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Posts Tagged ‘MP’s’

Extending the Lockdown indefinitely until there is a vaccine is complete madness. This is not a war and the Government has choices that any Minister should be big enough to take

April 16, 2020 Leave a comment
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It is said that the best jokes always contain an element of truth. This one doing the rounds on Facebook captures the reality that too many people are scared to speak up and say: that fear of Coronavirus has taken over all logical thinking and is being used as the excuse to make what ifs real rather than it being ok to be honest about what is actually happening in other ways.

 

Stupid is as stupid does, and the Government is bathing in the glow of the flames from the British economy which it torched when it locked down the entire Country preaching to us that it had no other choice.

Of course, when you believe your own propaganda and you have embarked on a stupid course, it pretty much follows that you will then take further stupid decisions that will make the original decision even worse.

With Health Secretary Matt Hancock following up by confirming the content of an earlier Tweet from Nadine Dorries that was clear to readers that the Lockdown would continue until a vaccine for Coronavirus is ready, we can now be certain that this Government has stupidity at the heart of its Coronavirus strategy, where some simply refused to countenance the idea that it was anything other than intelligent before.

Contrary to the story these MPs are telling us when they are bugging themselves up, fighting Coronavirus is NOT the same thing as fighting a war. You cannot go on with an indefinite Lockdown to fight a pandemic simply because there is no need to do so, where as in a war you must go on becuase it is the only way to secure a result.

A vaccine will not be identified, tried, tested and rolled out for many months as a minimum and in all likelihood this is a process that could easily take 18 months to two years and possibly more.

This ‘how long is a piece of string’ approach to managing anything helps nobody becuase of the uncertainty that it creates. For a government to adopt it as policy to address a national crisis is crass stupidity at best – particularly when the Government has a different choice and a very different direction that it could and still can take.

It is simply unacceptable to destroy the British economy and with it the lives, jobs, incomes and businesses of so many with the untold consequences it will being simply on the basis that maintaining life at a standstill either fully or in party might prevent the death of a number of people who were already most likely to be nearing the end of their life anyway.

Yes, it sounds tasteless to put it this way.

But we do not elect MPs and Governments for them to get emotional and run away from difficult decisions that might sound unpalatable on the news or get some lobby or another’s back up because the Government aren’t instead heaping praise and preferential treatment on some specific demographic group that is a cause celebrate in some way.

People have died. People are dying. People are going to continue to die either way.

But the suicides. The business closures. The job losses. The domestic violence. The abuse. The hunger. The bankruptcies. The debt. The evictions and much more that could have been prevented. All of the things created by the lockdown and this Government’s failure to mitigate the effects of it’s actions are not inevitable and never were.

The developing crisis that is now cutting into all parts of our society was created by the Government’s choice. It will end in economic disaster for us all with personal consequences for so many that it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Waiting for the vaccine is not the answer. Neither is continuing with the Lockdown in any form.

People need to be able to return to work, to their businesses, to their courses, schools,  clubs, gyms, pubs, shops and evening walks.

Responsible government would ensure that a system of governance was in place to make sure the NHS can cope as best it can at any one time, but at the same time accept that some deaths are inevitable from Coronavirus and that it will be much better for everyone to treat people like adults and give them back freedom and choice.

The Government needs to wake up before its too late and accept there’s a different way.

The Government MUST End the Lockdown NOW and do everything possible to mitigate the effects of the problems that the Government has caused.

Nothing else will do.

 

picture thanks to unknown

Government should be ensuring that people can afford to live on a basic income, not make cheap headlines from a non enforceable wage

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Our MPs are so busy getting drunk on their own power and glory, they really have lost sense of reality with the policies that they continue to propose.

The problem is that without looking at the detail more deeply – as the people we have trusted to run this Country really should – the soundbites that they keep pumping out in isolation sound all so very good.

In quick succession, we have had the Liberal Democrats. the Labour Party and now the Conservatives throwing out policies from their Conference platforms that have been designed as nothing more than cheap tricks to buy voters off.

Promising the earth and then failing to deliver has very little cost for the unscrupulous politicians involved.

But policies like simply cancelling Brexit, reducing the working week for everyone to 32 hours and raising the ideal hourly rate for the Living Wage has a real impact that will not deliver the beneficial experience that these politicians are suggesting they can control.

Pretending that Brexit and the vote that led to it can simply be cancelled as if it never happened would be beyond stupid and would have very serious consequences for everyone – no matter what fairytales those obsessed with Remaining in the EU would like us to be told.

