made a name for himself by launching a legal bid to overturn the Lockdown in Court which he crowdfunded. Yes, he has launched #KBF or Keep Britain Free which on the face of it is seeking to become the recognised movement for change. But the libertarian strapline underpinning the wheels of this vehicle shine a light on the reality that the Brexit movement and #KBF are running the same kind of machine. One that is promoting a certain set of ideas that answer the immediate questions coming to people’s minds, but don’t do anything to demonstrate any understanding of the significantly wider issues that have led to this situation, or what their leadership would do if it were to run candidates and find itself with power after a democratic election – IF that is how the Johnson Government falls when this whole sorry saga comes to an end.

Both Farage and Dolan share passion for the delivery of the change that they personally see to be right. But that in itself is far from being enough.

We have had decades of politicians running on their own agendas with no understanding of the depth or breadth of the problems that the whole of society faces and why those problems exist.

Make no mistake, this is a level of understanding that is necessary before any attempt can be made to look with a comprehensive and discerning approach to what will and will not work as we go forward, or places any political movement as being able to lead others who do.

Facing the task of rectifying this mess is not as simple as saying ‘we are going to have a libertarian constitution’ and then expecting it will immediately be so simply because you have the majority in Parliament.

Ironically, Boris Johnsons string-puller-in-chief Dominic Cummings was correct in his view of the need for wholesale reform in Westminster. The problem with his approach is the same as would be experienced by Farage, Dolan, the anticipated ‘Reform Party’ or #KBF: You will not fix a problem and stop it from recurring if you cannot see how the processes of government and the public sector from the very top to the bottom and back up again works. You must have an appropriate level of respect for that before you kick off the process of change.

We simply have too much to lose as a Country, as communities, as people, as individuals by failing to get right what comes after this Government.

The reason that so much doesn’t make sense to people as they see everything unfolding in the media, is that there is much bigger picture at work. Not a conspiracy. Not a new world order or anything else that all too easily explains the gap that most of us have in our view of a very complex situation.

If we all continue to face this whole situation by dealing only with that we can see and not making allowances for that which we cannot, we are destined to have stupid politicians like Johnson, Sunak, Williamson and the rest in charge of our destiny forever and a day. Because we will never get around to fixing the problems with a system that will continue to put people just like them in power – whether they are Conservatives, Labour or anything else they want to call themselves – just the same as the Brexit Party, Reform Party or Keep Britain Free would be if they were in Government now without having changed their approach significantly to what they do.

A New Politics

May 24, 2019 6 comments

getting-startedA New Politics is something that I have referenced as a term increasingly in my recent Blogs. Just as I have also referred to the ‘Old Politics’ as a term to reference the no longer acceptable form of doing political business which is currently best illustrated by the behaviour of Theresa May, along with the Parliamentary Conservative Party that immediately surrounds her.

Everything that the Conservatives have been doing shows increasing signs that they believe they will be able to return to this approach, repackaged by terms such as ‘One Nation Conservatism’ just as soon as she has gone.

A New Politics is something I have been alluding to, if not using that precise term, for a long while. Just without referencing it in this specific form of words.

A New Politics is also a term that it being discussed more frequently in the media. It was mentioned by the former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks in his interview with Emily Maitlis on BBC Newsnight on Wednesday evening. Albeit as part of an insightful and frank analysis of the current state of British Politics where like with most examples of its use, he described A New Politics in terms of a location that comes after Brexit has been concluded, rather than offering any idea what it will look like and how it will actually work.

I have been happily tapping away at the keys on my laptop, mentioning ‘A New Politics’ as if it is already a tangible fact and is present a modus operandi, as a manifesto or some other universally accepted term. Of course it is not, and I was reminded of this by a comment posted to my Blog yesterday which specifically requested that I explain what A New Politics is.

So I will attempt to give what A New Politics is to me. What it looks like and how it would work and evolve in greater form.

A new politics is about changing the way that politicians and the people who aspire to be politicians think.

It is about application. It is fundamentally a way of being a politician and conducting politics as a vocation or calling, rather than viewing it as simply a job, career pathway or method of ‘getting on’, which is nothing like the same thing.

It sounds simple at first look. But the reality is that it is anything but simple and is not just about political reform.

Politicians today rarely have the level of awareness of self or of the community, social, business and government environment in which they operate either to look critically within themselves and at what they are doing. Nor do they have the desire or motivation to acquire the skills that will enable them to understand the interaction required of them better.

