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How Did We Get Here?

Bad Leaders

“Britain Isn’t Broken but…

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. … our Political System is”

Maybe this is not so surprising when we recognise that the basis upon which our ‘Democracy’ is built has always been corrupt.

Have we been here before?

With the possible exception of Cromwell’s Commonwealth, the reality is that throughout history our politicians have used bribery and corruption to secure power.

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While perpetuating the myth that their aims were to serve Citizens, both Lords and Commons have connived to construct and maintain a system of government that has enabled those ‘in power’ to hold onto it for themselves.

It is called ..

Party Politics

There is nothing inherently wrong with people of like mind banding together to form a group, NGO, or ‘Party’ dedicated to promoting a particular cause. But when those running any such Party abrogate continuing power to their own coterie, the result is to stifle dissent, alternate views, and freedom of speech and action.

With few notable exceptions, anyone who is not a member of one or other major Political Party stands little or no chance of getting elected

And no member is likely to be ‘selected’ to stand for such Party unless they totally support Party aims, structure and conduct.

Furthermore, anyone elected on a Party Platform who does not then fully accept and bow to the Party Whip is never likely to have a say in Government.

Even worse, anyone now hoping to join the exalted House of Lords must effectively ‘buy their way in’. This may be by keeping their nose clean as an MP, or offering something of value to one or other of the ‘Ruling Parties’.

Party Control

The result is that by and large the big Party machines control our Politicians.

They tell them what to say, what to do, and how to vote.

And they do so while promoting the myth that we live in a ‘representative, liberal democracy’.

No-one ‘Represents’ You

The reality is that anyone voting for a candidate to ‘represent’ them in Parliament is very unlikely to succeed.

 

Changed Priotites

When an election is called cynical manipulation of the electorate becomes the order of the day. Through the virtual cartel which held and maintained over public media, the big Party Machines craft and promote electoral pledges to gain widest appeal.

Reminiscent of the Rotten Burroughs, these electoral ‘bribes’ divert attention from real issues by promising ‘jam tomorrow’ in exchange for votes today,

Support for Independent or minor Party views is promoted as ‘wasted votes’, since candidates championing their causes are unlikely to be elected, or their policies ever voiced in government.

And, regardless of local ‘surgeries’ or other vehicles through which constituents can raise concerns with their ‘elected representative’, unless these concerns are of value to the Party they are unlikely to see the light of day.

Britain’s Illiberal Democracy

Party Politics in Britain has led us to a governing system in which, although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power.

We no longer enjoy an open society in any real sense of the term. Our government is no longer seen as responsive and tolerant, nor are our political mechanisms transparent and flexible.

In 21st Century Britain the State has become adept at keeping secrets from itself in the public sense. However covertly, it has created an Authoritarian society in which few are trusted with the knowledge of all.

Far from being the foundation of an open society, our political freedoms and human rights are increasingly difficult to access and many of our liberties are being de-facto eroded.

Today, pundits and promoters of our system of Party Politics comfort themselves with the belief that they are contesting the right to a mandate to act in any way they see fit as long as they hold regular elections.

But even though we have notional freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, the mechanisms of back door control make real opposition extremely difficult.

There is, for example, hardly any argument over the fact that, whichever Party triumphs in an election, power has been and will remain centralised between branches of the central government and local government with little if any real separation of powers.

While not overtly controlled by the State, bargaining with the Media effectively means that its business owners strongly support the regime. In return Government of whatever colour is obliged to give them loose reign.

While non-governmental organisations may be tolerated and not subject to oppressive regulation, any that sail too close to the line may face effective prohibition by one means or another, e.g. red tape, economic pressure, or verbal (if not physical) violence against critics.

Boxing Gloves & egg

Liberty

... is a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has the right to act according to his or her own will. In feudal times, a liberty was an area of allodial land in which regalian rights had been waived.

Individualist and classical liberal conceptions of liberty relate to the freedom of the individual from outside compulsion or coercion.

Representative democracy

...is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to either autocracy or direct democracy.[1]

A ‘representative liberal democracy’ suggests an independent ruling body for the term that it is elected charged with the responsibility of acting in the people's interest. They are supposed to do this not as their proxy representatives; i.e. not always according to the electorates wishes, but able to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances.

It is often contrasted with direct democracy, where representatives are absent or are limited in power as proxy representatives.

In many representative democracies (Canada, Australia, UK, etc), representatives are most commonly chosen in elections by a plurality of those who are both eligible to cast votes and actually do so. A plurality means that a winning candidate has to win more votes than any other candidate in the race, but does not necessarily require a majority of the votes cast.