But what we earn and how we earn it not only has an everyday effect on how we live our lives, it is also all about what we can afford.

Politicians on all sides are completely out of touch with what it actually costs us to live. The reality is that even on a 40-hour-week paid at £10.50 per hour in 5 years time, thats only £420 per week or £21,840 per annum. It’s not enough today for a single adult without children to be self sufficient, let alone tread water or basically survive.

The cost of living in this Country is stupidly out of control.

The way that we measure the health and success of our economy should not be wage rates and rises, GDP or statistics in any other form. But whether the poorest amongst us can look after and completely fend for themselves on the basic minimum wage without going into debt, claiming benefits or having to look to charities to someway get involved.

The way that a more enlightened government or MPs who actually know and have respect for what they are doing would achieve this is to actually use the power and responsibility that they have been given to make changes the the framework that business and finance operates within. Not to tinker on the edges by applying sticking plasters that will have already lost their ability to heal anything by the time that they come into use.

Too many businesses, financiers and property owners are taking too much value out of every product and every service that is provided in this Country, without putting like-for-like benefits back in.

The system is complex and complicated and few of us really understands how finance, markets and supply chains work. But the benefit is all going one way right now and continuing to take the most from the people who can least afford it. All so the people at the top of the chain can keep adding to a cash pile they have no genuine need to use, whilst looking at the ease with which they can work the system and concluding that they can take even more.

Politicians should not only know, but be acting proactively to address this. Not to eliminate the financiers, business people and economists like Labour might like to do so. But to introduce a considered set of ethics and regulation in every aspect of business in this Country, so that end users are only ever paying whats fair for the basic products and services that are essential to live and survive. But above all, is no more than what they can actually afford.

Until we have politicians prepared to take the steps necessary to address the real cause of the cost of living problem, the way that economics work means that the people who are now having to go into debt, look to the government or charities just to get by and stay alive will continue to see life as something that they simply cannot afford.

 

 

MPs are getting high on their own supply and are on target to wake up only when all damage possible has already been done

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

We talk about the ‘Westminster bubble’ as if there is a dome like structure physically parked right over the middle of London under which our establishment and political elite exists. But the humour made out of the detachment that our MPs have from the realities of the world outside has now subsided as significant truth that underlies the joke has been exposed.

Not content with imprisoning a Prime Minister and refusing to go to the Country – as everyone but them realised that time is running out for democracy to be restored – the Remain-collective-Opposition has now moved on to creating a new constitution of its own design, all as the wrecking ball it has aimed at British Democracy swings back and forth keeping the dynamics of the situation continually on the move.

On Wednesday they are tabling a Bill in Parliament to nominate a new PM.

Yet despite Boris Johnson’s attempts to call a General Election, this quasi-Government has refused to seek legitimacy for their position. As such, no vacancy for a Prime Minister actually exists.

To continue going down the road that these MPs who oppose Brexit and the will of the People are going, only serves to underline the truth of what their aims are.

Their contempt for democracy and the People who lent them their power has now been completely exposed.

The reality is that there is no way back to the system that once existed. Where losers consent and therefore their respect ensured the legitimacy and follow through from both Parliamentary and Electoral Votes.

Over the course of three years, the majority of MPs in this Parliament have overridden the principles of democracy both in their relationship with voters and with the constitution itself.

The damage is done and what is more, these MPs, completely intoxicated with their own power, now believe their own hype and are behaving as if anything goes.

An alternative to the system we have does not appear readily available and this is probably why they are confident that nothing can now stop them.

They have the Courts on their side and believe that there is no power above or below them that can or will stop them. They are certain that they can continue completely unhindered because there is no longer a bigger fish swimming in the pool that is able to get involved.

But the alternative they are not counting on is the British People itself.

A fuse has been lit and when the inevitable explosion comes, these MPs who have got high on their own supply will realise that they do not know better than the People they were elected to represent. That for all the glory and fleeting headlines they temporarily generated – as they wrecked the system that gave them power – it would not only have been responsible, but much wiser to have done exactly what they had been told.

We the People deserve significantly better than to be treated the way we are by politicians who are obsessed with their own ideas and place in the world, rather than with any legitimate cause.

Their selfishness and contempt for others has certainly assured them a legacy and place in history. That will be the destruction of the system of democracy in this Country – for no other reason than their determination to sell out their homelands to a Foreign Power called the EU.

Our system of Government is no longer fit for purpose and we are unlikely to get the change required if it is left in the hands of any of these MPs

September 30, 2019 Leave a comment

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Politics is broken. It can no longer remain the same.

