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26 February 2010

What do we want from our Political Leaders?

All this media furore on the subject of Prime Minister Brown's alleged bullying of his staff (most of which has recently been thrown into doubt anyway), coupled with our apparent obsession with the man's general character, likeability, and so on, leads me to wonder why our democratic process has progressively turned into an "X Factor" competition without the music.

The Conservatives have been putting up huge billboard posters showing an airbrushed pretty-boy photo of their leader David Cameron and a message saying "we can't go on like this".

It's all become too personalised. It's a beauty contest. Where is the information on what the Parties are really proposing to do? Even when the Conservatives feel able to feed us with the odd policy proposal or two, after a couple of weeks have gone by they've changed their tune and the policy's been altered.

Who cares if Gordon Brown is a difficult man to work with? Who cares if he gets angry when he can't get things done that he wants done? It's what you might expect from someone who has anything about him with the demands of the top job on his shoulders.

Successful War Leader, Winston Churchill, was famously grumpy, irascible, prone to excessive drinking and bouts of depression. The people who worked with him accepted that and got on with the job. Now we have a load of wimps in No.10 Downing Street who can't hack it.

Clement Attlee, who led the immediate post-war Labour Government wouldn't have had any success at all in today's popularity stakes; he was quietly spoken and looked like an old-fashioned High Street Bank Manager. And yet Attlee successfully led a government that revolutionised a bankrupt British society after the ravages of war; he nationalised the railways, gas, electricity and water, and set up the National Health Service. And he did all this within 5 years.

I don't want our political leaders to be fussing about how popular they are, how nice they are, how good looking they are, how well they come over on television, how many people they are going to upset with some policy or other. I want them to be people with some kind vision about what kind of society they want, and have the ability to inspire the people around him to come up with the goods.

I don't think it is necessary for our Prime Ministers to be invited on to chat shows to demonstrate they are normal human beings who are able to weep in public about their personal tragedies.

Whatever one might think about Labour Party policies, Gordon Brown stands head and shoulders above the Conservative's David Cameron and the Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg, both of whom appear to me to be lightweight wimps blowing around in the wind.

15 February 2010

British National Party

Now that the BNP has changed its constitution to comply with a legal judgement against its original policy of allowing only white indigenous British membership, I wait with bated breath for the headlong rush of non-white UK citizens who have been waiting impatiently to join the Party!

03 February 2010

Electoral Reform & the Conservative Party

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has come round to the view that we should replace our "first-past-the-post" voting system with something fairer. The cynical view is that, having recognised that he looks like losing the General Election this year, he has come up with this wheeze.

Personally, whatever his reason, I welcome his proposal that Parliament should vote on providing us with a Referendum on whether or not we should switch to the "Alternate Vote" system. As the Liberal Democrats have said, it doesn't go far enough towards true democracy (they want full-blown Proportional Representation), but this is a welcome step in the right direction.

Instead of placing an X against one candidate, we would be invited to number the candidates 1,2,3 etc. in order of preference. Candidates losing out on first preference would have their votes redistributed until such time as one candidate commands the support of at least 50% of the voters.

This at least would get rid of the current preposterous system, whereby any candidate who manages to get more votes than his nearest rival is elected - and more often than not finishes up representing well under 50% of the vote. When this is magnified across all the constituencies we finish up with the Party gaining the most seats forming a government which in reality often represents only 30% of the popular vote. And they call that democracy!

Whenever I hear the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, or any of his pompous acolytes supporting the present system on the grounds that it has "served us very well over the years" my blood pressure rockets and I'm tempted to reach for the nearest supply of Valium. What they mean is that it has served them very well over the years .. to pretend that it is democracy is nothing short of criminal stupidity.

It is only democratic in a two-Party system, and we do not have a two-Party system.

Wake up Conservatives! You are not getting my vote until or unless you agree to a fair voting system.