As I look at the assorted political and governmental goings on in Britain, the thought crosses my mind about how we view the substance of a challenge as compared with treating it with sound common sense.
Common sense of any description seems to be a rarity in government, and indeed everywhere else in the political world. Now, all players on the chessboard have to pay homage to a level of political correctness, sanctimonious interference, the noise of the self-righteous brigades (and there are seemingly many of these) and the lobbying of countless interest groups who feel their cause should be at the top of the pile. Governance, as a result, suffers a lethargy imposed by the inertia that this painstaking deference to vocal minorities and lobbyists. In short, the government is tied up in knots by the profusion of mindless issues that should be resolved in a practical, common sense way rather than by making them a major hullabaloo and an impediment to good governance.
Let us not be fooled into imagining we have any true democratic rights here. We don’t. Governments are elected on a first past the post basis, often with only a 30-35% share of the electoral vote, we equally submit ourselves to a two-party system that, frankly, nobody would vote for if the freedom of choice to vote elsewhere were available (and realistic). The net result of this is that we have government imposed by minorities, with minority issues at the fore. It’s very fertile ground for the sanctimonious and righteous to jump up and down on and bleat the terrible injustices that government permit. So it is no surprise that minority groups and lobbyists find it really easy to influence government in a vast array of trivial ways that in truth prevent the government getting on with the real matters that it should be focusing on.
It’s hard to recall a time when common sense has been so distantly remote from our daily lives. We have allegations, we have witch hunts, we have indignation at the permissiveness of our governors, we have an ethos that anyone claiming anything must be true and that steps have to be taken to rectify, ameliorate or pacify the random accusers. We have a rule book that prescribes what is good, what is bad, what is acceptable, what is not and no doubt how to motivate yourself to even get out of bed in the morning to struggle through all these obstacles. We don’t need a rule book. We need a hefty dose of common sense being applied, not least in challenging accusers of the probity of their claims - especially after the time lapse of many years since the ‘event’.. This all ties government time up, wastes resource and channels thinking onto diversionary paths. As a nation, we are facing the biggest constitutional, commercial and social change in our way of life since the Second World War and we need to get it right. We need focussed players, not necessarily party partisans, we need them not to be distracted by the endless trivia that seems to assail public and celebrity life and we need them to be free to apply common sense.
I’m no great fan of either of our mainstream political party’s - they are both playing to populist demands. Yet that is not their job. We have no true democracy but what we do have is the right to demand that government gets on with its core job properly and relegates trivia to whatever remaining time there may be. Let common sense triumph over the obsessions we have with stuff that has little place in our governmental dynamic.