Elected representatives have demonstrated repeatedly that they cannot be trusted to respect the principles that underpin our democracy. For what happens next, they have only themselves and their parties to blame.

Until the 2010 creation of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the safety valve that prevented trouble of the kind we are now experiencing was the ability of any and all prime ministers to call for a General Election, at any time and without two thirds of Parliament in support.

It was respectfully used at times when a government had no way to continue and simply didn’t have the number of votes necessary in Parliament to provide it with majority support.

Whilst opposition after opposition would have grabbed the chance of a General Election being gifted to them at any time, this Remain-majority of a quasi-Government has refused to have one deliberately by choice.

By doing so, they have demonstrated a total disregard, for our centuries-old constitution. A system of government that has never before seen such open and contemptuous forms of abuse.

Their priority and aim has been to manipulate the system to deliver what they want without any form of legitimacy or mandate.

What is worse, their plans run completely contrary to the will of the People – given to them legitimately as a direct and clear instruction in a democratic vote.

None of the political class that currently sits within our Parliament can walk away from this complete mess and claim they had nothing to do with it, the years of abuse that prepared the ground for it, or that it was always out of their control.

There is a rot at the base of British politics now and the real problem for us all is the question of how it can be replaced.

We cannot wait for a new party to be established that will have the policies and reach that will make it a credible alternative to what we have as the current line up or choice.

The current system is a monopoly of three at best and is totally rigged at worst.

But without a new political party that is a real left-right/Leave-Remain all-view-considered movement too, we are faced with the prospect of having to elect MPs at the coming General Election who have come to Parliament through the very same Party Political system that gave us the people that have broken our democracy.

This system of political parties only works to further itself and is as such fundamentally flawed.

The truly concerning thing for us all right now is that the stupidity that we are witnessing in Parliament may not have as yet come to its end.

The MPs we have Today are either so sure of their own position or confident that they can do what they like and that Public concern will simply then fade away, that it has become clear that they are now capable of doing absolutely anything when it comes to getting their own way.

This travesty must be stopped. What they have already done has set a dangerous precedent. Those politicians who follow them in future without there being the meaningful change required will simply approach future policies just the same.

We must find a way to create and establish a fixed and robust constitution that covers all aspects of the way this Country is governed.

We must set proper, considered rules covering how we allow our MPs to be appointed as candidates and then become elected.

Otherwise we must now accept that Parliamentary democracy in this country is no longer fit for purpose and has come to its end and that the time has come to find another way.

One way or another, change is coming and it’s probably going to come very soon indeed.

The answer may not be anything anything we have already seen. And it won’t be a question of if or when.

It will simply be a question of who.

 

The future of this Country will not be dictated by a Squatter Parliament filled with cuckoos rather than genuine MPs. Our future will be decided by the British People and implemented by representation that we can actually trust.

This Parliament is a joke that would be funny if the actions of our MPs were not so serious. They are doing nothing less than opening the safety doors that enclosed our democracy and inviting a revolution in

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

images (16)Observing the chaos that has been caused in Parliament by the exquisite mixture of self interest, ignorance and lack of moral standing on the part of so many of our existing MPs has become frightening. Frightening for the real people outside of politics, who until these past three years have relied upon our system of government to be reliably always there when it comes to doing what it is that MPs, Ministers and PMs should do.

But our MPs are drunk on what they perceive as their own power. They lost all sense of reality when they sold their souls to this establishment’s system.

They have left real people outside of Westminster with literally no idea where this is all heading nor where it will actually end.

Yet they genuinely believe that they are in control of everything that they do.

For years that number centuries, British people have been able to rely upon a system of checks and balances, that without need for anything more than the gentlemanly handshake that was representative of the trustworthy Britain of old, has kept our system of government moving – albeit through transfer of power to complete opposites as well as long-waiting successors, at any time that momentum has been lost, mistakes have been made or the incumbent in No10 has simply become too old.

But the days when MPs and this Country’s leaders were self aware enough and had the moral fortitude to simply ‘do the right thing’ when their time was done have now long since gone.

The stupidity of MPs who are either being deliberately obtuse or simply too stupid to know and understand why they were elected, has driven our system of governance to the point of destruction.

Not content with barricading themselves within our Parliament and seeing themselves as the squatters that they are, or accepting that they have overstayed their welcome and that they should leave; these pretenders to the principles of democracy have now gone even further, not only seeking but securing the dubious intervention of the Courts to endorse their unscrupulousness.

