Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Fresh Start

Does my expense claim look big in this?

If ever we needed proof positive that these people are not fit to rule, we're getting it right now. The sty door has been smashed down and we can all see the upturned trough, the piles of empty KitKat wrappers, and the stinky steaming mountains of manure.

That is an unmitigated good. All of us have been reminded that our politicos are no better than the rest of us: it therefore has to be barmy to give them so much power over our lives.

Unfortunately, we happen to be in the middle of the worst financial and economic crisis in three generations. And we need some decisive leadership to stop it getting worse.

Our discredited dead-end government isn't capable of providing it. It had already run out of ideas and energy, and now its authority has been terminally undermined by the moral collapse of its Westminster powerbase.

We shouldn't have to accept another 12 months of this. There is no way Labour can recover, and having them hang on, hoping for something to turn up, risks turning an economic crisis into a catastrophe.

We need an election soonest.

But that's not enough.

We need a clear statement from Cam that this is a turning point. We need a bankable undertaking that he will cleanse the stables. Much tougher expense rules for MPs, many fewer of them, and deselection of dodgy Tory MPs, for sure.

But that's still not enough.

We also need to know he will take an axe to our o'ermighty "them and us" central government. Localism, fiscal decentralisation, privatisation, vouchers... BOM readers know the score.

And now there's that other small matter. As I'm sure somebody once said, corruptionwise, absolute power is never a plus. And our present governance arrangements concentrate power to a degree even Stalin would have envied.

It's that elected dictatorship thing. Once every four years or so, we voters get to choose whether we want Tweedledum or Tweedledee. But for the rest of the time one of the Tweedles is our dictator.

There is no separation of powers between executive and legislature, and most of the time Tweedle can legislate pretty well at will. His MPs are lobby fodder who will do what they're damned well told. And even when he collapses at the controls - as now - his MPs will still prop him up.

Why do we tolerate such a set-up?

Everyone surely understands by now that we elect our MPs almost entirely on the basis of who we want as President. Half of us don't even know who our MP is.

But very few of us actually want a dictator President. We'd like to see some proper independence among our MPs, elected on their own merits to limit the power of the executive and hold it properly to account.

It's time for a radical rethink.

PS Yes, I know the powers of Westminster have been reduced already - by the EU. But in Tyler's New Model State, we have renegotiated ourselves back to a simple free trade relationship.

No comments:

Post a Comment