A few blogs ago, Bristling Brock posed the thought as to whether the Westminster clique was crumbling or not. The events of the last week take this notion a little closer to becoming the case.
Whatever the outcome of this protracted and often bitter Brexit saga, the one thing that seems increasingly likely now is that the electorate will take its revenge upon Britain’s entrenched two-party political system at the next electoral opportunity. How this will manifest itself is unclear but neither Conservative nor Labour candidates are likely to escape the wrath - of both Leavers and Remainers - developed over the last few months, and in particular the last week of absolutely crass and dishonourable political behaviour.
Everything now points to an acceptance of Theresa May’s unchanged Withdrawal Agreement purely because it has been positioned as the only mechanism to achieve Brexit. It is a notably bad deal and perhaps deliberately keeps Britain co-linked to continuing EU regulatory and legislative control. After all, nobody in government has ever intended to deliver Brexit as the electorate intended, it has always been a process of being seen to deliver the mandate without actually doing so. Shame on our government, shame on our parliament and shame on a civil service who have utterly failed to remain impartial and non-political. And it is this array of condemnation that the political classes will face at the next election and probably feel the backlash of discontent that Britain feels about their collective behaviour and total duplicity.
Will this lead to major reforms within the established party system, any acknowledgement by those parry’s that any reform or change of structure is necessary ? The odds are that neither will recognise the state they are in. The arrogance and dogma of both Conservative and Labour politicians is astoundingly embedded in their outlook - so how will a scathing electorate bring change about ? If the party’s continue to divide and fragment into their parochial viewpoint gatherings then we may well see the emergence of splinter party’s or independents starting new political entities. Yet that is only a partial response to the desperate need for political reform. Those splinter party’s will still be made up of the same individuals we see in Parliament now and if we were to take a rough guess at how many of these characters have the gumption and will to bring about meaningful political change, Bristling Brock would pitch at much less than 10% of their numbers. That’s likely insufficient to launch a new political outlook in Westminster. So what might these splinter groups do to encourage necessary change ? Well, they could press for proportional representation so that the right calibre of individual is able to enter parliament and bring a nation oriented perspective to the political process, dispensing with the very narrow and often bigoted perspectives of current parliamentarians. They could also create manifesto’s which were accountable to the electorate as well as parliament, a mechanism by which the fulfilment of manifesto pledges became a mandatory commitment to making them happen and that any significant breach would be subjected to scrutiny and possible deselection as an MP. MP’s need to sharpen their game. They need to be held accountable for how they vote and they should be allowed free votes without the strictures of the Whip on matters of conscience across social, industrial and judicial regulation. Within the EU framework this will be difficult to achieve but if Westminster is to thrive and develop trust - for there is little trust in the Westminster machine right now - it has to be brought about.
Westminster needs to be a body of representatives who are not governed by Party dogma and policy, who are free to vote according to constituency interest and conscience. That is what representatives of the people should be - they should not be there just to do the bidding of a corrupted Party dynamic that is out of touch with the national mood and interest - for that is how we have reached this abominable state of affairs over Brexit.
Acceptance of Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement must come with conditions. One of those is to widen the political landscape and reform the manner in which the nations political representatives are chosen and allowed to conduct their business in parliament. Freedom from doctrine, freedom of voting and above all, the selection of candidates based upon their genuine commitment to the nations well-being. A tall order, perhaps. But unless we the electorate get this message across at the next election then we will suffer more of the same, dire, inept, dishonest and crass government that we have experienced this last three years. We, the British public, deserve better government than we are getting, but it will only occur if we, collectively, push for change.