Together, they have underlined the reality that power in this Country is no longer in the hands of the people that Parliament and our Courts are supposed to serve.

The British People have the right to be frightened. Because in the General Election that is soon to come we are not being offered anything different or anything that is good.

In this General Election we will only have the choice of electing MPs who will be motivated by their own set of self-serving values. Whether new candidates or those who will plan on returning, everything will continue to be just the same.

The reason we have got to where we are is because the whole system has become about keeping itself going. It has reached the stage where it just perpetuates pain.

Without fundamental change to the way that political parties operate and the pool of candidates that it offers us is selected, all forms of government in this country are now destined to remain institutionally corrupt.

The British People are awakening to this. Deep down and viscerally we know and understand that the more these people in power today tell us that things are changing and have changed, the more they actually stay the same.

We have now reached a time when so many of these very same MPs blow off steam by projecting the guilt they carry for their own actions onto others that question them by branding them with names they themselves don’t understand such as ‘fascists’ and many other derogatory things.

But they do not realise that it is they themselves who through their dismissal and disrespect of the very system that gave them their opening and opportunity, are now opening the very door to a new form of governance that could very well end up encapsulating all that they suggest they are afraid of and more.

Many will scoff at such sentiment. But what the use of power without thought on this level invites is nothing less than a revolution.

Because it is now becoming clear to the silent majority of the People in this Country that the apparatus has been removed or rendered meaningless that would in other hands have provided us, the Electorate with the choice of a real political alternative that can be trusted to democratically win.

 

image thanks to unknown

 

 

 

 

 

Dear anti-Brexit MPs: You didn’t attempt to spin your way out of the democratic mandate when you were elected to Parliament, so why is the Brexit we also voted for so different?

BullWith all credibility now well and truly gone from this Parliament, it is regrettably all too convenient that some of the architects of the Brexit impasse are already touting the possibility of an inquiry being set up to define what went wrong.

In the age of spin, where the best, most eloquent or most communicable excuses eclipse pretty much every level of genuine truth or non-Westminster reality, it sadly comes as little surprise.

It has, after all, become the default option of poor representatives, to cover their own failures, misgivings and downright self-interest by identifying just about any form of excuse they can find which will anchor a justification for trashing workable plans, ideas that will actually help other people or destroying the credibility and often the progress of others who can actually justify their arguments or what it is they do.

The problem is now so deeply seated within the establishment and the way that both Politicians and public figures behave that very little actually stands up to scrutiny under anyone who can still be bothered to cast a critical eye.

Relationships of all kinds with the Electorate and the Public at large are being obliterated.

Our trust and faith in institution has been abused. But until now, until this excuse of a process for Leaving the EU, the rock had not been lifted upon all the darkness that lies in the system beneath.

It has taken the rebellion of our elected representatives against a clear democratic instruction to show and give the lie to everything that for so long was accepted as credible, now demonstrated as being rotten, actively misrepresented and in no way what it has been presented as, and is in fact, the opposite extreme.

The Will of the People is no grey area. It is not a policy which itself can be negotiated, redirected, chopped and changed. The Will of the People is clear, definite and no excuse can, should or will ever justify any kind of excuse or attempt to ignore it or overturn it, no matter how right or justified the party behind such a move might believe their efforts to be.

It is not for any elected representative to dictate that those who elected them are in any way wrong.

To do so delegitimises the very act of their own election. It indicates that the democratic process leading to their appointment is also flawed and therefore wrong.

It doesn’t matter what these intransigent MPs say, think or do. No amount of time. No amount of obfuscation. No amount of fear mongering will bring legitimacy to their actions or that which they do.

Deep down this rum majority of MPs know this, even if they cannot bring themselves to be open about it and act upon it as they should.

That is why Brexit is where it is.

That is why people are being lied to about Brexit.

That is why we are being sold lie after lie which contradicts the truth that a clean, full, meaningful and no-deal Brexit for the UK will actually be extremely good and much better for us all – the real People across this Country than continued entanglement with the EU ever would.

So MPs, cut the excuses and the bullshit that you have framed our once world-respected political system with as you have smashed it into the ground.

Give us the proper Brexit that we voted for.

Stand back, let us finally Leave on the 12th of April and do your job to facilitate the Will of the People as your were instructed to do so democratically; as we expected and trusted that you would when we elected you, and as you know deep down that you should.

 

 

 

 

 

A deal at any cost is no deal at all

February 1, 2019 Leave a comment

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Abraham Lincoln once said ‘nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power’.

