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A New Politics

May 24, 2019 4 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

 

Party Politics is the means, not the end and until the emphasis is correctly restored, we will all suffer the result

February 7, 2019 Leave a comment

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The most extraordinary thing about these extraordinary times, is that they feel so extraordinarily normal.

Watching the Brexit crisis unfold has become a daily routine so embedded, that it feels like it will never end. And much of the responsibility for that impression falls squarely at the feet of the Politicians who are running the Country as part of the Government, and collectively as the bigger part of our 650 Elected MPs.

It doesn’t matter whether you Voted Leave or Remain in the Referendum. Labour, Lib Dem, SNP of Conservative in the 2017 General Election. The commonality that we all share within this incredible mess, is the feeling that what our Elected Representatives are doing simply isn’t right, and that we should all be able to expect a whole lot more.

Our political landscape has now become so unpredictable, we could never get odds on what tomorrow might bring.

For those of us looking more closely at what is unfolding and where we go from here, there is genuine concern, not only about what will unfold with control over Brexit now so clearly absent. But what happens when a clear direction does manifest and we have a better idea of what the coming months and possibly years might then have in store.

The reason for this is that the problem with the leadership that we now have in the form of Mrs. May is not one that is restricted only to her presence.

The problem is now an insipid trait amongst many of our MPs and Politicians. One that does not provide great confidence when considering how we now move beyond Brexit, potentially via a period of crisis, and then go on to address the many issues which are collectively causing all of us and the communities that with both live and work in, significant pain.

We have been burdened with the class of Politicians that we have, not by accident. But because en masse, the majority are the standard product of the Party Political system in the UK. A system that now exists only to further its own ends, rather than those of the People its candidates are elected to represent.

This is not to say that our sitting MPs are not capable, intelligent people.

But the system that exists has now been in place for so long that it has evolved to recruit and promote politicians in each Political Party’s own image.

MPs are delegates of the Party. They are not the Representatives of the People or the Constituencies from which they have been Elected that they should be. And the grand plan of the Political Parties is that they should only ever be on message and that they present that message as directed, effectively, without deviation and in a standard form. This is why media interviews with MPs look very automated, unnatural and are a damning indictment of what UK Politics has become.

People recruited to conform, rarely have the initiative, confidence and wherewithal to represent others. They do not have the drive to lead, innovate or adapt to the changeable nature that is the requirement of a Government which can be both responsive and responsible, that considers cause, effect, consequences and the impact of everything that they do – as any Government that is going to lead the UK forward positively and confidently must now do.

What is more, there is nothing wrong with our system of democracy.

It is the political parties and the politicians that currently inhabit it which makes it all appear wrong.

For they are incapable of looking inside of themselves to identify the causality of their problems. Instead always looking outwards to attribute blame and look for solutions by changing the political environment that surrounds them. Thereby overlooking the genuine answers to the questions behind everything that is happening for us. Making things progressively worse, whilst never actually addressing anything which is genuinely the cause of what is wrong.

Political Parties came into existence to facilitate the workings of like-minded representatives working within this democratic system.

They were a simple means of bringing politicians together in order to get things done. Not to create an autocracy or dictatorship run by Party Leaders, which is what the main Political Parties have now in many ways effectively become.

Nor were they designed to create a system where a local political group could make demands of their MP on the basis that the MP, once appointed by the Electorate then becomes only a delegate for them, sent to Westminster only to pursue their specific agenda, rather than those of all the People they were elected to attend on behalf of.

MPs, Councillors, Mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners are elected to represent EVERYONE in their Constituency.

No matter the size, demographic, politics or circumstances involved. The moment they surrender their principles, their workload, their ideas and the impartiality that democracy ultimately requires of them once in post, they are failing everyone for the sake of self-interest.

Party Politics is no longer just the means but the end in itself, and the majority of the Politicians who represent them are little more than a number, facilitating non-democracy, even if democracy is the name by which this travesty is still called.

