Friday, May 22, 2015

The unions have lost their original purpose – and have outlived it

FROM THE 19TH century with the growth of industrialisation, until the 1960s; trade unions were needed to fight the injustices employers heaped upon their employees. The union movement grew and became strong (it even founded its own party – the Labour Party). No one doubted the social need for trade unions apart from a few dinosaurs among the business community as well as many within the Conservative Party; but even this ended in the 1960's when Toryism returned to Disraeli's 'One Nation Conservatism' and it evolved into the social democratic party it is today; after that is, a brief interregnum under Margaret Thatcher - but even she was a social liberal.
                
               Today the trade unions are living on borrowed time; they are no longer the force they once were. They overstepped the mark in the 1970s when they almost brought this economy to its knees. Then the Labour Party was weak and always perceived as fawning over the trade union barons such as Hugh Scanlon, Clive Jenkins, Jack Jones, Vic Feather, Arthur Scargill, to name but a few who parked their tanks on Harold Wilson's lawn and held the nation to ransom. In the 1970s, these and many other trade union general secretaries held sway. They marshalled their lieutenant shop-stewards on the factory floor to call their members out whenever the employers turned down their outrageous inflation breaking demands for an increase in wages.
                
                Labour governments, and even the wet Tory ones, had been grabbed by the balls by the unions and the grip tightened whenever the employers refused to kow-tow to their blackmail.  Compromise after compromise with the unions followed as parade after parade of general secretaries marched into Downing Street. We became the laughing stock of the world economies, and unless things changed we would have become comparable to the likes of Greece today.
               
                It was appalling. Nationalised industries such as British Leyland were turning out shoddy products that no one wanted to buy except from a misguided belief in patriotism. There was 'Red Robbo' the shop steward (and the nearest we came to a Fred Kite) at Dagenham. He orchestrated the demise of British Leyland; and cost his thousands of members their jobs.

THE UNIONS were gradually being put on the back foot. The three and four day weeks that were the curse of 1970s which eventually and thankfully produced a determined political leader of a Churchillian mould – a woman, no less. A strong willed old fashioned Tory who stood out among and above her male competitors for the leadership of the now reclaimed Tory party.
               
                She set to work with a will. She took on the unions; she reformed union law by outlawing wildcat strikes of the type Red Robbo was orchestrating. She effectively democratised the unions making it harder for them to, at a moment's notice, demand industrial action, on penalty of huge fines. If the unions had not thought themselves imperious and untouchable as they did during the 1970s, then such legislation may not have proved necessary.  
                
                 All this while the Labour Party did nothing except pour scorn on the Thatcher government by depicting her as a kind of medusa. Throughout the Thatcher terms in office, the Labour Party sank further and further into the political abyss, until Tony Blair resurrected the party, and was much hated by the party for so doing.

TODAY THE UNIONS played their last hand when choosing Ed Miliband to lead the party who stamped upon the Blair legacy. They picked the wrong brother because they could not contemplate another Blairite in the form of David Miliband governing their party and becoming prime minister which he would have become.
                
                Well, not for the first time, the unions made the wrong choice. The unions today are despised by the general population because of their grip on the Labour Party via funding and union sponsorship of MPs who can be relied upon to vote at the behest of their sponsors.
                
                 It is ironic is it not? It appears that among the general public the trade unions are becoming as much despised as the early capitalists were. So much for living in the past as the unions seems intent upon doing.
               
                The Labour Party needs to confront the unions and make it clear who runs the show. For up to now it has been the unions; and the public have caught on. I very much doubt if the Labour Party are up to the challenge. Union finances are so important to the party that they have nowhere else to turn – well Blair did.
                
                 If the Labour Party wishes to govern, they have to do two things. First of all it has to change the party's name to the Social Democrat Party. Secondly, it must reach out to business for its financial support. If it fails on both counts then the Labour Party will wither on the vine (at least they will take the unions down with them).

                

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Miliband, the self -delusional and ill-fated leader of his party

THROUGHOUT THE ELECTION the polls were consistently showing the Tories and Labour running neck and neck; and no sane and dispassionate person could understand what was going on. How Ed Miliband, whose policies were designed to resurrect that darkest period in the nations post-war history – that terrible gloom of the 1970s; could be running neck and neck with anyone except Satan himself, was beyond all comprehension.
                