The Party Political system has reached a stage in its evolution and the management and environmental conditioning of political candidates and frontline members where it is now normal for those taking on elected roles to assume that all problems are external to them and that addressing ‘problems’ external to them is the way that each and every problem is solved.

Because of this external locus in politics, there is a lot of talk about things like changing the Electoral System to PR from First Past The Post and a second Referendum on the Brexit question. It is most notably present in the angry behaviour that is present in the continuing diatribe over Leave vs. Remain and who is – or was- actually right.

But change to our Political System resulting from blame attribution and the change the People are now seeking in Politics are simply not the same thing.

A New Politics must be something that is lived and not only treated as an idea or vision by those who are intricately involved.

It is about the example of good politicians at the top of Government influencing by example.

Of Politicians doing what is right for everyone. Considering the consequences of their decisions not just for those immediately effected. But like the ripple effect upon every part of a widened supply chain for a complex product. It is about considering and working fairly and proportionately for all of those who will be impacted beyond.

A New Politics is the leadership of taking hard, and where necessary unpopular decisions.

Politicians have the responsibility to look up to and beyond the horizon, and be cognizant of everything. Not just that which is obvious or placed in immediate view. They have to be both mindful and respectful of the possibilities and influences that inhabit the ground in-between.

Above all, it’s about seeing an Elected Term as the only opportunity to get things done. Rather than being just a term to secure the result of the next election. And I say this with no intentional hint of irony, given that working hard without fear or emotional tie in to the outcome, is likely to result in the very same thing.

Without repeating a great deal that I have already published, that is about the simplest way to describe what I offer that A New Politics would actually be.

Whilst the reality is that it is exactly what all of our Politicians should now and always have been doing – as it should be for the younger generations yet to come, for some or those with a more kindly interpretation or view of one of the few hard working Politicians that do exist, it may already be their experience and as such not be new at all.

We will have A New Politics when it is effectively the same experience of Politics for everyone.

If you would like to read about my view of A New Politics in more detail and how it would actually begin and then work, I talked about the way to get the ball rolling in Wednesday’s Blog.

I have also written a Book for Kindle that is a guide for people considering entering Politics with the intention of doing the whole thing properly. It’s called How to get Elected and you can read it FREE by clicking HERE, or purchase and download the Book for Kindle HERE.

I also wrote Mutual Aims which is A New Politics outlined as a very basic Political Philosophy in an essay form. Mutual Aims is FREE to read HERE or can be purchased and downloaded as a Book for Kindle HERE.

 

 

image thanks to unknown

 

Public outcry over Grenfell may ensure prosecutions, but the root causes of public sector indifference are cultural and injustices are destined to continue

July 24, 2017 5 comments

Residents of Kensington and Chelsea are right to be very concerned about the conduct of the local Council in their handling of events leading up to, during and after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Yet we should all be concerned with the reality sitting beyond and concerning the state of the whole Public Sector, which leaves Grenfell unique only because of the size and obvious impact of this horrific event, which has captured the public imagination for all the wrong reasons.

It would be difficult for anyone not to picture the horror of the event and to at very least attempt to consider just how significant the impact of an experience of this nature would be. But the race to apportion blame and the politicisation of this disaster for purposes which reach way beyond those of helping or supporting the people directly involved are diversionary at best, and belie the indirect culpability which lies at the feet of politicians of all backgrounds and officers alike, who are operating and making decisions within a system which might appear fine beyond without the presence of Austerity, but is otherwise quietly failing us all miserably.

Yes, the criminal inquiry which the Police are now working on may well identify individuals who will be charged and subsequently found guilty of having some kind or level of criminal liability. Just as the Judge-led inquiry into the technical aspects of the event, construction and renovation of Grenfell Tower may identify problems with wider policy which will then be used to inform changes which will be intended to make structural development safer for users.

But as I have written before when then Prime Minister David Cameron was talking up Jail-terms for the individuals responsible for the failures of the Local Council and Public Sector in Rotherham, there are cultural issues present right the way through local government and the public sector which make incidents that continue to disadvantage the public all but inevitable at all levels, and in many ways that people outside of Government may never become aware of.

Did anyone get jailed over Rotherham? Has anything changed since then? Have any of the parliamentary political parties demonstrated even the slightest hint that they are in touch with the greater problems caused not by Austerity alone, which persist far more significantly in the background and way beyond?