We are now caught within a vicious cycle. We cannot get the change in politics we need because the leaders need to be replaced with people who think differently, but the people ready and in place to replace them fundamentally think the same way. So when the replacements become the leaders, they will still manage and lead things exactly the same.

 

TV Election debates are great if showmanship is the only standard set for Political leadership

September 17, 2018 Leave a comment

download (23)I’ve written about televised leaders debates before and I continue to have doubts about their validity, and whether it is even possible for them to be truly fair.

With talk of another General Elections becoming ever frequent, probably because of Labours obsession with finding a way to cause one, it comes as little surprise that somebody, somewhere is obsessing about how people will feel in a very specific, but what will be painted as being a wholly comprehensive way..

That looking to ‘big up’ a certain point of view is a process of little more than confirmation bias by people with the public ear is no great shock. But it is ironic that the subject matter here is the focus of the media, where a lot of the symptoms or effects causing upset amongst not only young people but the wider population too, was generated in the first place.

No, there’s nothing wrong with young people being in favour with television debates. In fact, I defy anyone to suggest other than it is what we can all safely expect.

After all, TV and all forms of media are now to many representative of the world we live in. From that perspective alone, we would be foolish to overlook the way that to so many people the world of politics is now perceived.

What happens is we all forget or overlook one massive and inescapable truth when when the infinitesimally small, pure, unadulterated level of fact provided through these mediums is acknowledged and put to one side.

Every other bit of content on the news, on TV, on the internet and on social media isn’t real. Its words. Opinion. Spin. Someone else’s way of interpreting events in the world. It’s the way that other people want us all to see AND interpret what is going on around us. And even then what they say and what we hear may be very different things.

We have created the illusion of all illusions. Instead of measuring our life decisions with the facts hidden below the surface of this pretend veil, we are mistaking illusion for fact. We have fallen in to the trap of creating a parallel universe where nothing really exists except the many perceptions that we have differently as individuals. Perceptions that we experience as genuine which are misleading is about everything.

No, I do not blame young people or anyone living a normal life outside the bubble where this is all created for the misunderstanding, the frustration and yes, the injustice which sits in between. I don’t even blame those creating the problem from within it, because these are people who are so clearly lost from the impact and consequence of what they are doing, that they cannot really have any idea of what it all means.

The biggest problem in amongst all of this is that our political classes do not see the reality of what is going on and what this all really is. Despite it not being unreasonable that we should be able to expect all those holding elected office to be savvy enough to see the wood for the trees AND act upon it, they have become obsessed with making all this noise real. They simply overlook the responsibilities that they have to us all and obsess about what looks good when it is presented to us

Watch Politicians on Twitter. Observe them on Facebook. But above all take note of how little sense any of their answers or statements really make when they are asked reasonable question about the work they are supposed to be doing for you.

Our political classes have become so obsessed with playing up to what they think people think, rather than doing the job they are supposed to do, that it really comes as no surprise that things have got as bad as they really are for us all. This is wrong.

The establishment didn’t see Brexit coming. Many of the Politicians belonging to it are still convinced that everyone outside Westminster and London actually wants to remain. They certainly haven’t got any real idea of what it is to be a normal person trying to make ends meet, or to be a young person struggling with the prospect of taking on a lifelong debt to obtain what will probably be useless qualifications before their adult life even begins.

So if we focus only on how a Politician or would-be Prime Minister performs on TV or all the other forms of media, we are overlooking a great many things.

Yes, good media performance is important for Politicians. But it is only just the cherry on a very large metaphorical cake. It’s not even the icing, or the most important part, the middle, which itself needs to contain real quality ingredients. All in one what should really be a many great things.

None of this can really be seen within a televised debate forum. Seeing is believing only if you believe the idea that the camera never lies. And if any of us use this example of judging the suitably of a prime ministerial candidate and the substance of the Political Party that backs them, we should not be surprised when the results are policies which only inflict pain within our lives, because the illusion of credibility that being on a screen gives then wins.

