Have a wee look at how things have been going in this country, and this Union. The games rigged. I don’t know who set it up, or what their motives were, I know that the numbers have been fiddled with a few times over the years, but essentially it all boils down to one key fact. Once you’ve got a grasp of that, everything else is revealed for the joke it is.
The house of commons (and by reflection Holyrood), is designed in such a way that a political party, by fair means or foul, must hold a majority of the available seats to form an effective government. Half of them, plus 1. Forgetting personalities, policies and everything else, all efforts are focused on getting as many seats as possible to reach and surpass the golden number. It becomes all about party.
Like any system, it has its strengths and weaknesses, and the weaknesses are their to be exploited. An MP (or prospective MP) is assigned a seat to fight for, the electoral commission rules state that your home address does not need to be in the constituency where you are standing. It may not be where they live, or where they were brought up, they might not even know( or have set foot in) the area at all, but that now becomes theirs. This is very wrong. If a wannabe PM has already selected his future cabinet, he can assign them seats that are considered “safe”, to ensure he gets the cabinet he wants. Take our beloved David Cameron, he somehow represents a little known constituency of Witney in Oxfordshire. Unknown to the likes of you or I perhaps, but very well known in the conservative party as a safe seat. What is his connection with Witney, or even Oxfordshire? Well, he did go to Oxford, so it’s possible he may have been in the area once or twice….
So, now we get down to the nitty gritty, in a General Election, you are either voting for the party you want, or against the party you don’t want. Often this is based entirely on who we have just had, so it can be a pat on the back, or a kick in the arse. Essentially the only two parties able to contend for the magic majority (either singly or in coalition) are Labour and Conservative. Everyone else will be on the fringes somewhere. They all know this.
So, if you are a greedy, power hungry, selfish, bank loving posh knob, who wants to abuse the systems of government for the personal gain of yourself, friends and family, and to ensure that those gains remain unassailable and lucrative, you make sure that you can maneuver yourself to the top table of the Conservative party through those very same friends and family.
If you are a clever, greedy, power hungry, selfish, bank loving posh knob, who wants to abuse the systems of government for the personal gain of yourself, friends and family, and to ensure that those gains remain unassailable and lucrative, you make sure that the opposition party is headed by someone not too dissimilar to yourself.
In this way, both parties, while pretending to be different and vocally objecting to each other in very public ways, can happily sit back knowing that whoever wins, things will be good for them, their family and friends.
The kicker then becomes the public involvement. We get to pretend that our little bits of paper are important, and we might adjust one or two numbers on the edge of the equation, but the result will always be the same. One of the two parties will hold on to power for another five years, ensuring that the apple cart is upset. Even should one election throw up a random result that somehow results in a hung parliament, or a bloody miracle of some other party getting in power, they will first make sure that party doesn’t do anything too damaging (to them, not to us), and secondly it’s only five years, it will be back to normal very soon. A minor blip in their long game with no statistical significance in the long run.
So, yes we have politics, we may even have democracy depending on what definition you use. Do we have influence, and the power to affect real change in the foreign and domestic affairs of our country? Not a chance, and unless something changes radically, we never will.
Are you happy with that?