Sadly, when our Members of Parliament do not pay attention to how the events they are involved in unfold and how other MPs have behaved around them as they have in recent days, weeks and months, it is hard to imagine that they consider the lessons provided by such figures from history to be worthy of any great thought.

Regrettably, such an approach on the part of our Elected Representatives comes at most disadvantage not to them, but to us, the People who Elected them. And we have the right to expect them to learn not only from history, but also from every opportunity as each and every one of them comes along.

Today, this avoidably chaotic Brexit process has reached a point where pretty much everyone outside of Westminster, despite MPs best efforts, has the true measure of what our MPs are doing. What their motivations are and what is now going wrong with British Politics full stop.

The general population may not be positioned or indeed be able to elucidate the reasoning of their position and views as eloquently as some of the Politicians who spend the better part of their lives in the media view.

But neglecting the reality that the views and thoughts of each and every one of us are as real, if indeed not more so than any of our MPs themselves, is a position that every Member of Parliament should now be considering in light of how clear the desperate nature of our Prime Minister’s and her Government’s Position on Brexit has now become.

We are faced with a situation where MPs should know from a catalogue of past experience that the EU was not going to play ball over reopening May’s ‘deal’. Just as it should be very clear to them that this is a Prime Minister prepared to do and say anything to stay in Office and keep her legacy in the form of her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement untouched and very much alive.

It is in light of this reality that we now see the possibility of pork barrel politics emerge, or what is in effect the prospect of individual Labour MPs being bought off with financial sweeteners for their Constituencies coming in to view.

With democracy in the UK so obviously in peril due to the behaviour of MPs already, the advent of this approach by a Prime Minister, who should long since of had the dignity to step aside, is both dark and worrying indeed. Not least of all because it is us, the same people who are being ignored by an Establishment preoccupied with stopping a meaningful Brexit, who are yet again being treated as if we are mushrooms. Treated as if it is ok to attempt to keep us in the dark, and that being fed on a diet of informational horseshit is all it will ultimately take to get whatever plan they have passed without us realising what they are doing.

However, the Prime Minister and all those with her who are willing to trash our democracy should be aware of one very big point.

We can all see exactly what they are now doing, and a deal at any cost is no deal at all.

The Prime Minister and her Government does not have a mandate to push through her flawed idea of Brexit at any cost. Neither does any majority constructed of our sitting MPs.

Any form of Brexit based on anything other than the genuine Will of the People – no matter how those against it choose to interpret it for their own aims, will not be legitimate.

As such it could, should and almost certainly would be overturned if they should appear to succeed in achieving what are clearly dubious aims.

It is what the cost will be to this Country, to our People and to our future because of this ridiculous, irresponsible and self-serving behavior on the part of Politicians who should know a lot better, that should now be of the greatest concern.

 

 

MPs who cannot respect the Will of the People should step aside and make way for genuine representatives who will

January 7, 2019 Leave a comment

You’ve probably heard the saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and so with it the suggestion that as the power of an individual increases, their morality and therefore ethics diminish in a like amount.

We should all be grateful that this is not generally an absolute rule. But in terms of today’s Parliament and the majority of the Members within it, I regrettably find myself being far from sure anymore.

Like many others, I have tapped away at my keyboard over recent weeks and months, at best bemused and at worst very sad at the state of British Politics and in particular what the activities and motivations of most of our MP’s has actually become.

That Brexit is the event that should never have happened in the minds of those who were Elected to serve us is already a given. That they are so hell-bent on overturning the democratic will of the people – even if it boils down to acts which are designed to deceive us all, gives a very telling insight of how dangerous to our democracy, the behaviour, self interest and lack of ethics and morality on the part of our politicians has actually become.

Yet to take debate and argument to a level where action will be taken to actively prevent the Brexit that the People Voted for, way surpasses the political malaise that has been present for a long time before the Referendum Vote and tells us that very few of the politicians elected to represent us actually understand what representation means and what the Representation of the People Act was itself brought into being for.

Holding up government might well prove to be a brilliant idea if you are a US President who has no concept of the pain caused and genuine loss of such action to others. But it is not the action of any individual or group of MP’s who paint themselves as being servants of the people, as respecting democracy and having the best interests of their Country at the heart of what they do – if they actually mean it.

To even attempt to derail the delivery of a democratic mandate – not because their fears have in any way been proven, but because they are simply too gutless and irresponsible to put their own ideas and plans to one side – is a travesty of democracy and of justice. They are simply trying to enact a decision that was never theirs to decide.

