December 2013

The people not the party

How come political parties in decline are still in power?

The party needs you? The party needs you?
It is an anomaly that so few people are members of a political party yet the party system has such a powerful effect on UK politics. We should also be aware that we have a representative democracy form of government. Singly they are each a problem and in combination a disaster.

However, the political party framework is useful to the political elite as all they have to do is appeal to the party. It being such a small group it will be easier for the elite to influence and steer the public towards their wishes; rather than the other way around and be influenced by the public.

Then they can proclaim the the result is democracy in action. But is it? Traditionally there are but a few political parties in action at any one time. Can it be that the diversity of the voters, millions of people, can be satisfied with just two major and a few smaller parties?

The dynamic is wrong too. The voter must join them to make a difference. Whereas, you would have thought, that the parties hoping to get votes should do more to reach out and appeal to the public. But this is representative democracy in action. A system of many faults!

And it gets worse. Our failing system gives up its power, with scant reference to the public, to other power blocks. The EU is often portrayed as a counter-weight to 'failed' or 'obsolete' nationalism.

Corporates and democracy

Wasting public money and ignoring what the public want

Writing in his blog, EUReferendum, Richard North rightly selects the criticism by Nick Cohen of the coalitions flagship policy, Universal Credit, for welfare reform . Some of the support, or criticism, of the work done by Iain Duncan Smith in the Department of Work and Pensions is simply yahboo in nature and depends upon where it's being published. So from some right wing elements it's the best policy to ever see the light of day and from the left we are told IDS is the devil incarnate. One joker even brought back memories of previous sloganeering by saying, Universal Credit isn't working!

North says he would not agree with all of what Cohen writes but we have to remember that Cohen is writing in the Guardian. So what Cohen cannot say is why people having their benefits stopped or reduced then find it's very hard to get work. So no mention of mass immigration distorting competition for jobs then!

What Cohen does is focus on the appaling IT failure behind the Universal Credit scheme. Seeing this vast waste of money perhaps the coalition are grateful they did not, formally, embark up on a system for compulsory ID cards as that would have wasted even more money!