                 Nigel Farage made what was to become the most prescient comment of the campaign when at one point he said there was a 'lot of voodoo polling going on'. One batch on the same day for instance, included two polls that gave Farage's party achieving a margin of 10%. One had his party on seven per cent while the other gave it 17%.
               
                Then came the exit poll which left everybody scratching their heads in disbelief; all, that is, with the exception of the Tories whose own more professional and detailed polls called the result correctly two weeks before the result itself[1]. The pollsters were not just wrong, but deserved Farage's description of their efforts. If I were an editor of one of those newspapers that solicited the help of such polling organisations at great financial expense, I would bring a court action against them. The pollsters harvested (because of the fixed five year parliament; polling began shortly into the New Year) hundreds of thousands of pounds from the press, and got it spectacularly wrong.

HAVE OFTEN WRITTEN about Ed Miliband, in not very flattering terms. This is because there was something about him that disturbed me: the Miliband name sat at the forefront of 1960's/70's student revolutionary culture and Ed Miliband's father Ralf (Adolphe) was a prominent Marxist intellectual author of great standing among the so called New Left in 60s/70s. He lectured at the London School of Economics (where else) and was a founding father of the New Left; and his contribution to student protest was measured by his self-belief in overcoming the very social system that adopted him as one of their own (he was a Belgian born Britain soon to be under the yolk of Nazism) only to fight for its replacement with the Marxist alternative.
               
                All sociologists should be warned before studying their subject, that they may be taken out at any time to be shot once they graduate in this field of learning; for sociology is often been contaminated by political ideology.
                
                Ralph's first born; I have written, sat at his father's knee and absorbed his father's beliefs without question - because he really and truly believed in them. His father and mother prized him as a future leader of the Labour Party and a future prime minister. They instilled him with their Marxist faith as the first born heir to a Miliband Marxist dynasty that would eventually lead to a Miliband tenancy of Number 10.

IN THIS WEEKS Spectator, Dan Hodges, in a great piece meant to enlighten us into why Miliband's Labour Party fell foul of political reality and lost the general election has hit the nail on the head.  He has managed through his Labour contacts during the general election to assemble the true state of mind of Ed Miliband during the campaign and on the final day when voters registered, what would turn out to be their antipathy toward the Labour Party under Ed Miliband's leadership.
                
                Dan Hodge's piece for the Spectator is full of telling quotes from the Labour backroom boys during the election. Only Hodge, as a Blairite, could be trusted by his sources. And he delivered a withering collection of comments from party insiders about Miliband and his leadership such as it was.
                From Hodge's informants we have gained much knowledge of what the Ed Miliband election circus comprised of. Hodge provides quote after quote in his Spectator piece from Labour Party associates surrounding Ed Miliband.
               
               According to Miliband's speech writer Greg Beales who was working on Ed's victory speech when the now infamous exit poll was announced, they stopped, and someone came in and said, “Don’t worry, that poll’s wrong.” … So they carried on writing'. Another aid reflected that he had 'never worked in a place with a more poisonous atmosphere, ’and yet another reflection on the state of Ed's leadership of the party was summed up thus. ‘I want to gut them. I want to gut them all,’ a shadow cabinet aide told me [Hodges] in reference to ‘colleagues’ in Team Miliband'.  His view is not an isolated one.
                
               It is obvious that the Labour Party were not brothers in arms throughout this election, but were merely awaiting the outcome before engineering their next step after Ed Miliband had lost the election
                
               From the very beginning Ed Miliband was a physically cruel parody of an elected leader of a country. His brother however, could have led the Labour Party to victory. David Miliband was Blair's true successor, who would have carried the New Labour project forward – which thankfully, through his brother's elevation to the leadership of the Labour Party, he failed to do.

THE LABOUR PARTY is now on its knees. Ed Miliband reduced the party to such a status because of his familiarly Marxism which his brother never shared. The Labour Party is no longer the party of labour; Tony Blair put paid to this by signing up to open European borders before it was necessary to do so; and by doing so hoping to replace the British white working class with European migrants of his wife's Catholic faith.
                
               New Labour, new voters. This was Blair's intent. To replace the British white working class with a new constituency of migrant workers from the EU. Particularly from Catholic Eastern Europe who would fit neatly into his wife's Catholic belief – but this has to be for another piece.