MP’s en masse are now making their position very clear. A position that shows they are incapable of carrying out the responsibility that has been entrusted to them. They are failing all of us, our Country, our future and it’s time that all of those MP’s who cannot see the will of the British People for what it is, however unpalatable they might themselves find it, should resign AND step aside.

We do not need a Parliament constructed of little other than the self-serving.

The UK has far too many issues that need redeeming, a prosperous non-EU future to embrace and far too many opportunities for good to be identified and acted upon for all of this to be put at risk by the lack of vision, integrity and care for others that is the only direction that all of these self-representatives are inclined.

 

image thanks to uk.businessinsider.com

 

 

Britain’s Political Crisis: Politicians should remember that glory is little more than a temporary illusion which benefits no-one in the long term. It should be just the happy consequence that it is, rather than the reason for being and doing itself…

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

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If you could speak to any of today’s MP’s, back before they entered politics, and asked them why they got involved, would most of them honestly tell you that it was because they wanted to be an MP, or because they wanted to make a difference?

Sadly, we all probably know the answer to this question very well. In it lies much of the truth behind not only the problems that this Country now faces, but also the uncomfortable reality that sits behind Westminster’s façade. The British political establishment is morally inept, and there is nobody offering anything even remotely like the leadership that the Country needs in order to bring balance and to deliver a system of Government which genuinely is fair and fitting for all.

People are awakening to the complexities of our political system, albeit for many, they are simply on the receiving end or rather the effects of a comprehensive range of policies that have usually been cobbled together for no better reason than that of political expedience, usually because their precursor was failing to work just the same.

It was once said that the simplest solutions are the most intelligent. Indeed one of the most pertinent and indeed relevant quotes which relates to the way that Government operates would be Albert Einstein, when he said ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

Some may question the validity of quotations from a world renowned scientist. But Government is and has been run by generations of politicians who are doing little more than testing out theories and face-saving solutions on an electorate that they have arguably treated little better than lab rats or guinea pigs.

People across the demographical boundaries of British society feel that this is exactly how they have and are being treated, and the reality is that political philosophy and the other tools used to progress the interests of one group of people over another, continually fails to deliver anything balanced, or which does not have negative implications for somebody, somewhere else.

We live in times when the disparity between the lifestyles of those on low incomes and those who might be considered to be financially rich, are almost permanently in the media spotlight, encouraging feelings of distance and difference which would probably best be summed up in the sense of the ‘them and us’ cultures you often find present between the tiers of managers and staff within different organisations.

But rather than seek and use the many opportunities available to work with the reality that perception is everything, a seemingly continual flow of politicians gain elevation to their seats and immediately forget that they were elected to be the channels of communication and influence on behalf of the areas they represent.

Often by default, they then become the slaves and ‘yes men’ to someone else’s set of political ideals – all of which usually represent very little that we would recognise as being akin to a way of working and the delivery of solutions which consider the implications and impact upon us all.

Those who have direct experience of operating within the political world will know only too well that democracy today only works for those who are in charge.

Hearing other politicians agree with what you say when you speak out and say something is wrong, is often followed by the contrary and white flagged acknowledgement that ‘you can’t change it as this is just the way things are’. This kind of statement certainly shouldn’t resonate with anyone who entered politics because they genuinely believe in delivering something better for all. However, the fact that so many MP’s are still seen to be sticking with the status quo says much about their motivations for being there.

Whilst change has to start somewhere and many will admire Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless for the steps they have taken, UKIP is so far untested beyond its ability to win by-elections for Westminster and seats within a European Institution which other than being little more than the glorified committee stage of a bureaucratic law making machine, would itself fail to exist for them if they were to ultimately achieve their publicised aims.

At a time when the UK is effectively bankrupt, cuts and economies are being ineptly focused upon the bottom line of expenditure, rather than the transformation and institutional change which would help us ensure the future of services such as the NHS, those provided by local government and many not-for-profit organisations, rather than on the continually increasing risk which will come to us all as a result of their destruction. We desperately need a new start in politics which reflects the responsibility to the public that politicians have, rather than the retention of their seats at the next election which they want.

Cynical as it may sound, we are now experiencing a form of government which begins its next election campaign the very next day after the votes were counted from the last, and you may well wonder what would have happened to us all since May 2010 if the modus operandi of having a whole 5 years to get reelected had been replaced with the battle cry ‘we have only 5 years to get something done’.