This is not the case in Australia where the elected representatives of the house of representatives are elected by a system of preferential voting and require the support of 50% or more voters in a single round to be elected.

While existing representative democracies hold such elections to choose representatives, in theory other methods, such as sortition (more closely aligned with direct democracy), could be used instead. Also, representatives sometimes hold the power to select other representatives, presidents, or other officers of government (indirect representation).

A representative democracy that emphasizes individual liberty is called a liberal democracy. One that does not is an illiberal democracy. There is no necessity that individual liberties are respected in a representative democracy.

Representative Democracy, Liberal Democracy, Liberalism, Political Liberalism,

Politics as a Career

Anyone elected on a ‘Party Platform’ will ultimately be required to do and say what the party grandees - those who run the Party - decide should be the 'Party Ticket'.

Sure, the rank and file will have had their say at conferences and perhaps, if they are lucky, though other channels. But the 'Party Ticket' is that which is effectively contrived by those who run the show. And what they are concerned with is 'Winning Power'. They want control. They want to run the country. They want to play in the big league on the world stage ... and "All that Jazz".

And those who would be their members and are selected by the party selection committees to stand for parliamentary election on "The Party Ticket", had better well do as they are told.

But it suits them to do so because ....

Politics, particularly at the national level, has become a 'career'.

And a very lucrative one.

No need for any qualifications

No need for any worldly experience

No need for 'Jack All'

Yet if you get in, and you keep your nose clean your onto a good salary scale (£65,000 p.a.), a nice 'Golden Goodbye' when you leave the club, lots of nice perks, (what was once) a respected position, lots of influence and people wanting to court your favour - and not a bad pension when you leave either.

Stairway to A Political Career

While it used to be through local party channels, and maybe via a spell 'learning your trade' as a local councilor, today the more usual route is by becoming an existing MP's research assistant, or maybe working in the Party's Central office.

Straight out of college and into one of these jobs, working at one or more 'unwinable' seats to show your mettle on the hustings (not that these really exist much anymore), then getting selected by Head Office to be on the list of those favored by the party establishment, then persuading the local party committee of a 'winnable' seat (who, by the way, are all mainly in thrall to the party grandees), and your home and dry for perhaps the next 30 or 40 years.

Keep your nose clean, kiss the right bums, and you might even end up as a minister followed by a Peerage.

Stairs to Power

Not bad when you don;t know 'A' from a 'Bulls Foot' about much of anything is it?

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Links - you may find the following links of help and interest

Broken Britain?

Is Britain broken? Today’s Populus poll for The Times adds some broad brush strokes to a depressing picture. More than two people in five say that they would emigrate if they could. Some 70 per cent believe that society is broken; 73 per cent say that politics is broken. Most revealingly, 68 per cent think that “people who play by the rules always get a raw deal”. The decent majority — the ordinary voter let down by public services, or the small businessman who cannot get credit from a bailed-out bank — feel little trust or optimism about the state of Britain. The Times 9 February 2010

How broken is Britain?

It has become fashionable to say that British society is in a mess and getting worse. It isn’t

THEY are not the world’s most effusive people at the best of times. But even by their usual gloomy standards, Britons seem to have got themselves into a slough of despond of late. Well before the economic crisis they were weeping on the shoulders of pollsters, who reported rapidly rising levels of dismay about the country’s direction and an increased sense of nostalgia about the good old days. For those (and they are legion, on inner-city council estates as well as in the shires) who think that society in Britain is “broken”, the country is stuck in a mire of crime, fractured families and feral youth. Feb 4th 2010 The Economist

Broken Britain – can we fix it?

In the first of a new series on fixing Broken Britain, Paul Kendall investigates how society suffers when a family breaks down Telegraph 12 July 2009

Edlington attacks: battle rages over 'Broken Britain'

David Cameron caused a political row after he claimed the case of two brothers locked up indefinitely for the sadistic torture of two schoolboys was evidence of Britain’s “broken society”. Telegraph 22 January 2010

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/18/its-not-just-criminals-who-carry-knives/

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/18/dizzy-in-a-tizzy-over-mps-invoice/

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/19/telegraph-finds-entrance-to-narnia/

YouTube video’s

http://eastenders-soaps.blogspot.com/2009/02/video-broken-britain.html

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/19/a-song-for-cameron/

http://roadfrom1945.wordpress.com/category/dealing-with-decline-broken-britain-in-the-1970s/

VIDEO: Have we been here before?