                 




[1] See this week's Spectator and read Sebastian Payne's piece on the Tory pollster Jim Messina and Lynton Crosby.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dancing to the tune of the unions

SO HERE WE HAVE IT, the general secretary of Unite Len McCluskey; that imperious figure is once more threatening to withdraw his union's funding from the  Labour Party unless it picks the 'right leader' as it did when Ed Miliband won the leadership battle purely on the union vote. McCluskey speaks in that ear piercing, harsh, and always threatening scouse accent that one had never heard before or soon after the Beatles. This man is a bullying Neanderthal who the Labour Party have always given far too much respect to because they depend upon the union bosses for both money and votes when it comes to the leadership elections and votes at party conferences.
                
                The effective rule over the Labour Party has always been orchestrated by the trade unions; and the party, fearful of losing their financial contribution, have always sought to make deals with them that have helped keep the party from power but solvent in opposition. The events surrounding Ed Miliband's election personifies the true relationship between the Labour Party and its Frankensteinian masters. The unions boast that the Labour Party was their creation and therefore by intent, their creature - for eternity.
                
                 Time after time the party has been in thrall to the trade unions. It was in the 1980s that this grip on the party, that some believed could no longer be tolerated; and so four right-wing Labour MPs (known as the Gang of Four) decided to break away to create a new party calling itself the Social Democrat Party (SDP) a party much ridiculed at the time by a left-wing led Labour Party, by now under the leadership of Michael Foot; who met with only embarrassment at the ballot box in 1983 - but still the coin never dropped as far as the unions were concerned.
                
                 It was because of the unions and their unwarranted influence on the Labour Party that caused this split and they vowed never to allow another elected Labour government, except on the their own left-wing terms. The SDP schism came two generations to early. They came before their time.
                 Tony Blair may have, because of his electoral successes managed to keep the might of the unions in perpetual somnolence for length of his reign. But the unions bided their time until a more sympathetic leader could be chosen – enter Ed Miliband, a true believer in socialism - partly because of his well concealed infatuation with his parent's induction into Marxism.
               
                 Now, after this May's general election and the failure of Miliband, the Labour Party is even considering changing the party's name – perhaps to the SDP? The Labour Party, (the party of labour) is no longer any such thing; which is why it lost so many traditional working class voters to Ukip in the North. The Labour Party betrayed the white working class - the foundation upon which they built their party in the first place.

THE UNIONS will always keep Labour in opposition because no leader, apart from Tony Blair, has ever stood up to them. No party leader dared, for instance, to challenge the legitimacy, in the modern age, of Clause IV of the party's constitution until Blair came along.
                
                  I see no one standing in the current leadership race that comes anywhere near to Blair's robust and full-bodied excoriation of the union's hegemony over the Labour Party. For all his faults, when it came to the brothers, Blair knew that they would always drag the party backwards until the people would eventually turn their backs on the party: because of them the party had been out of power for 18 years until Blair arrived on the scene. It was the effort by Blair to modernise the party that gave him his three election victories; which left the unions impotent to act (they would have sold their souls to have been able to do so) against him.
                
                  Blair, as far as the country was concerned, fucked it up in the end for those who came after him. I can tell you how, but this is not the purpose of this piece. But when it came to the party's relationship with the unions, he deserves much credit for daring to do what no other party leader ever considered doing – taking on and defeating the unions, and keeping the party free of their  abysmal influence until he left office.
                
                 The Labour Party has always been hamstrung by the unions and Blair courted the private sector for funds; knowing that the unions would always cough-up come a general election. Blair dared the unions to withdraw their funding when a general election appeared on the horizon. The union fear of a Tory government always made them cough-up in the end, and Blair understood this.
                
                 The unions will always provide the funds for Labour; because they fear industrial legislation from a Tory government that may restrict their ability to strike, for instance, when in some cases, only 15 or 20 per cent of union members within a specific union organised profession turn out to vote for industrial action.

THE LABOUR PARTY must either tame the unions or abandon them. Blair briefly tamed them. But is there anyone standing for the leadership of the Party that are prepared to take on the likes of Len McCluskey? The unions are Labour's problem; not the Tories or any other party. The Labour Party must sort out its relationship with the unions on terms acceptable to the British public.
                
