Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Radical Idea for Reforming Politics

I feel I should go and put my Che t-shirt on to write this, as I'm going to propose a radical change to the British political system.

Recently, I have been listening to old episodes of The Mark Steel  Solution (which can be found here), in which Mark Steel suggests radical solutions to social issues. These include that the Royal Family should be chosen by a weekly lottery, everyone should be force to move house and change families annually, and public transport should be paid for by the people who don't use it. (Although it is obviously a satirical programme, when you hear his reasoning, you do start to see his point.)

Anyway today I am going to suggest the Matt Collins Solution:

Anyone who wants to be a politician should automatically be barred from the House of Commons.

Maybe this is a bit of a kneejerk reaction to the last few days, but I am ashamed of the British Political system at the moment. Repeatedly we see big business and bankers, media types and millionaires getting tax breaks or bail outs, while we see those most in need being vilified, attacked and pushed deeper into poverty.
Public opinion is carefully selected to fit the message politicians want to portray, and debate is shut down. In the past couple of days, when four churches were critical of Benefit reform, the Chancellor dismissed this as the church having 'vested interests'. I fail to see how Churches have a vested interest in millions in poverty... And when a Cabinet Minister claims that he could live on the same amount as a person on benefits, people asking him to prove it is dismissed as 'a stunt'

Now I don't want to tarnish all MPs with the same brush, that would be unfair. Many do a great job of representing the concerns of their constituents. But it seems the higher up the party system you go, the less the public seem to matter. They only matter when elections loom, and then it is a rush to outdo each other in pandering to popular support. (I could go on a whole rant about the failing of the Party Political system, but I'll leave that for another time.)

But with the advent of career politicians, who go straight for their PPE course are a Russell Group university to a PR job or policy researcher, then gets parachuted in to a safe party seat a rocket up the ministries, I believe the wrong people are getting into politics. This is a planned rise to power, but someone who obviously has the drive to make it to the top, and stay there once they get there. It becomes about power, not about service.

And this is why, under the Matt Collins Solution, these kinds of people would automatically be barred from become politicians. Instead, people would be able to select a person who they believe would do the best job. These would most likely be people who never gave a thought to being an MP. You would be able to elect someone who has a passion for their community, and wants to make a difference for the people around them, rather than ideologues who seem more interesting in power for themselves.

Now this isn't perfect; there are details to be worked out, such as an effective vetting system. But Comrades, who is with me?

No comments:

Post a Comment