 

image thanks to independent.co.uk

Public Funding of Political Parties: Yet another nail in the coffin of British Democracy and a giant leap away from listening to the voices that must now be heard?

September 6, 2013 2 comments

Political Party funding has once again become a regular topic of discussion in the media and many will today find themselves asking why the Public may now be required to pay to promote an exclusive list of what are membership-based organisations, when many more worthy causes that bring much better value to our communities could never even dream of securing this kind of help.

Following Ed Milliband’s now seemingly disastrous attempt to re-package a few multi-million Pound Union donations into many more smaller and politically expedient ones from union members who should apparently have been just as willing to choose to ‘opt-in’ as pay through the historical non-voluntary default, it seems that we are again faced with the dubious meanderings of a few politicians who will do anything that they can to make the system work just for them and for the parties that they represent.

Talk of a £5000 cap on donations to political parties would have worked extremely well for Labour if they had managed to manipulate 2 or 3 donations to qualify as the same sum given by a sudden deluge of fee-paying Labour supporters. It is after all rather unlikely that the Conservatives could find a way to do the same.

But Ed missed one vital calculation in this plan and one that no considerate and fully cognizant politician should ever miss – that people will only voluntarily pay for things that they actually want.

The penny of impending political disaster having now dropped almost as far as the current Labour Leader’s jaw, we now find ourselves looking public funding for political parties in the eye as the Westminster set again swans around under the misguided belief that the existence and perpetuity of their ideals and their impractical application should be assured by right and statute, rather than by the will and best interests of the majority of people – which isn’t after all what politics is actually supposed to be all about?

Just this week within the Council where I am an Elected Member, a whole Borough has witnessed the down side of party politics when a bad decision which may have profound effects on many lives for years to come is compounded and enforced by the use of the Party Whip to guarantee that the aspirations and agendas of the few will overcome the needs and potential benefits from alternative and better paths for the many.

De facto funding for Political Parties that even their Members no longer want to financially support will make such outcomes even more likely than they are right now and those politicians who are already awake to these perils will be well aware of the potential cost of this approach to us all.

With the common ground between Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour being that the Leadership of all 3 have lost sight that doing what’s right for all, rather than what’s right for the Party or the idea’s that they specifically hold dear; all of the main Parties now fail to gain the lifeblood funding and support that they need from everyday voters, simply because they aren’t considering the realities and practicalities of what it takes to live, work and survive in our everyday world.

The message should therefore be simple. Large donors will always want to influence decisions and processes for their own benefit and adequate membership level financial support will only ever be assured when those members feel that they are likely to benefit – ultimately just the same.

If any political party is unable to secure that support, its leadership and executive should surely ask the question why it cannot do so and then be thinking about changing the way that it operates so that it can – if it can do so.

Those of us outside the Westminster ‘bubble’ should perhaps be asking ourselves whether the funding crisis that Political Parties are now facing is the best illustration yet that Politicians are out of touch and failing to connect with the critical mass of the population.

If their approach to governing our lives cannot be sustained or promoted without State intervention within a democracy, do political parties really have the right to say that they represent anyone but themselves?

The Cost of Living crisis: – It’s those money men, stupid

August 15, 2013 Leave a comment

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Hypocrisy has become an artform for many of today’s Political class, and talking up politically expedient issues, spinning away inconvenient truths or criticising others for doing no more than they would do themselves has become the apparent norm.

After a media splurge targeting their inactivity in the sun whilst Cameron has been busy making hay under his, Labour have returned to the stage this week focussing their less than lacklustre performance on the ‘cost of living crisis’, giving every indication that this is the ‘issue’ that will steward their return to majority Government in 2015.

If tackling every issue were seen to be as simple as giving it its own branding or strap-line like this and waiting for it to go viral, we would have a marketing man in Number 10 already – which of course we actually do.