                 The union relationship has to be broken. The Labour Party cannot survive without drastic reform that cuts the umbilical cord between Labour and the trade unions. This will however never come about. Blair gave the party it's one and only chance to sever the tie, but once he left office, the tie was strengthened under Gordon Brown and passed on to his successor Ed Miliband to recreate the pre-Blair Labour Party.
                
                 Either the union influence on the Labour Party has to be done away with through separation, or the Labour Party will fall into abeyance as a credible party of government that the people would want to vote for - the unions have always held back the Labour Party and will continue their efforts until the party chooses the right candidate that the unions can manipulate to their own purpose, as they thought they had with Ed Miliband – but the people, as it eventually turns out, were never fooled.
               

               

                

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Anjem Choudary and the BBC

It is ludicrous to compare Anjem Choudary, who promotes the most extreme form of Sharia law which denies entire segments of the population their basic human rights, to human rights champions such as Gandhi and Mandela.” The Clarion Project

THE BBC'S HOME AFFAIR'S EDITOR Mark Easton has put side by side the Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary with Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. He did so in order to induce in us sympathy for the right of free speech and to oppose Theresa May's plans to tackle those with extremist views. Whether it is Easton's function as a BBC employee to do so is another matter; and for those who will say he never mentioned the home secretary by name are being pedantic as it is only to her he could have referred given his comments, coupled with her announcement. If Easton continues to confuse reporting with polemic, then he should join the rest of us on the blogosphere and finally give up his BBC ghost.
                 
                Easton is, as the entire liberal assemblage believes themselves, an overlord of free speech, its defender and protector: all but he and his co-confederates that represent the BBC establishment and its employees have the wisdom of rational argument they believe trumps what they perceive to be the bigotry, racism, and the many adopted liberal phobia's they torment their critics with on the Right.
                
                What Easton has done, is to besmirch two great liberators and align them with the repellent Choudary in whatever fashion he meant it. So let us see whether the comparison holds up.
               
               First of all Mahatma Gandhi was a pacifist, thought by the British at the time to be an extremist. He was thought of as such, not because he wanted to be rid of homosexuals by enticing them into honey pot traps and then throwing of the tallest building they could find like ISIS is doing – Mr Choudary would applaud such behaviour. All Ghandi wanted was what the British eventually gave him - his country back.
                
                Nelson Mandela would not subject women to the treatment of Choudary Islam (the true Islam); Mandela would not make women cover the whole of the face and bodies, because they aroused the sexual frustration in Muslim men. And neither followed a religion that tolerated the sexual abuse of none Muslim women and mere girls in Rotherham, Rochdale and many other UK cities where sexually frustrated Muslim men were allowed to prey, without any comeback, on young white females as they left the school gate because the authorities feared the racist tag.
                
                Both Gandhi and Mandela only wanted one thing, the liberation of their respective nations. They were not driven out of their heads by the Islamic or any other religious faith as those young ISIS fighters are by the likes of the preaching's of Choudary. How many young men and girls have been enticed by Choudary to their deaths in Syria? Does this aspect of such behaviour change Mark Easton's liberal certainties?
                
                 Of course not: let us see what Choudary himself has to say about this comparison in his 'defence' by Easton; "The comparison with Mandela & Ghandi are false, they are kufaar [1]heading to hellfire whilst I am a Muslim."
                
                 The weakness in Theresa May's policy, is that she is revisiting an already failed policy of ASBO'S to try and control the uncontrollable. It will not work. The government has no effective armament against our inner enemies from the Muslim world, unless that is; they use all the power available to them in a manner that may prove objectionable to the human rights lobby.

I WILL LIVE SIDE BY SIDE with any individual from whatever corner of the world he or she comes; providing the numbers are restricted and my indigenous culture has to be conformed to. I am not racist. It is about numbers and the survival above all other cultures of my own, as the indigenous one. Multiculturalism is a liberal fad that has hopefully seen its day, and unless it is given up by the liberal elite, will lead to much bloodshed in the future.
                
                  Mark Easton's alignment of Choudary with Mandela and Ghandi is like aligning matter and anti-matter. Choudary's human impulses such as they are, are based upon protecting Islam at all costs. Other faiths matter little, only Mohammed matters. Easton does not understand this impulse of Choudary and his followers. Choudary despises Easton for his weak liberal sentiment – which is all it is. It is to be despised as weakness. Easton seeks the preservation of free speech, as a liberal, at all cost, even to democracy itself even when such an attitude invites the enemies of free speech to destroy it.
                
