Well, we have ten hopefuls who want to become the Prime Minister of Britain. None are particularly shining examples of a new breed, something different that can genuinly bring about political and electoral reform in this country. Naturally, all of them are Tories - no surprises there - but what is somewhat disturbing is that the Conservative Party and its continued political survival is very much the hidden objective of all the contestants. As ever before, Party first, Nation second. Each candidate spouts forth with 'sweeteners' ranging from tax breaks to environmental improvement but none of these are binding declarations of policy - they are the froth that orthodox political players imagine are the swayers and deciders of leadership contests. Some, like Gove, have resorted to mud-slinging, that most vile and disreputable tactic employed by the desperate and least deserving and we can only hope that the members of the Conservative Party who vote on such crass matters as leadership elections do at least see the downright nastiness of this particular brand of campaigning. These things in themselves tell us that there has been no recognition within the Party of the fundamental shift in political favour that lies in the gift of the electorate that was precipitated by the Brexit sagas; no understanding of the need for pretty radical changes to the way in which the governance of this land is desperately wanted; and no perception of the need for electoral reform that will enable voters to ensure that the winner of any general election necessarily secures at least a majority of the votes cast rather than the pitiful percentages that can give them success in the current FPTP mechanism.
Unfortunately, all of this presages a continuance of the old guard and nothing of the new, reforming measures most of the rest of us can see the necessity of very clearly. So, getting excited about who will become the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister holds no anticipation of change from those of us who have observed the decay and corruption of the outdated two-party system over the last decade. All the razzmatazz of substantive and meaningful change is just that - razzmatazz. For real change we seemingly will have to wait for that or deliver a punishing condemnation when the next election occurs.
The equally unfortunate outcome of this cringing episode in self congratulation by the Conservative Party is, ironically, one that will benefit that other hopeless and hapless contender for No. 10, Jeremy Corbyn. The perversities of our electoral system will, by default, open a gap to Downing Street that will let this ideologue but never a realist get through when the time comes. That is what will happen when the two-party system puts the wrong people and the wrong understanding of a changing Britain back into play. Heaven forbid...
The Australian think-tank that last week published a gloomy prognosis of the decline of civilisation on earth was, if nothing else, quite thought provoking. Their summation was that if the behaviour of regions of the world continued as they are now, there would result, by 2050, a fundamental disintegration of civilisation as we know it. We might scoff at this doom-laden output from a credible research body but then let us take a quick global scan of discord and strife that still besets this earth - from tribal and Islamic terror across Africa, the rise of the far right across Europe, the ever-ongoing tragedies of the Middle East, environmental disasters globally, water shortages, fences keeping people out of the US - and so the list can go on and on. Not a very peaceful or settled place we might reasonably deduce; so could what we perceive to be civilisation decay to the point where we resort to a planet of almost endless and ferral conflict ? The stuff of science-fiction or a real possibility ? We don't know of course - but what we do know is that our global behaviours bear an uncanny resemblance to those days of yore during the bloody and avaricious Medieval era. Not exactly convincing advancement, is it !