Sadly, the ‘cost of living crisis’ is probably the most dangerous issue that any of our Politicians could ‘play’ with, in the run up to the 2015 General Election, and we should perhaps all be concerned by its apparent adoption by the political left in order for it to be manipulated as a vote-winner. After all, the future of most of us is tied up with it, and its genesis reaches far deeper into the fabric of our society than any of our leading Politicians seem willing to contemplate or have the moral capacity and determination to deal with – even if they have apparently now acknowledged it for their own political ends.

The reality for most of us outside Westminster is that we don’t need posturing Politicians and media hype to remind us of the fact that wages are effectively standing still whilst the cost of paying our bills just seems to keep on going up and up, month after month, year after year without any sign that it will ever relent. Many hard working people simply struggle to keep themselves afloat even before they start to consider some of the luxuries that those very same politicians and newsmen probably take for granted.

Real people living in the real world already know firsthand what it is they are experiencing when the letters hit the mat; the e-mails arrive, the phone rings and when they go and shop. When the pay rises, tax breaks and bonuses that they desperately need aren’t coming to middle England and those hovering either above or below Britains poverty line– simply because the Government’s Pot is already exhausted and the Nation simply cannot afford it – these same people need politicians to drop talking up the effects of the problem and start tackling the cause head on.

This task is not one that will lend great comfort to any politician who values their place in history more than they do the lives of the people who elected them and this is problem enough with British Politics today in itself.

Facing the reality that the free market has surpassed its point of balance and therefore the good for which it was intended is not a thought that many in power will want even to contemplate. Therefore accepting that increasing freedom within the markets to pursue infinite profit, whilst that very same action is effectively enslaving great swathes of the normal population within fiscal misery is not a pill that many of today’s Politicians will swallow willingly. But it is there in front of all of them just the same.

Through the creation of the virtual monopolies which are the utility and energy companies; private businessmen, shareholders and pension funds have been given seemingly insurmountable power over the lives of everyone by being able to dictate their own paydays, whilst they go unhindered by Government and Regulators – who have nothing really but the interests of their Industry at heart.

Likewise, ever growing convoluted supply chains, often reaching the length and breadth of the Country or even across Continents allow many different traders, dealers and agents to add their cut to the margins which you would normally expect to see only from producers and retailers, then inflating prices way beyond what they should realistically be.

Further still, those businesses without control or a sizable share of their markets are also having their margins forcefully squeezed by the companies and organisations who do and many of these businesses are the same ones that cannot afford to recruit or pay more than negligible wage rises to the very same people who are now being affected financially from almost every angle you could imagine.

Whilst no reasonable person would argue that businesses exist to make a profit, it is simply beyond logic to add layer after layer of profit onto the most basic and essential of items or services and then expect end users to keep picking up and meeting these overinflated bills without any real additional income of their own to cover these exponential and wholly unrealistic rises.

Companies, traders, financiers and all manner of individuals and entities are in effect ‘vacuum profiteering’, making money ex nihilo or basically creating something from nothing in a manner which could be akin to having the midas touch, were it not for the misery that it is increasingly inflicting upon those who are wrongly being expected to pay for it.

Without those who hold this power over our economy taking steps to regulate and restrict the way that they make profit, they are through their very actions writing an agenda for Government over many years to come – whatever its Political make-up may be, that has the potential to create social and financial problems of a size and scale across our Nation that Government itself won’t be able to afford to put right – simply because the Taxpayer has no money left to fund it.

Such levels of responsibility over the health and wealth of a Nation should never have been placed in the hands of money men in the first place without sufficient safeguards in place to protect the many who could be affected by the unscrupulous profiteering of a few. But it has.

No Political Party should be seeking to take the moral or politically philosophical high ground on this issue as it is a problem which can only be tackled one way. That is by Government stepping back into the free market and taking an actively pro-market or even interventionist approach to regulating market behaviour – should it be so required. The UK needs to retain capitalism but it must also maintain it in a responsible and considerate way that doesn’t destroy the ability of consumers to consume in the process.

