Saturday, 9 May 2009

Is The price Of Democracy Just a Bag Of Horse Manure?

Like most people, I was pretty angry with the revelations on MP Expenses we saw yesterday. I was probably more angry by the defences put up. In some cases, it was bare-faced lying, in others it was pathetically pointing to how reform was on its way, as if the matter was closed for debate.

But by late evening my anger turned to sadness. These people are our law makers, our policy makers, our tax assessors, our decision makers. They have the capability to determine how much of our money goes into the pension pot of failed bankers and whether we should go to war with a country that has not lifted a finger against us. Yesterday, what was exposed was the thin veneer of democracy.

We effectively give power to a small group of career people, who have moral principles no more laudable than common thieves.

For the kids on the front line in Afghanistan and Iraq, facing the bombs of unseen enemies, it must be a comfort to know that the guy who could not remember to buy them 'desert boots' and decent kit to protect them, could easily remember to 'flip' his residences to make sure he got them refurbished at tax payers' expense. It's that sense of priority that I am talking about that is at the heart of democracy.

Once carrying the power of a mandate, the motivation is not doing the job properly and with a conscience but about self-preservation and personal gain.

We only saw the surface yesterday. The systematic abuse of the mandate and political machine is endemic and pervades at all the multi-levels of the vast apparatus of administration. Very few are guiltless and it shows that you have to be a particular type of person to want to be a part of it.

The big picture boils down to sink plugs, ice trays, chocolate santas, maltesers, and horse manure. You see, it isn't about Iraq, it isn't about the NHS, education, bank bails outs, jobs or our future, it's all about maximising your earnings and paying as little tax as possible. That the PM's response to the Expenses Affair was to convert the second home allowance to an incentive to turn up to work just shows how out of touch with reality he has become.

Trust is a much abused word, but when I cast my vote I do so in hope that the words that people say to me are what they believe. I invest in them my mandate to do what their conscience tells them and what is good for our people and nation. But if they have the personal scruples of petty thieves no matter how personally well off they are, it makes democracy a sham.

When you then look at the policies and decisions they make you have to ask yourself whose interest are they serving? I used to think they are incompetent but I think it's far worse - they are untrustworthy.

Man of The Match

On a lighter note, in all this stinking affair that goes across every party, the one name that stands out each time is Mandelson. Yet again, we see how a career politician gets wealthy enough to afford a blind trust. He is unelected, drawing two salaries and is up to his eyes in murky affairs. Yet he is the second most powerful man in this country. It makes a joke of democracy and the peerage system.

He gets my 'Man of the Match' although Derek Conway runs a close second, McNulty third, Blears Fourth, Hoon fifth, Smith sixth - although I worry where to place Lord Uddin and the 'Scamming Peers'.

They say that anyone who wants to be a politician isn't fit for the job. That may not be true of them all, but the opposite has proved to be the exception.

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