Good government intervenes and legislates only when and where necessary. Bad government meddles, interferes and exercises power because it can, not because it should. When it does this it usually creates paradoxes that are obvious to everyone else but are somehow lost on those who govern. Here are a few examples that spring to my mind:
- HMG can find £50,000,000,000 to build an unnecessary high-speed railway from London to Birmingham (a journey already possible via two separate routes) while shamefully, disgracefully, dishonourably running down our country’s armed forces.
- The government sends foreign aid to India, despite the fact that country was able to launch a small, unmanned space vehicle to orbit Mars. The money could have been put toward the cost of caring for the increasing elderly population in our society
- It introduces numerous anti-discriminatory laws whilst at the same time bending over backwards to defend, even promote, immigrant minority practices and beliefs, many of which are offensive or ludicrous to us, and don’t belong here, but are excused on the grounds of their religion or culture.
- Not content with Labour’s creation of civil partnerships (perfectly adequate recognition for that non-standard relationship) the Conservatives wasted Parliamentary time and split society by changing the long understood, time honoured and only meaning of marriage in a pointless stunt of social engineering. But when it came to bringing in a seriously needed recall mechanism to oust bad MPs – nothing.
- The Birmingham Northern Relief Road was built for the purpose of bringing respite to the daily traffic misery encountered on the M6 through that metropolis. But, instead of being funded from the public purse it was given to a private consortium along with a toll concession. Result? Fewer people than expected used it. Further result? Up go the tolls to compensate and fewer people use it. Much work has been carried out widening certain sections of Birmingham’s M6 to accommodate the traffic that refuses to pay the toll. What’s the betting that the cost of all that additional work (never mind the years of disruption) could have bought the M6 Toll from its owners and made it part of the public network?
I’m sure people can think of many more examples but why do we allow ourselves to put up with this? The system is in dire need of overhaul; the reason why people go into politics has to change from self-service to public service; the electorate must have more frequent opportunities to hold those in authority to account and, if necessary, change things for the better. Worst of all, we now discover the already tarnished Houses of Parliament, our nation’s legislature, are under investigation for allegedly being active in (and the guardians of) long-term involvement in the heinous crime of paedophilia. I suspect even Hercules, carrying out a modern version of his fifth labour, would find it difficult to cleanse that fetid place.
UKIP will not form the next government – the party itself acknowledges that – but if any political group is capable of improving the rotten state of affairs in this country, I believe it is UKIP. The old parties are too set in their presumptuous, self-indulgent, detached ways to change or to concede the need for change.