                  Democracy embraces free speech; but it is a luxury to be protected at all cost; which it seems Easton does not understand. Easton thinks that people the world over are capable of his own liberal humanitarian impulses. They are not, but they still believe in democracy and free speech. But they do not support, as Easton appears to do those who wish to destroy it.

CHOUDARY wishes to destroy it, and this in itself should be enough to persuade a democrat like Mark Easton to reconsider – but it will not. Mark Easton will continue to speak up for Choudary and his ilk, believing himself a rector of the free speech covenant that will eventually destroy the very concept he believes in.
                
                  People like Easton, who believe in reason to confront their anti-democratic opponents, are like the Christians who were forced to enter the Coliseum to become the prey of lions. Easton may or not be an atheist, but all of his liberal kind fall back upon the passive resistance of Christianity, as did those Christians sent to the lions.

CHOUDARY is a popular Islamist leader who helps orchestrates ISIS recruitment in Europe. The case against him by the Western intelligence service is that he uses his notoriety to radicalise young Muslims throughout Europe to join Jihad.
                
                 Many young men and women may have joined the cause he entices them into only to be killed in Syria, Iraq or any other part of the Middle East that he seeks to recruit them to. Yet Easton still submits his liberal case. I do not know whether Mark Easton has a wife and children; but if he does I doubt if his liberal conscience would extend to his own children being recruited to join ISIS via the teachings of Choudary.
                
                 Mark Easton believes himself, as all liberals do, that the rational mind overcomes all. This is not t to say that mind that opposes such thinking is irrational. It is not. The mind that opposes the liberal conscience does not lack a conscience - merely naivety. Choudary is no Mandela or Gandhi, or deserves to be compared with them in the same breath Mark Easton does – it is the liberal conscience that allows the likes of Choudary to flourish. The same conscience Easton himself follows and thinks is the very anchor of democracy – it is not. Democracy cannot find such an anchorage unless it fully dispenses with naivety.




[1] My highlighting - a derogatory term associated with none-believers which makes them fair game.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A disheartening day unfolds if the polls are to be believed

THIS IS THE most depressing Election Day I can remember in my 65 years. In the 1980's I was a Lefty and the three elections won by Margaret Thatcher never left me as depressed as I feel with this one.
                All of today's three main party  leaders are professional politicians -  cardboard cut-outs, moulded by a spin-Meister  and groomed by television broadcasters who work out of hours, being paid by the politicians to coach them on how to avoid the awkward questions - this from the very people who would be asking them. The fact that all three of the main party leaders made promises only to break them just goes to show how amateurish they really are: all three are a disheartening spectacle; none of them worthy to leave their photographic imprint on the stair wall in 10 Downing Street.
                
We live in troubled times, and they are going to get far worse. We have ISIS knocking on Europe's door, who are daily herding more and more people to Libya's Mediterranean coast line for passage to Italy, the entry point for who knows how many ISIS terrorists disguised as poor beleaguered migrants soliciting the liberal conscience to aid their nefarious purpose to join Europe's other 15 million Muslims.
                
                The universal acceptance of multiculturalism among all of the party leaders standing in this election (with the exception of Farage) is troubling. It is so because none of these leaders seem to understand what such a concept means in reality as far as human nature is concerned; and are blindly accepting it and accusing those who understand the logic of cultural diversity, and what it will eventually lead to in terms of social conflict as racists - also make these party leaders unfit for office.
                
                 The very idea of a Federal European Union, which requires open borders to dilute and eventually rid European countries of their national and cultural identity, has also led to social pressures on (in the UK's case) the NHS, education, and housing: all have been met with a disgruntled silence by the indigenous people of this nation fearful of the racist slur and the wretched hate crime that can land them behind bars – such people can only express themselves secretly through the ballot box, which is why in May of last year Ukip trumped the Tories, Labour, and the  Liberal Democrat Party milk-sop.

NOT ONLY THE UK, but the whole of Europe has reached a low point in its history. The future will be extremely dangerous for Europe. It may even become a case of continental suicide in the making. Europe's boarders have been opened up and the world now has free entry; and with it comes its own dissolution into a rag-bag of nothingness. It is as if the floodgates have been opened up to allow people from all parts of the African continent are being allowed to land on European shores via Italy.
                
