In the middle of the comedic and tragic political conference season, it occurs to Bristling Brock that there is now almost nobody in the body politic of Westminster who could be described as trustworthy. With revelations and accusations flying freely and naked ambition clearly on display from all political compass points, take a moment to stand back and view the entirety of the establishment that would govern our country. And what do you see ?
What you see are career politicians from all political camps quite prepared to say what is required of them to say in support of the hopelessly outdated Political Party system in Westminster. They often use expressions like 'the public interest'; 'what the British people want'; 'I'm working hard for my constituents', etc, etc whilst the reality is they are busy plugging holes in sinking ships across the Conservative, Labour and LibDem portfolio's of electoral options. Would BB trust any of them ? Not much chance when we have the egregiously ambitious but wholly unsuitable; the downright dangerous and dodgy; the turncoat-toadies looking for a new gravy train; those that are starers caught in the headlights and those...a suitable publishable name will come to mind shortly...who should never have been let into politics. If we then add to this somewhat disturbing catalogue of social misfits the names of former prime ministers and their advisors who have found it a propitious time to air their views again (after the public has already ousted them from the public stage) then we achieve an almost Shakespearian tragedy or comedy - you choose which - scenario. The double tragedy/comedy is that these people are 'running' the country.
Whatever the outcome of Brexit, we will still be a divided nation on several levels - regionally, politically and socially. Whether Britain Leaves or Remains is almost academic now because the political process will lead in one direction or the other and at least 50% of the electorate will be unhappy with the outcome. Referendums have always been a dangerous tool to employ in seeking 'public opinion' - they are, after all, so unpredictable - but then if you have one and 50% shout foul and have another one where that 50% then shout hooray, which outcome has precedence ? Keep on having referendums until you're blue in the face but the issue then becomes one of moral, legal, constitutional and democratic challenge. They would be never ending and the nation would still be at war in some sort of dystopian limbo. So how do you begin to change this circle of dissatisfaction ? It's not a quick fix, for sure, it will likely take half a generation to see the benefit of electoral reform that enables a broader spectrum of candidature, vote acquisition and more widely scoped political bodies that have less partisan and more pragmatic approaches to policy making. We are talking about national governance for the good of the country, for the good of the people - as the Romans worked it out (but seldom practised), 'government of the people, for the people by the people'; we are not talking about creating political sinecures for those who put ambition, power and influence at the forefront of their objectives - Westminster has been inhabited by this breed for far too long already. Many would argue that such a cross-sectional form of governance would be unworkable - yes, it would be under the present parliamentary system, but in a reformed political climate, there could be a wholesale reform of the Palace of Westminster as well as the dynamic for populating its benches. Change was always an option in our forefathers minds when a Parliament was instituted as the executive over monarchic rule - life changes, the world is certainly changing and that is possibly reason enough to now grapple with a root and branch reform of our governance.
Will it happen in the next half generation ? Nah ! Venality, ambition and influence will likely win the day. As the saying goes, 'we get the governance we deserve !'