Bristling Brock speaks out...


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Whilst the Brexit comedy show rolls on, let's pause a moment and consider whether the political change so many of us wish to see will, or even could occur.

Let us set the scene in Britain.  We have an electoral system for our representatives based upon a first-past-the-post method of declaring winners; we have a pretty rigid two-party political scope which funnels any electoral preference down one or the other route; we have a representative selection system that is geared to that two-party system and is, by default, blind to other considerations of worthy service; we have an establishment - namely the civil service - that has created its own set of rules about what is and is not going to happen in this country; that same establishment promotes those that have the 'right' credentials of education and heritage rather than merit to the top, influential, policy directing positions; that establishment cascades down to a local and regional level, the 'edicts of their good judgement' suitably signed off by a politician who, more than likely, has had no idea that he/she has been blindly railroaded (eg, the Amber Rudd resignation over the Windrush molehill of a mountain where her most convenient excuse was that she had been misled by officials).  And the list can go on and on....

What this amounts to is a state of governance that in no way reflects the wishes of the electorate - from whichever political camp they may support.   We have seen in the Brexit debates that even when one of our worthy representatives even thinks about voting against the Party whip that early flush of rebelliousness soon dissipates when they are reminded of their career prospects for the future.   Our MP's are of low calibre (generalisation, I know, but it fits the majority on both sides of the House), drawn to politics because, frankly, they can't think of anything else to do or they have already done it and being in politics is a vogue and trendy vocation.  Even those who do have a spark of passion seldom find that their passion and that of the wider establishment have anything in common - and of the two, the establishment tends to win the day (granting a few exceptions).  So the Commons is a Chamber where some minor tweeks and adjustments to the establishments legislation can be made but little else.  The Lords bluster and whine but their contribution to the legislative process of democracy is exceedingly limited.

Yet for a moment or two after the Referendum on Brexit, there was a glimmer of possible change.  Proportional representation was a key feature closely followed by new political displays by newish parties that were appealing to the middle ground electorate.  UKIP at that time was a choice made by over 4 million voters at the 2017 election - a significant contribution to Mrs May losing her parliamentary majority, and it had behind it (though not leading it by that time) the charismatic dynamism and superbly informed voice of Nigel Farage.   For whatever reason, Mr Farage did not appeal to everybody and either by personal choice or circumstance he has slipped largely out of the publics political gaze - yet he could quite easily have become the bold voice of Britain, a voice we quite likely needed then as now.  Indeed UKIP is itself now a reviled political body under its present leadership.   And Brexit presented the most opportune chance for a new political initiative in this country, MP's who could talk sense rather than Party soundbites, MP's who might have understood the the very essence of what Brexit was really about - whether they were in UKIP or the other two established political parties.   Shadowy voices from the wings supported these rebellious notions, but they were not voices that could sustain the pressures of the establishment to recant and withdraw. Yet somehow the steam has gone from their passion, reminding us that words are sometimes cheap but careers are long and vested interest will - perhaps - always prevail over doing the right thing. 

And perhaps democracy is what is at stake here.   This country near as dammit invented the modern version of it (and by modern, I mean within the last thousand years) yet we bandy it around loosely as though the jargon really has significance.  It doesn't - but it should.  It's what this country has strived to bring about throughout its history.  Never perfect but always the best of what was on offer elsewhere.   Today, however, whatever output Brexit may throw at us, the one thing that is on the line more than anything else is our respect for democracy, the exercise of democracy by legitimate employment of the franchise, and the will of the people being fully represented in that dynamic.  We are at risk of losing these hard fought for rights by governance that uses fear and duplicity as its key tactical weapons (does that not remind you of a certain European nations way ninety or so years back ?  The threat here is not without parallel).  Governance by deceit is not what 21st century Britain should tolerate.   The passivity of the British public over this dire state of affairs has to end.  Ineffective and disingenuous government has to stop - and soon.



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