Credit to @muzrobertson for Tweeting the picture.
Credit to @muzrobertson for Tweeting the picture.
Recall MP’s expenses and the promise of “new politics” and a system to inspire confidence in Parliament. Remember how the Coalition would become the embodiment of it? Well, three years on…
Nothing. Nothing has changed in Parliament or the function of government. Expenses are still dominating the newspapers, along with lobby scandals and abuses of power. The Opposition have no interest in bipartisan support and will try to undermine and force Ministers to resign; the Liberal Democrats have no respect for Cabinet government and Collective Responsibility and Tories fail to remember the ‘freedom’ aspect of the Coalition Agreement.
The establishment is a complete failure; more broken and unproductive than the economy.
It is a lugubrious situation, in which the people have resigned to apathy and contemptuous nonchalance. Nobody cares; and that is the main problem with our politics.
80% of French voters turned out to vote for a new President; in Britain, 32% bothered to fill a ballot for a local councilor and 38% of Londoners decided to pick a new Mayor. Something is terribly wrong with our democracy because the British public are completely apathetic towards politics in general.
Turnout was 65% for the general election, but was 77.7% in the 1992. In the last twenty years British politics has declined at a incredible rate; traditionally, local election turnouts are low, but we are still not voting-in significant numbers-at the general election.
What has lead to the decline?
In 1992, the choice was between conservatism, socialism and liberalism; the three parties were completely different and had manifestos offering three opposite visions for Britain. Now, let us look at the 2010 general election – three centrists parties, with only a fraction of alternative ideas. If there is zero choice and just a continuation of similar policies then do not be surprised the electorate fail to turnout.
The French, for example, had a choice of 10 candidates in the 1st round – ranging for greens, socialists, conservatives, independents, liberals and a communist. Under French electoral laws, all candidates are given equal media time to present their manifesto and policies to the republic. In Britain, televised political debates are in the infancy. Yet, millions tuned in during the 2010 Prime Ministerial debates; Britons do care about politics and are interested, when presented with a opportunity to engage. Even then, regarding the debate, there was still only a little difference between a Prime Minister Brown, Cameron or Clegg.
A President Hollande is completely different from a President Sarkozy. UMP and the Socialist Party manifestos were not identical in anyway; the French electorate had two rivalry candidates offering a different France with neither attempting to impersonate the other. Hollande did not attempt to ‘outflank’ his UMP opponent on any policy. It was a battle between the centre-left and the centre-right, in the literal sense. British political battles are illusionary, symbolic and done to appease the grassroots.
Social media is helping to growing political debate among the youth, but the diversity of choice is still missing. Until the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats offer a “different Britain”, then turnout will continue to be low.
If the politicians don’t trust the people then why should the people trust the politicians
- Gisela Stuart
I was surprised to discover an amendment to the Firearms Act. Thomas Docherty (Labour Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West) introduced a private members bill to legislate a minimum age of 14 for a shotgun license.
I did not understand why Thomas was arguing for a minimum age in Parliament – especially a young threshold.
Perplexed by this revelation, I decided to investigate further and see what Docherty said when begging to move. Horrified is what I then became;
At present there is no minimum age for possessing a shotgun licence. This is at odds with the legislation covering other firearms, where there is a minimum age of 14. According to figures that I obtained from the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire), almost 5,000 children in England and Wales possessed a licence to fire a shotgun. Of those 5,000 or so licences, 26 were issued to 10-year-olds, 72 to 11-year- olds, 134 to 12-year-olds and 231 to 13-year-olds. It is unfortunate that neither the Scottish Executive nor the Northern Ireland Executive keeps figures centrally for their devolved areas. However, I am sure we can assume that the figures are proportional to those elsewhere.
Granted, these figures are located in rural England and most likely on farms; I do feel the urge to ask a moral question though. Should the state be granting access to firearms for adolescents, especially children?
I see David Davis has forwarded a motion for a debate on super injunction and a privacy law. It seems the government has welcomed the move, albeit rather timid. The Prime Minister feels it would be an appropriate arena for Parliament to express her views.
Question is though, will the MP (who has supposedly taken out a super injunction) make an appearance, or even, an intervention in the debate…