Thursday, 20 June 2013

Politicians could engage the public. But they won't.

Be honest: how many of you vote at for the best candidate at election time? The truth is that Presidential-style politics has become a permanent fixture in British politics, and one which has meant we generally vote for parties and party leaders, rather than the individual candidates themselves.

This is sad and destructive. It has led to the type of tribal voting in what are known as ‘Labour or Conservative areas’ that allows party leaders to put a blindly loyal puppet into a safe seat. They then spend the next few years voting in favour of their career and promotion, rather than their constituents and conscience. Morally, it’s pretty repugnant. It goes against much of what democracy is supposed to be about, too. Representation, rather than self-promotion.

This type of practise isn’t going to end any time soon, it seems. In 2009, the Conservatives experimented with an open primary in Totnes. Every voter in the constituency received a postal vote as to who the Tory candidate should be and Dr Sarah Wollaston won the ballot. It was a fascinating experiment that produce a predictable result: an independently-minded candidate who promised to champion local people and local issues won out.

The excitement produced off the back of this saw predictions that this was the way forward. By involving all voters in the selection of a party candidate, therefore franchising local people and empowering them to be involved in the process, it gave the party a clear line of engagement with the public. How could you argue against that?

Well fast forward to 2013 and you see that, well, Dr Wollaston’s independent mind hasn’t exactly been welcomed by those running the Tory Party. They don’t like the way in which she isn’t slavishly partisan, but instead  - get this – dares to criticise decisions of the party leader when she disagrees with them. Blasphemy in the corridors of power.

The result of this crime of conscience is that radical plans to roll out open primaries across the country are all but dead. The truth is, very few in Westminster at the moment wish to bring about the type of democratic revolution required in Britain. Politicians moan about turnout and say they try hard to engage the public, but when something like open primaries exists it is shown to be a little too democratic.

The vast majority of Labour and Conservative MPs are careerists who vote whichever way the whips tell them. That’s how the system works. It’s about self-preservation and represents a system that seeks to minimise rather than maximise input from the public. When you look at such cases, it is hardly surprising that the public feel ignored, angry and unrepresented. They have a right to be.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Immigration: political class live in a different Britain.

How can it be that when 79%+ of the public oppose opening Britain's borders to Bulgaria and Romania, both Coalition government parties and the opposition party all support it?

The reality is that those running the country are desensitised from the damage of large scale uncontrolled immigration from Eastern Europe and indeed benefit in some ways from it. After all, it isn't going to be Little Johnny the privately-educated offspring of MP X who is trying to get a minimum wage job at a factory or punting for work as a bricklayer. Instead the politicians and big business point to the benefits of lots of newcomers to the country working hard in minimum wage jobs. Good for them, but they are screwing British workers who are left to rot on the dole. Our young in particular are routinely abused by Labour and the Tories as lazy, bone-idle and useless and the assumption is made that before Eastern Europeans arrived, the fruit didn't get picked and the country was on verge of collapse. Give me a break.

This is another issue where those in Westminster sow the seeds of pain for which the Great British general public pay the price for. Cameron talks in his ridiculously dishonest tone about controlling immigration, when we have opened our wide open doors to an entire continent. And in 2014 the warm welcome from Westminster extends to as many citizens of Romania and Bulgaria who wish to come. The UK's job market is about to become even more saturated with those looking for entry-level work.

Youth unemployment is at 22%. Wages are being pushed down. In the first year of the Coalition, more than 90% of jobs went to non-British born workers. It may benefit the wealthy Cameron's and the Miliband's of this world to have treat immigrant labour at their beck and call, but for the ordinary working man it has caused massive social and economic problems.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Grant Shapps: grammar school boy done good.

The rise of Grant Shapps to Conservative Party Chairman today marks a high point in his career as a guy who came from a normalish background. But it is likely that in forthcoming years, reshuffles at government level will find it increasingly hard to appoint people who went through the state schooling system.

The problem is there for all to see: right now the government is dominated by those from very privileged backgrounds. There is a severe lack of contenders for top government jobs who went through the state school system, mostly because unlike Shapps they didn't get the opportunities that a grammar school education can afford young boys and girls who may not have had the best starts in life.