                 Today the British people will turn out to vote – and those who do not leave their cross on a ballot paper, and who believe none of the main parties matter, will probably be proven right as far as the tide of history is concerned. For the ship of state is being steered by all the three main parties into the direction of a federal, multicultural, European Union: which is why this election above all others I have lived through, make it the most depressive of all.
                
                 Tomorrow, the bargaining will begin to reach some kind of compromise (if the polls are to be believed) depending upon the result. There will have to be another coalition unless, that is, another election will be needed in the autumn. Not since 1974 has such an arrangement had to take place requiring the electorate to once more return to the polls. It has been 41 years since the people were asked to return within a year to the polls; and tomorrow this may happen once more.

THIS IS A DEPRESSING election for me and millions of others because, for us, the foremost issues are Islamism, immigration and Europe; and they will not have been addressed by any of the parties (apart from – yes, you have got it - Ukip) throughout this election campaign. We now have one Right of centre party up against five other Left of centre parties (including Cameron's One Nation Tories – despite his welfare reforms). In this election when it comes to these two vital issues for the continuance of our nationhood and border protection, none of the main parties will ever fulfil the needs and requirements of the Indigenous people of the UK.
                
                There is and can be no excitement in this General Election for me. It will end in some sort of stalemate and a depressing period of sorting out some sort of administration that can keep the markets on board. It will either turn out to be a continuance of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition; or it will give Milliband his truly desperate opportunity to fulfil his Marxist parent's ambition for him to govern and turn this foremost capitalist state into a Marxist one by agreeing to allow the SNP         to dictate their terms if, as the SNP rightly believes, Miliband will.

                 

                 

It is now time to revisit proportional representation

FIRST PAST THE POST is a perfect voting system for two (or at a squeeze three) parties. It gives us a decisive result, and a strong government[1] able to fulfil the manifesto pledges given to the public. As for a system of proportional representation it leads to unending backroom deals, watered down policies, and weak government - It is time consuming when a national emergency requires a decisive response. Three, four, or five or more parties all bargaining over, for instance, stronger boarder controls (Ukip), unlimited immigration (the Greens); and every other aspect of government policy. Tradeoffs will be made, and the right decision may not be made in terms of what the largest party, with the greater proportion of voters told the electorate they would do in their manifesto.
                
                The case for FPP is a very strong case. A case I have always supported. I hate, for instance, to imagine what a system of proportionality would have done to advance the war effort against German Nazism, which, being a dictatorship cared little for the thoughts of their people unless they conformed to their own; and whose people in any case cared little for democracy while the Nazi war machine brought them military success after success. Would Churchill have been able to command the country having to have smaller parties continually snapping at his heals to change a decision.
                
                  A national government, I believe would have proven unworkable in the Second World War if today's proportionality had played any part in the election of Winston Churchill. He would have been opposed at every unfavourable turn of events that war is always sure to bring. For the period of the Second World War, the country needed an inspirational individual who could lead the country unchallenged by lesser individuals - the Roman republic, as an instance, resorted to a temporary dictatorship in time of national strife. They gave power to a single individual when a threat to the republic presented itself; and the Senate gave unlimited power to such an individual (usually a worthy general) to assuage the threat; after which the republic returned.
                
                 I believe in a strong government, which, because of its democratic mandate, can govern freely and effectively – even if I oppose, ideologically, such a government; but because such a government would have been given its legitimacy by the people to rule, and to implement their manifesto for the five year term until it had to face the electorate once more.

BUT I HAVE NOW changed my mind. If we believe in democracy, then it should work at its purest form, even if on many occasions it presents itself as an ineffective form. It should nevertheless represent all and every opinion in terms of seats, and allow, as far as humanly possible every individual voter to make his or her vote relevant. This does not happen under the present first past the post system, as we have already seen from this current election. The disproportionality between the party's  has now become cataclysmic in democratic terms. First past the post no longer represents the true reflection of democratic opinion, and no true democrat can sustain any love for it.
                
                Westminster has, during the last parliament received ever closer scrutiny. We have had the MP's expenses scandal[2] and the public cynicism toward our politicians continues apace. Ever growing apathy from the electorate toward the three main parties has produced room for at least two other parties to join the throng – Ukip and the Greens.
                
