When it takes just a few days for 1 million people to vote, demanding the reinstatement of a TV presenter whose brain is occasionally not engaged to his tongue when his mouth is working and yet those same people are steadily walking away from the ballot boxes that shape their lives, British politics has finally reached a crossroads.
Whatever your personal preferences for ‘Our Jeremy’, like Russell Brand, they have a connection with the people that our politicians can only dream about, because there is genuine substance to what they say. The gap between the politicians and voters is growing at the same rate as the gap between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ because there is little of substance in what the politicians say!
There was a time when authenticity ruled our political system. The Tories were supported by the ‘Toffs’ and our middle classes and Labour by the working man (and woman), plus the critical influence of their trade union founders. Sadly that defining political ethos and line has now been eradicated.
Over the decades the tail has come to wag the dog for the Tories as their corporate supporters have become their political masters, driving a wedge between them and the people.
It’s not much better for Labour, as our industrial base has been dramatically eroded with the loss of the powerful Steelworkers, the efficient Dockers and brave Mineworkers, to name but a few. This, together with the politically motivated reduction in the powers of the unions that had been so effective in regulating the excesses of capitalism, saw the party rebranded by Blair & Co by shifting its affinities more towards middle England. This may have recently put the party back in government but this shift now has them perceived as aligned with the Tories, in a joint political ‘wilderness’ that offers little choice to voters.
As far as the LibDems are concerned, I know there are good people in the party, together with those supporting them. Sadly, I cannot for the life of me work out where they figure in the grand scheme of things. Forgive me and God knows I have tried but their purpose is beyond my simple mind and comprehension.
If we then turn to the ‘new kids on the block’, firstly we have UKIP, whose leader presents himself as a fag puffing, pint loving ‘Geezer’ who is now extolling the benefits of private healthcare! I lost 15 members of my own family to cancer and so I have some experience of this evil disease and respect his courage throughout what must have been a terrifying period in his life as he fought it and won.
However, I can only view his strong words in support of a private healthcare system, which we know alienates those who really need it but can’t afford it, as nothing less than a signal of support to the corporate world. He, like the others, would welcome their support in growing his party and thus, to my thinking, relegates UKIP to the same political wilderness as the Tories and Labour.
Finally we have the Greens, who come nearest to garnering my vote, as their mind-set is precisely what is required to turn us back from our current headlong sprint to hell in a handcart through the destruction of this Planet and each other. However, their determination to end our monarchy must be meat and drink to the corporate world, as they too pursue a quest to eradicate our nationhood, thereby helping to turn the world into a bland ‘MacDonald’s’ profit machine! This ill thought out and contradictory manifesto also has me putting them in the aforementioned wilderness!!
If we now turn our attention to ‘Club Westminster’, I have said before that it is no longer fit for purpose. When you look at the design of the debating chamber it is only capable of accommodating a two party system. Worse than that this design demands total confrontation by both parties, making the name of the game point scoring, just like tennis, badminton and similar sports, rather than providing the means of reaching a reasoned consensus on how best to manage this country for the benefit of its people.
Here we come to the crux of the problem with this ‘Club’. It is allowing corporate domination of our democracy with Debt, Fracking, TTIP and many other corporate benefits, rather than encouraging visionary leadership that will support the needs of the majority through voter domination. THIS is what has driven voters away from the ballot boxes and the few who will make the effort are utterly confused and lacking any conviction as to which party to vote for.
A second successive hung parliament is a wakeup call for us all. The power of our political system and democracy has been so effectively neutered by debt and corporate power that this election is no longer about Left and Right but about the voters versus the corporations in who actually runs this country.
This is what it must have been like in 1940, as Hitler consumed Europe and stared hungrily at our white cliffs from Calais. The only difference today is that we have now been invaded and overrun, not by soldiers with guns, tanks and devastating air power but silently and sinisterly by Privatisation, Austerity and devastating Debt.
This is the reality of the political crossroads this country has now reached as it faces another election and it is up to the people to decide the way ahead.
Until the next time.
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes