With the impossible to prove but almost certain collusion of the postal vote Labour held on comfortably to Erdington in last week’s by-election, installing a muslim activist, black-first MP in Westminster. With crime and corruption rife among its back benchers, it is only a matter of time, some have surmised, before the wearing of an ankle tag in the Commons becomes de rigueur for Labour members. And the vote machine of the left will continue to ensure a steady supply of unsavoury characters to its ranks.
But how do we solve politics? Wealthy parties like the Conservatives hardly cover themselves in glory, with a legion of investigative reporters uncovering scandals such as links to party donations, cash for questions and honours for sale, etc. It is hardly surprising that representatives of the party of individual responsibility, small state and enterprise should have associations with the successful, but how hard is it, for goodness’ sake, to keep a lid on it? The least we should expect from the Tories is competence in covering one’s tracks.
The institutionalising of governance, the very notion of a career politician should be anathema, but amateurs have little chance of breaking through. For a start, there is the no small matter of raising funds to campaign. And then there is the cost of a media team to rid history of your less savoury interactions on social media. Somebody has to scour your records for hints of Nazism or Communism, such as that march you went on one time as a student. Others have to vet every last member of your family and all your acquaintances to grub up and eradicate the merest whiff of unsavoury thought crime.
Who would even want to stand, given that even the cleanest and most honourable inevitably have skeletons in the family cupboard which will be paraded by the tabloids for the nation to see? Why, you would have to be as shameless as the lurid Keith Vaz. Or as apparently unselfconscious as Chris - Captain Underpants – Bryant. In plain, you would really not have to give a shit what people think of you… or be so stupid as to not realise, naming no names though many spring to mind.
Proportional Representation, some cry, that will fix it. How? I mean, really, how? When you really stop to think about it I can’t imagine anything much worse. You would have an endless string of vainglorious misfits with the most bizarre sets of beliefs, being thrust onto the national stage via social media popularity contests, only to be toppled in days as reality dawns. You would have card-carrying, blood-red Stalins strutting their poisonous stuff alongside neo-Nazis in lederhosen while the grown-ups are trying to get the business done.
And even those grown ups will desperately water down otherwise sound policies in order to find a consensus among the unwilling. If governance by proportional representation had a colour it would be beige. No, worse, it would be a colour that even fans of beige thought dull and lifeless. If it’s PR you want you may as well join the ranks of the LimpDems and attend their next national conference at some village hall in the back of beyond.
And as for government by celebrity, people are actually suggesting that Hugh Grant would make an excellent Prime Minister. See, this is why so many people relay ought not to vote. When they are swayed by the clumsy and naïve political punditry of people like Gary Lineker or want other rich, ex-kickball players like Gary Neville, or ‘comedians’ like Eddie Izzard to enter politics you realise that they simply don’t take the world of Westminster seriously. Given the clown palace it has become there is little wonder.
Maybe we should restrict further who can vote; but who would decide? The left would allow babes in arms to scrawl their ‘X’, the right would want only people carrying British flags. Even the apparently intelligent would restrict the vote to their own cortege, and then we would end up with a sombre resurrection of British communism, in the grand old academic tradition. Let the wealth makers decide and we really would end up with the new world order so many are afraid of.
Nope, on reflection, we have, as Churchill once observed, the worst form of government except for everything else that has been tried. So instead of trying to bring down the system maybe we need to get smart and do what the lefties have done, reasonably successfully, for generations and insert our own activists into the system. Reform Parliament from the ground up and rebuild it not in their image, but in ours.