                 Both Ukip and the Greens, who have between them garnered five million votes but have only, because of the FPP system, two MPs; while the Scottish National Party (SNP), with fewer than two million votes receives 56 members of parliament compared to only to one by Ukip with nearly treble the number of votes the SNP received in Scotland.
                
                Ukip's four million votes (and one MP) would have added over 80 seats under a proportional system to parliament; which would have truly represented the diversity of opinion and elevate democracy into a true reflection of public opinion. A proportional system presents in terms of elected representatives a truer indication of the state of the electorate's views in seats won, than does the first past the post system.
                
                 All the first past the post system is good for, is manufacturing apathy against ever voting at all among those that support neither of the main parties that have always ruled under FFP to the point where they have taken the voters for granted (remember, neither of the two main parties exceeded in voting terms their core vote in this election). In the past both Labour and Tory were set the task of surpassing the 40% level in order to guarantee a majority. The core vote in percentage terms for Labour and the Tories has always been in the low to mid 30%. It is this core vote during this election that poll after poll suggested would lead to another coalition.
                
                 Today, the FPP discourages voting because the two (or three) party system does not truly represent the people of the UK and their views on such topics as immigration and Europe (which all of the three main parties, as championing multiculturalists, are in concord with). It is these two topics that will dominate the first two years of the next parliament. The FPP has given us a Conservative majority of 12 seats. This means that Cameron has to assuage his Eurosceptic back benchers by courting them with ministerial or junior ministerial posts in order to function, and if any of them take up such position in government before the European issue is voted upon in a referendum; then such MPs are disingenuous regarding their Euroscepticism.
A SYSTEM (OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY) of proportional representation will make every vote meaningful in terms of representation. Its obvious disadvantages over FPP are listed above. But what FPP has done is to add to the disillusionment of the people for ever voting at all. The FPP cloned tripartite system of democracy that has led to the negligence of the electorate will continue, because it is in the conformity of the 'buggins-turn' attitude of the two main competing parties; that has led to public disenchantment with voting.
                Russell Brand was both right and wrong when he impressed the yoof not to vote. Under the present arrangement; I would say the same, and there is no greater believer in democracy than myself. This current FPP understanding has led to apathy and disenchantment among many people whose votes they see as worthless because they do not support the main parties; and have no means of expression for them under the FPP system.
                Both Ukip and the Greens have conjured up between them over five million voters ready to support their cause. But the FPP system does a great disservice not only to the smaller parties in terms of seats; but to democracy itself because this kind of true representation is not followed through, in terms of parliamentary seats. So, sooner or later disillusionment will follow the same path as that which deposed Louise XVI when the ancient regime finally achieved the bloody end to its bloody arrogance.
                The FPP is our own equivalent in democratic terms to modern ancient regime. The same kind of arrogance that Louis XVI displayed in the 18th century is now being taken up by the two main parties who want to cling to FPP by dismissing PR to keep them both as the only real choice for the electorate.
                Under proportional representation Ukip's 14% share of the vote last Thursday would have translated into between 80-86 seats in the House of Commons. Is this fair? No, but neither of the two main parties care little for fairness because the FPP works in their own favour and will continue to do so, leaving ever more voters unwilling to vote, because of the sclerotic state of FPP.
                It is no good the establishment berating everyone to vote if there is not the possibility of voters seeing their votes truly represented by seats in parliament. At the moment we have a duopoly of parties in the UK who think and sound alike on the two great issues of the day – immigration and Europe. This duopoly could have been challenged under a fairer voting system. But this would have been anathema, considering the influence of Ukip, to both of them. 
                Proportional representation in one form or another now has to be considered for the election of our representatives in Parliament; if not, which now seems likely because of the stranglehold the two main parties have on the way people are being allowed to vote, the disillusionment will fester, as under Louise XVI, and sooner or later the same kind of retribution will befall the EU that befell 18th century France.

                 
                 



[1] I know there have been many cases of minority governments under this system that has to, like our previous one, seek an arrangement with a third party in order to govern. But this is still better than full blown PR which may involve several parties in government decision making each with their own political agenda.
[2] Which still continues

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Let the English go free

SO CAMERON IS back in power and before his second term finishes he may (like Ed Milliband) regret ever standing for a second term. There are two fundamental issues facing his premiership which have nothing directly to do with economics, but will haunt his second term. The first is Europe and the second, Scotland.
                