No being the answer to these questions is of course a travesty in itself. Yet even worse is the misleading direction that this whole debate will be taken if sound bites and labels such as ‘social murder’ continue to be taken literally by followers of the media who rely on news mediums – rightly or wrongly as it may be – to provide them with an accurate view of what is really going on, when all they are really getting is very little fact and one hell of a distorted view.

If the complexity of the issues which make our public services arguably unfit for purpose in all but name are not understood by the very people who hold the responsibility to lead us at all levels of Government, how can anyone who does not even have the slightest experience of the inner workings of the public sector be expected to have even a remote idea of what is really going on?

If they did, we would surely be now looking for names for a whole range of crimes either carried out or instigated without intent otherwise known criminally as corruption, embezzlement and fraud, to name just a few.

Some might like that idea greatly. But the very regrettable reality is that the problem spanning the public sector is culturally embedded and the result of many issues which to address will take political leadership of a kind that we have long since seen on offer.

Ultimately, an embedded problem of this kind must be addressed by action taken at the very top and this is why I previously asked if the last Prime Minister should himself be the one facing the jail term.

Until there is an acceptance and willingness on the part of politicians from all political parties to address the greater problems which sit behind not only events with the level of notoriety of the Grenfell Tower disaster and Rotherham, but also the ‘unintended’ injustices of all kinds which are visited upon taxpayers daily, we remain destined to have future events of this kind continuing to unfold.

This is at best unjust and it is a very long way from what we should all be able to expect from any form of government which actually works for the people it is supposed to serve.

Principles for meaningful change in British Politics

March 18, 2013 1 comment

grass-roots-headerMost people think that Politicians always lie and that they don’t have principles.

To achieve meaningful change for this Country, this perception must change. The sense of what is right and the sense of justice which inspired many Politicians into seeking Public Office, must no longer be compromised because of decisions made which are best for the individual concerned, or for the benefit of the Political Party to which they have become affiliated.

When I was first Elected on 2007, I was not alone in being horrified at how quickly it became apparent that decisions were made in Government on the pure basis of what was good for the Party, the Group Leaders, or was most likely to result in ‘good press’ or electability in the long run, before anything or anybody else was ever really considered.

Only sheer weight of numbers would ever result in any meaningful results which went against this non-democratic tsunami, primarily because many ‘junior’ Politicians do not want to risk disfavour or risk losing their Seats because they have been seen to disagree with the Party ‘line’.

This is not democracy in its correct sense and every voter is being failed at one point or another. The way that decisions are made in a proper democratic process is by majority, but the way that majorities usually get formed today is wrong, and this means that we are getting wronged the majority of the time.

People before Politics.

Every decision that Politicians make should be focused on the benefit to the majority of people; not the priorities of the few or of the Politicians themselves.

Practicality before Perfection.

We all like the idea of living in a perfect world, but perfection can only ever be an aim in an imperfect world and Politicians must make decisions based upon their practical impact; not just on what they would like to see.

Policies made in isolation lead to isolationist Policies.

Just as one policy may be used as an excuse not for enacting another, new policies should not be created without consideration of their real impact upon or collectively with others. Politicians now need to review the whole System and not use the size of this task as an excuse for not doing so.

Politics is better when it isn’t Personal.

Politics should never be about personalities and when it is, it is a sure sign that those talking are thinking primarily about themselves.

Fear is no excuse in itself.

Any policy made only with emotion and feeling in mind does not consider the wider picture and the full implications. Too many decisions have historically been made by Politicians because of a climate of fear. Over-reaction and under-reaction can be destructive in equal measure and however emotive a subject can be, emotions are personal and do not reflect consideration for what is best for the majority in its strictest and most comprehensive sense.

One size never fits all.

We are all different and policies must recognise and embrace those differences in all ways, but without recourse to any form of discrimination whether that be positive or negative.

Decisions affecting us all similarly should be made by Central Government, whilst decisions based upon Locality should rest in the Locality with Local People and their Political Representatives.

Central Government has as much responsibility to reflect, consider and act upon the decisions made by Local Representatives as it does have the right to ask others to respect the decisions which are made universally for us all.

Lifestyle choices should be for those living that life.

The preferences and actions of individuals should never be questioned or put in doubt so long as they do not compromise the physical safety, security, lifestyle and freedom of choice of others.

A crisis of conscience for one, is no excuse in itself to prevent the lifestyle choices of another and Government should never support it as such.

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