This blog has come about from a response I wrote to http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/is-what-little-bit-of-democracy-we-once.html and kinda captures what I am thinking at the moment about where we stand right now.
Our non democracy is under attack right now more than it has been for a long time, maybe more than it has ever been in the past. With EVEL (English Votes for English Laws), the fiscal trap that is the Scotland Act, the EU Referendum, the threat of coming out of ECHR, the new surveillance laws proposed by the Home Secretary Theresa May, the SNP super database, boundary reforms, the continued use of sanctions to remove much-needed social protection under IDS, the continued existence of the unelected House of Lords and the unelected head of State means our democracy is in a mess.
As I have hammered home in my blog previously, and on twitter, we do not and never have lived in a democracy in this country. We might have a vote, but that vote comes with the conditions laid down by repeated Conservatives and Labour Governments over the years, a vote which has been weakened more and more over the years, and a vote under attack like never before by the above in as far as removing more and more of our rights and protections from the state and from employers.
I agree with sentiments made in Munguin’s Republic, Margaret Thatcher would not have dared try to do what David Cameron is doing to our limited democracy right now, not because she was not smarter than he is, but because I do think she may have seen what he is doing as a step too far, plus Westminster at the time of Thatcher was filled with far smarter people and in Labour you still had many of the old guard from the 70’s who still had an ounce of socialism about them, so the results would have been very different.
So what of our democracy?
The Windsor’s (Royal Family) is a disgusting institution and I hate everything it stands for, it is undemocratic and has no place in the modern world. I might have more time for them if they had as much to say about poverty and the attacks on their poorest and most vulnerable subjects than they do for buildings. They have far more influence over decision-making than most people realise and I could not give a shit if they give pleasure to anyone. This awful institution doesn’t even pay the minimum wage to their staff, they pay little tax, they are much the same as Mike Ashley at Sports Direct in that they have awful employment practices, but less honest because they have underhanded and secretive power over me and you, supported by our politicians but hidden away in secret. Some people might like to look at all the plundered jewels from the old empire and believe they are wonderful and stand up for them but their influence over decision-making is wrong, undemocratic and unacceptable. As long as the hereditary principle remains in this country we will never live in a democracy.
The HoL (House of Lords) needs reform but it won’t be reformed, Cameron will weaken it but will not make any major changes to its numbers or what it does. Labour and the Liberals will do nothing to push for reform as it will soon be the only place they actually have any power in. While they may have played a small part in raising the issues of Tax Credits, what they actually did was bring in an even worse system where tax credits will actually be gone within three years, our compliant media of course played this up to try to convince us that we need this unelected chamber.
While I remain a committed member of the Liberal Democratic Party the party remains a disappointment in so many ways. I suspect it has some more falling to do before any real change happens. The reason I think this is because it has failed to learn from past mistakes and continues to follow the Clegg line which has virtually wiped it out. It continues to say it is a federalist party while filling the House of Lords, it supported the bombing of Syria, it continues to push the myth that the Scotland Act is the Vow being delivered, it has supported Alistair Carmichael even though the comments from the judges could not have painted a worse picture of an untrustworthy politician. They choose to stand up and say this was all a nationalist attack, which is was not, but the result and their actions were an attack on our local democracy in the that local voters should have the right of recall over a lying politician. The party leadership in Scotland continues to push ahead with all female short lists, how illiberal can you get. That may well be the thing that pushes me over the edge this year if passed at the spring conference, I do not and will never support all female short lists. While they are correct in raising concerns about GP numbers, mental health services, the plight of refugees, the super database, these are wiped out by the above. Sad to say but I suspect the Scottish Liberal democrats will do well to keep what they have right now come May.
Jeremy Corbyn needs to get a grip of the Labour Party, he was naïve to think for one minute that Tories like Hilary Benn would fall into line, he needs to weed them out. He has been given a mandate like no leader before him and if that means many break away then so be it. It is time for the members to control that party and rebuild it, we do need a Labour movement and a strong one, but one that actually represents poor and working people in England, an opposition to the awful Victorian Tories, and one that offers real opposition to the SNP in Scotland. In Scotland they are miles away from any sort of recovery, Kezia Dugdale is not a leader, people like Jackie Baillie are poison and the so-called left like Neil Findlay are only left in name, they are still more Tory than the Tories in so many ways. David Cameron played them like they have never been played before, the posh boy put them back in their place and didn’t they just accept it like the good subjects they are. Their SNP bad mantra won’t work but they will keep at it.
The SNP are in real danger of becoming complacent, while they have handled the bridge situation really well for example, the budget, although limited in what they could do because of fiscal traps, was virtually a mirror of Osbourne’s. By passing on billions of pounds of cuts to local authorities they have avoided the wider issues to a degree on how we pay for public services. This budget may result in thousands of job losses in the public sector, with the resulting impact on local economies all over Scotland, what I think is needed is a real debate around how we fund public services. While I am for universalism in entitlements, we do need to have a serious debate on how we go about that. The SNP Westminster group also need to be far more radical in how they approach their role, they have meekly accepted, in my opinion, outdated traditions in the so-called palace of Westminster and need to be seen to be more radical in how they go about their business. Some might argue that in doing so they will achieve little, I would argue that given the hatred towards them they will be allowed to achieve little anyway so they might as well be a real pain in the arse and keep the issues that are important to many in Scotland very much in the spotlight.
The Tories in Scotland, well I don’t really care, but they might come second in May as more Labour members return home to the their real party, but overall they don’t expect to do well and are really just in place to give Cameron some sort of illusion of presence in Scotland. This also gives the excuse of a media in Scotland an excuse to keep pushing the unionist mantra that they love so much. It will be an interesting year but lets not forget that this interesting year will bring with it so much pain and suffering to the many that cannot defend themselves, and to many thousands away to lose their jobs because of this so-called union.
Sorry for the length, and for the doom and gloom of this blog. I am not looking forward to 2016 in so many ways, I am not looking forward to the next four and half years of politics under the Victorian Tories or the meek opposition from failed unionist parties in our country that ill serves us so well. They have all let us down, we deserve so much better than this shit.