The argument and justification for change becomes flawed when personalities are brought into the mix, and however we might feel about the personal ideologies or backgrounds of David Cameron, Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage or anyone else who is in the political sphere, to simply concentrate on ‘playing the man, rather than the ball’ just takes us straight back into the problem that all of them – together – are continuing to create and maintain.

Likewise, jumping on the bandwagon of anarchy, propagated by probably well-meaning public figures like Russell Brand, will also yield very little long-term fruit for a population which is desperate for wholesale change for the better.

Change of the kind that will serve us all well can only come from transformation of the system that we already have.

Destruction of that system – however unfair it might seem to be right now – would lead to a level of uncertainty which would leave people grappling for any alternative which would quickly answer the many questions that widespread lawlessness would almost certainly bring.

If you need to gain some kind of perspective on this, it might be worth considering the situation in Syria and North Iraq which precipitated the arrival of Islamic State – the true impact of which we still as yet do not know.

Everything we do is now based upon mitigating the existence of fear. The most public and consequential proponents of this are the political classes themselves and until they all – as individuals – begin to acknowledge the personal fears that they have, and then rise above them and embrace the level of responsibility they have to us all; work with the risks, and then make decisions that are truly in the best interests of all, nothing is going to change.

Political parties offer a refuge for those who feel they have no choice but to work with others just to get things done. But political parties are now one of the biggest elements of the problem itself and political philosophies are little more than a trap for those who do not have faith in anyone’s ideas, other than their own.

Whoever you vote for in 2015, without change on the level that politicians all now need to embrace, we are simply heading for a lot more of the same, and probably in way which will be far worse and more painful than anything we have witnessed or experienced before.

Thinking about others and how our actions will impact upon them isn’t just some kind of selfless sport or charitable notion for those who have spare time and money on their hands. By considering others, we ultimately consider ourselves.

Politicians on all sides and at all levels would do well to bear this in mind and remember that by concentrating on the real issues that face them today, the electoral results for tomorrow will in turn take care of themselves.

Glory is little more than a temporary illusion which benefits no-one in the long term. It should be just the happy consequence that it is, rather than the reason for being and doing itself.

image: wonderfulengineering.com

Government is not the same thing as a business, and should never be run like it is one

AU491810_942longThe word ‘business’ conjures up different meanings for different people, depending on their background and of course what exposure they may have had to its use or application.

Most will agree that its use as a term suggests enterprise and methods of working which would sit snugly within a commercial environment. But should this word actually be applied to the modus operandi of any form of Government when the two terms are completely incongruous?

Much is made of the idea that the best people to run Government at any level are those who have a business background. One of the current arguments against the demographic makeup of our MP’s today is the substantial lack of solid business experience possessed by those who lead the Country from Westminster, with the accompanying notion that MP’s who have run or owned businesses of their own would somehow automatically have an almost esoteric level of understanding and midas touch which would solve just about any problem. They wouldn’t; they don’t and they never have.

With years of Local Government experience as both an Elected Member, an Officer and from working within 3rd Sector Organisations alongside, I have also often heard the term ‘business case’, ‘business plan’ and the idea often suggested that Councils are now run ‘like a business’ in meetings.

The problem with this is of course that the political leadership and members of Councils rarely have ‘hands on’ experience of running any kind of business you could draw reasonable parallels with themselves, and when they do, it is often the case that it has been so long since they did so, that any lack of an appreciation that time moves on or that things continually change will soon erode any tangible benefit.

Perhaps worse is the ability that Officers and Civil Servants have been gifted by political demographics and the opportunity to use such terms in plans, which are then taken as read by those who simply don’t know any better as being a true ‘business case’, when such ‘business’ cases could never be any such thing.

Recognising the differences between running a business in its purest sense, and running Government under the delusion that it can be run as business has never been more essential for today’s politicians, because neither Central or Local Government are businesses, and the people running them have to stop believing and behaving like they are.

A business is of course run for the profit of an individual or shareholders. All decisions will normally be made with the form of pay-off that they will receive firmly in mind. It can be expanded or changed to meet the demands of customers as it sees fit, and a business can choose which customers it may wish to target and how much profit it will seek from delivering any particular product or service. Its revenues are never guaranteed.

On the other hand, Government does not run to make profit, but to provide services and support for all those which it has been elected to serve.

Run properly, Government would not actively target any particular group of customers to provide a different quality of service depending on the feedback or profit that it gets from that group, and would work to meet demand for services as best and prudently as it can, well knowing that it has a duty to do so without seeking payment from one customer to pay for the benefits of another, or to irresponsibly borrow money from lenders that it knows it doesn’t have the appropriate levels of revenue to comfortably repay.

