For a moment forget your political persuasion. Forget your ideological tendencies; no left, right or centre, just indulge me, detach yourself from tribalism and try to be objectively neutral.
With the likelihood of a General Election in the not too distant future let us consider the subject of honesty.
In the ongoing attempts to betray Brexit there are no political parties and few politicians that can escape criticism for their actions. Certainly the LibLabCon party has a lot to answer for.
One thing is for sure that the pantomime over the last three years has drawn yet more attention to the integrity of MPs and the thus the parties they belong to.
What do we want? “Procrastination”; when do we want it? “Now!”
Humour is so important so we will start with the Labour Party. To go back to the Blair government may be too black for some, but we can use that time as reference to how bad government can be. There were so many disasters associated with Labour from 1997-2010 it is difficult to know where to start.
“Education, education, education” perhaps in hindsight should have been “Indoctrination, indoctrination, indoctrination”. Then there was “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and replacing a working system of the law lords with the absurdly named Supreme Court. Was this constitutional vandalism waiting to happen by design? The 2008 Home Office circular informing police forces not to investigate the sexual exploitation of young girls is a stain on our history.
Selling off our Gold Reserves, thus undermining the foundation of our currency. The list goes on right up to the little note saying there was ‘no money left’.
Was this what we should have expected? Were they just being true to form? Were they being honest Socialists? Should we have known, was it our fault? The record goes back a long way with scope, Liverpool to Venezuela, China to South Africa. The slogan is clear ‘Socialism, making lives a misery for more than 100 years’.
One could be forgiven for admiring the likes of Tony Benn, Arthur Scargill or Dennis Skinner, not perhaps for their politics, but at least for their honesty. Was old Labour more honest than old Conservative?
The Conservatives have fared no better. The destruction of the mining industry, the poll tax, the bedroom tax, tackling crime, all these have been disasters under the rule of the Conservative Party. Some have had a quick effect such as entering the ERM, others a slow insidious one such as reducing police numbers and cutting legal aid. The Localism Act 2011 was a good example of a failure that has gone relatively unnoticed. It was ineffectual in challenging deep rooted centralisation in the UK. With local communities receiving less than 5% of total national tax revenues and failed planning applications being reinstated by Westminster, local communities were never going to get self-determination, or were ever intended to. Was it just another political smoke screen?
This play between left and right is one thing, we expect the Conservatives to be for the wealthy and Labour for the poor, but what we want to tease out is the deception the dishonesty.
Then there was MPs’ expenses.
How naïve people were, to think that it would be an honour for MPs to serve in our representative democracy, an act of selfless devotion to the benefit of the UK. Have we got a Representative Democracy?
A pivotal event would be the shock bomb of the 2009 expenses scandal. For members of a Parliament to go to such lengths as they did to milk the system, was for many voters of all persuasions a big disappointment and revelation. But perhaps they felt safe as individuals in a crowd rushing to make extra money from hard working citizens. The list of dodgy expense claimants was long and the names on that list were surprising. Such airs and graces in public life and such tawdry cynical thieves in practice.
Nothing has changed.
To be fair many of the disastrous decisions of the last 40 years have been caused by membership of the EU. ERM, HS2, the postal service, PFIs in the NHS, again the list goes on. But many were not aware that we were not being ruled by our Parliament. This too then was dishonesty. Since the referendum we have been exposed to more dishonesty, yes, including our present PM and as time passes that dishonesty will play out. It was never about the money.
Then the Liberal Democrats? Was the EU army a dangerous fantasy? Was the removal of tuition fees candy for the children? It is difficult to see honesty with that party. The Liberal Democrats can only be a protest party and when that protest recedes so will their relevance.
As the influence of the EU muddies the water, so does the bias in our main-stream media. Take the present Liberal Democrat leader for example. Did her partner take EU funding as Director of Policy at Transparency International UK? Why did we not hear more about this?
Was it honest to call for a referendum and then deny its result?
The SNP fares no better. Independence from one union to give it to another union? The Green Party wants to stop the use of fossil fuels and then denies the only alternative? Do we detect a lack of common sense, stupidity or is it just dishonesty?
Can we all go to Northern Ireland and be governed by the DUP?
We all like choices. They allow us to exercise self-determination. Choices give us the opportunity to express social responsibility. Whether it is in the weekly shopping or planning a route, our decisions establish our ownership. Your choices will be determined by who you are, exhibiting your identity. Finally choices embrace our freedoms.
But we have to have honesty too!
Having gone through our political parties what is left, or right for that matter? Are we being served?