                 He has promised (thanks to the efforts of Ukip) a referendum on Europe in 2017. There is some speculation among the now diminished views of the commentariet that it could even be earlier; before the end of this year. We will now see what Cameron's promise amounts to. He has promised to renegotiate our terms of membership within the EU and then put the results to the British people in a referendum on our membership (a membership which, let us remember, he nevertheless supports); which allows for much jiggery- pokery to take place; and those of us who believe in the nation state and voted Ukip, will now have to rely upon Conservative back-bench Eurosceptics (because of the first past the post voting system) to make sure of the detail of any negotiation before it is put before the British people.
                
                 Tory Euro-sceptics however, have an unhappy record regarding holding their party leadership to account on Europe. This election result will test their loyalty to what they believe is either in their countries or their party interest. The Conservatives have a 10 seat majority over all other parties, and this gives, on the issue of Europe a decisive role to be played by Tory Eurosceptic back benchers, some of whom will be invited into ministerial positions to fasten their mouths shut on any issue regarding Europe; and allow their pro-European leader to dictate the European agenda.

AS FOR SCOTLAND. A Cameron government will appease wherever possible the 'ginger munchkin'[1] who will remain north of the boarder, now being partly allowed from north of the border to govern England, by the Tory party who wish to see the continuance of the Union at almost any cost. Cameron will try to accommodate the SNP in order to save the Union. How far he is prepared to go depends upon what England is prepared to accept.
                
                 The Union means more to the Conservative Party than it does to the majority of the English people who will not suffer lightly the insults targeted at them by Sturgeon or Alex Salmond (and they know it); and the English people will be watching very closely as to how Cameron deals with this. It is said that Cameron is now confronted by such vital issues for the country once faced by Margaret Thatcher by the unions and Argentina. If he is to attain her kind of authority, Cameron must match her accomplishments; accomplishments that will need solutions to both the European and the Scottish problems facing the UK that will secure the English nation's support.
                
                 The Union may be facing its termination; and if so the English nation will need a new direction separate from that of the Union; and it is now up to the Conservative Party to broaden the English horizon beyond the Union. The Union may be dead after the SNP advance. If so what future is there for the Conservative Party unless they can convince the English people that the Union still serves a purpose?
               
                 Such a Union purpose has fulfilled its rationale over the centuries. But now we have, in the form of the SNP, a rebuke that we have to take seriously because of the 2015 election. The SNP want one thing and one thing only, an independent Scotland. If so, the answer to Cameron must be to let the Scot's once more vote on a Scottish independence referendum, within months of taking power. Let the Scots decide once more whether they want independence. The Tory party must let the Scots decide for themselves – propose another referendum and see what the SNP has to say.
                
                 Give the Scots another referendum; let them decide again on whether they wish to remain part of the Union. If the Union is to die; then let it, as far as Scotland is concerned, die. The English will continue to survive without the Scots biting at our financial heels, and demanding ever more English taxpayer's money to be deployed north of the border.

I BELIEVE IN THE UNION and have always done so. But the Conservative Party must not compromise with the SNP over the Union. If they do so then it will be to the detriment of the English. Tories have always held a soft spot for the Scots even if the Scots have a reciprocal loathing for the Tories. It makes no sense apart from the re-design of the Union flag that the English should kow-tow to the Scots in such a manner that many Tory and some Labour politician's whish us to do.
                
                  Let Scotland go. The cross of Saint George will be a sufficient trade mark of English nationhood. Let the Salter rule north of the border as a similar pillar of nationhood. Go Scotland, is what I say. Go it alone; live once more upon your own resources (which they have never before managed) without any contribution from England. In fact I would prefer such an accommodation to the 56 SNP politicians taking up residency in the Westminster Parliament bent upon carrying out a guerrilla war against Westminster itself.

                Cameron must allow the Scots to go their own way. The fashionable idea currently fascinating some Tory thinkers is federalism. Give the Scots the right to raise their own taxes as a compromise for keeping the Union in tack.
                
                It will not work, the SNP wishes full independence. Let them have it. Give them another referendum; let the Scottish people once more decide where they wish to go – so as an issue; be rid of it once and for all – let the English go free.
               
               




               
                 
               



[1] A creation by the Spectators  Rod Liddle