However, Government revenues – as long as they remain sensible – will always be guaranteed, and it is with this significant difference that come the even greater levels of responsibility than no one business should ever realistically be able to have.

One of the greatest dangers facing us as a society comes from the fact that politicians at all levels of Government have either failed to recognise these basic differences and therefore maintain them, or have willingly abused their ability to raise revenues to cover badly managed services or implement policies without any due regard to striking the balance for every member of this society or in applying fairness to all, while they have given every thought to political expedience and electability.

The British political system is broken, because it has adopted those very same values of a profit-making business, which are to further the interests of that business. For politicians, this comes in the form of power, whilst they have ignored the basic rule of business as they have done so; the rule which states they must deliver profit to every single one of the shareholders rather than to themselves. Profit in this sense should always be seen as the delivery of the same results for all.

So if our politicians really feel that they have to treat Government like a business, they then must also realise that if they continue to keep raising the fees on the same old products time and again without offering new products and value for money, they will soon price their offerings way beyond the purse of the people who normally pay, and the cash will soon start ceasing to flow.

Government is not run for a financial profit, any more than it should ever be so for the bottom-line benefit of just the ‘staff’.

Whatever their backgrounds, experience and level, politicians must remember that they are the managers; the facilitators; the decision makers; not the beneficiaries themselves – and especially so where the end profit is not even perceptively the same as what it would be for a business.

The time has long since passed when the electorate could continue to live decent lives, whilst those within Government continue to focus on the end result for themselves. Government is not the same thing as a business, and should never be run like it is one.

Councillors’ Pay: Throwing money at more of the same just increases the odds of things going from bad to even worse

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

If you feel at all cynical about politicians and their motives for seeking power, you are unlikely to have been left feeling refreshed by the latest row over councillors’ pay which has surfaced this morning. After all, one set of politicians laying out the stall to put more money into the pockets of another is hardly the story that anyone outside of politics wants to hear. But is the promise of higher pay for councillors really the only answer to better local government?

The motives for becoming a politician at any level are not what many would hope or perhaps expect. Whilst the pathway to becoming a member of a local authority may be based upon an entirely different set of aspirations from those who become MP’s, the biggest difference between the two is the full-time and fully remunerated nature of all the roles in Westminster which have propagated and supported the rise of the ‘career politician’.

As a Local Councillor myself, I can look back on my own political history to date and know that it was not money which motivated me to contest my first Borough Election in 2003 and come 5th for a 2-seat Ward. It was not looking good and being seen by others as having responsibility in a public role which drove me to take part in the County Elections of 2005 and experience a recount to finish in 3rd place for a 2-seat Division. But it was a belief in something better for all and the sense of providing a voice for those who choose not or are unable to do so for themselves that did push me to go out each time and then win my first Borough Seat in 2007. Sadly it is not the same for all too many others.

The reality of local government, whether you are Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP or Independent, is that it is a place of frustration for the well-intended. A place where the power to influence decision making in its greatest sense simply doesn’t exist – much in the same way that the handful of our better-intentioned MP’s will have discovered to their absolute horror when they first arrived in Parliament.

It is a cold hard fact that within any system of government where so many of the would-be decision makers have arrived on the basis of personal gain and advancement, it is that very same emotional buy-in which propelled them there that prevents them and others from doing anything truly selfless when it has even the slightest risk of making those selfishly-based positions any less secure.

Such fear has propagated the growth of an insidious culture within local government where officers are often left leading the leaders with their own protectionist based views which put jobs, conditions and the limitation of all risks above any decision which actually may be the right one for the Taxpayers who fund them. It is a pathway which over many years has led to the unsustainable cost of direct services that should never have even been put at risk; coupled to a future which above all else is inextricably linked to such wonders as the bottomless pit which is the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Increasing councillors ‘pay’ to ‘realistic levels’, will only encourage more of those with the same self-interest to step forward and to then fight even harder to protect their own interests once elected. Part-time career politicians would quickly become as prevalent throughout the lower tiers of government as their full time counterparts are at Westminster, and it is the very term ‘career’ which in this sense says so very much about what is wrong with politics and where the true motives of many politicians lie today.

Reform at all levels of government should be an absolute priority, but should not be restricted to executive, administrative or technical functions.

The political party system is also failing people as much locally as it is nationally and throwing money at more of the same just increases the odds of things going from bad to even worse.

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