By taking just the key players such as the utility, energy and finance companies to task, Government could go a considerable way to putting safeguards in place that would ensure a basic standard of living can be maintained against the minimum wage, and that the minimum wage would then itself reflect a living wage and one that should keep many more people safe from harm and therefore from being a potential burden to the State.

Regrettably, action of this kind does not reflect the creed of contemporary Politicians and the point continues to be missed that wealth creation only works effectively when there are benefits – in whatever form they may be – for all.

Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour don’t want to embrace the answer and neither does UKIP, which is riding high on the tide of discontentment and disenfranchisement that the lack of connection with reality amongst the other Political monoliths has created within the Electorate itself.

It’s time for Politicians to wake up and smell our overpriced coffee before it’s all too late.

image thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Press Regulation: Another exercise in smoke and mirrors as the underlying issue of the growing ethical drought in this Country goes untackled by thirsty Government yet again

Rupert Murdoch at LevesonI will not be alone in wondering just how wasteful the whole Leveson Inquiry and the blustering about press regulation will turn out to be when the dust has finally settled.

With news coverage alerting us to the invitation for Rupert Murdoch to return to face MP’s over the phone hacking scandal and Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson still months from their Trial, it’s a fair bet that this will all roll on for some time yet.

But with the cost at great risk of extending itself well beyond money and into the realms of press freedom and the free flow of information itself, it seems rather strange that nobody is talking about anything other than placing restrictions upon the media, when the issues at the heart of all this are far more universal and basically touch us all.

Phone hacking, listening to private messages or conversation, bribery and any other form of intrusive behaviour are not essential journalistic skills in either a professional or academic sense and it’s fairly certain that such behaviour is not restricted to the activities of a few over-eager hacks wishing to make their mark in the National press.

Like most industries today, newspaper companies exist with one purpose in mind and that is ultimately to make money. Whether that is through increased circulation of existing titles or through expansion, the purchase or launch of others, or the diversification into other income streams, it basically doesn’t matter.

Whether this makes comfortable reading or not, few businesses actually exist today to be the best at doing what they do. They don’t look at the long term benefit of best service, or consider the smiles on the faces of customers who feel they have been well looked after; they look at the bottom line and how to make it that much bigger.

Making money for any business relies on motivating staff and in a world which worships money as its master, financial incentives can very quickly push employees to blur the edges between what most would consider to be wrong and right if the end result is worth it. So the hacking scandal is unlikely to be anything other than consequence or the result of cause and effect in basic terms.

Love him or hate him, its extremely unlikely that Rupert Murdock would have ever consciously encouraged or even condoned the questionable behaviour of his staff and what they have allegedly done, however much some would like to imagine so.

However, a company culture that might be considered to indirectly, unintentionally or inadvertently encourage illegal behaviour on the part of individuals in the pursuit of bigger headlines or pay would however be a different thing. But even then, that would not in itself be a matter for Legal intervention or regulation, as it has nothing to do with journalism itself. It might however have everything to do with people and the decisions that they make when they have no respect for barriers.

The bigger picture here is that British society today is on a slippery slope when it comes to basic politeness, manners, doing the right thing or what some of us would agree as having ethics.

People of all kinds are now regularly failing to consider the simple consequences for others as a result of their actions, or in extreme cases ceasing to even register that consequences other than a big pay day might even exist. This is a problem which is beginning to affect us all.

Sadly, we are in the position where leadership at National level is woefully lacking when it comes to dealing with the question of ethics for us as members of the wider community which makes up our Nation. Whereas Rupert Murdoch has already demonstrated his propensity to be ruthlessly efficient in the application of change where it is needed in closing the News of the World, the people with the real ability to influence change in the way that we all think and look at the world we live in appear to have no such gumption.

Those guilty of phone hacking should receive their just deserts, much as we are right to expect with any breach of Criminal Law. But press regulation is little more than another exercise of smoke and mirrors covering the incompetence and inaction of Government in addressing the underlying issue of ethics which runs through so many of our problems and gagging the media will never be an answer.

image thanks to http://www.bbc.co.uk

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