Hopefully with a grammar school boy in such a senior role within the Conservatives, the arguments will be made again. That non-selective free schools are one thing, but a selective education system that enables a society based on meritocracy is quite another. Somehow I don't see that happening as the Tories long ago seemed to have turned their back on grammar schools, but nonetheless Shapps rise proves the point that these schools worked.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Why keep Anders Breivik alive?

77 lives, mostly very young lives, were ended by Anders Breivik. Another 240 were injured as he bombed and shot innocent people.

He isn't insane. He's an evil human being who committed pre-meditated murder on the basis of his own warped world view. He planned these attacks and carried them out.

And now? 21 years in prison. A prison life where he will no doubt be well fed, clothed, watered and protected by other inmates at a cost to the families who have lost loved ones to his blood lust.

He will need to be separated and kept away from other prisoners. Even those who have committed heinous crimes themselves will want to extinguish the life of a man who targeted children. Taxpayers will pay to keep this beast alive. Why?

This is cut and dry. He committed these crimes. He meant to. It may be all well and good to play the bleeding heart angle but seriously: if your child or mum or father had been shot down by this animal, would you really think justice was him being looked after in an isolated, private part of a prison? I would want him dead in a heartbeat.

The death penalty in cases such as this is not about stooping to his level. It is about a punishment that fits the crime. For Anders Breivik to be kept alive and protected by the state is surely a sick perversion of true human justice.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Conservatives are getting very rattled about UKIP.

So Daniel Hannan, the Conservative Party's only anti-EU MEP, wants an electoral pact with UKIP at the next General Election. This is significant.

It demonstrates the increasing popularity of UKIP and the likely impact it will have at the next General Election which does, after all, come just one year after the 2014 European Election that UKIP could win outright.

Don't forget at the last General Election, then-UKIP Leader Lord Pearson's private but direct offer of a pact to the Conservatives was utterly ignored by the party.

I don't think any such pact will happen next time round, for a myriad of reasons. Very few Tory candidates are actually anti-EU in terms of advocating withdrawal - they number about a dozen or so. UKIP is developing beyond a party that only cares about this issue anyway.

As for the notion of David Cameron instructing candidates to stand down in seats to give UKIP a clear run? I won't hold my breath.

The truth is that Daniel Hannan belongs in UKIP. The Conservative Party, as it left Stuart Wheeler, Lord Hesketh and Hannan's former colleague Roger Helmer, has left him. A Tory Prime Minister is in office and is presiding over a shambolic government that is increasing the amount we give to Brussels, that stands against grammar schools and which generally buys into the notion of a high tax economy.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Britain's foreign criminal base is a revolving-door.

There was an interesting documentary last night on Channel 4, the topic being pickpockets in London. These uncaring individuals pick out victims to nick items from, in many cases the type of items that hold on them irreplaceable photos and family videos.

One thing that struck me, though it isn't exactly news, is the amount of foreign criminals coming to London for a life of organised crime. Mercenaries from across Europe use the EU's open borders to enter Britain and make a fortune by thieving. compared to the paltry wages on offer for honest graft back home, the risk/reward ratio is tantalising.

The problem is that the worst that can happen to these people is that they are arrested, convicted and put in prison - though it remains extremely difficult to actually receive a custodial sentence in the UK given how full our prisons are. Even the deterrent of UK prison just doesn't cut it though.

After all, with cable TV for good behaviour, astro turf football pitches, pool tables, gyms and the rest, our prisons are like a Butlins compared to the harsh conditions that hardened foreign criminals are used to. Human rights gone mad has led to a cushdy life for criminal scum, even if they are caught.

And so after putting these scumbags away for short terms, funded by the British taxpayer, they come out. They can't be deported due to the EU's open borders and so back out on the streets they go with their criminal gangs, with nothing to lose and targets around them everywhere.

Our foreign criminal base needs to be dealt with and the remedy is really quite straight forward. Take back our borders. Only allow in those who we require economically. Kick out those who commit crime. Ensure that Britain's prisons are places that you notoriously do not want to end up doing time in.