I wish politics was different, but there we are, it has an ugly side which is disturbing. How else, but ugly or intolerant, can we describe, for example, our current politicians in Parliament often shouting and ‘scoring points’, instead of reasoned debate based on facts and analysis? Or repeated interrupting and talking over the speaker on political programmes on television? Or when there is vilification and name calling of individuals and a whole libertarian political party, UKIP, which closes down any form of engagement or rational discussion of important issues of today? Or the seemingly endless spin and control of ‘the message’, which is an attempt to manipulate us, the Electorate? Is this the enviable face of a modern, civilised, democratic country and where will it end, in things getting better or worse?
In response, should ordinary, honest people, particularly those who love their country, heritage and way of life, namely the best of Britishness and the British people, turn off from politics, and say or do nothing? To paraphrase Hamlet:
To vote or not to vote? That is the question,
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer their slings and arrows,
Or take up the ballot box, and by opposing end their tyranny.
There is much that is troubling in the state of our country, not least a political system which appears increasingly run for the few, the ruling Establishment, and largely ignores the many, us the Electorate; and can repeatedly misrepresent UKIP to gain its own advantage. This can hardly be described as completely democratic; government of the people, for the people, by the people. Something similar happened in ancient Athens, their form of democracy changed into oligarchy. Should we be apathetic about losing ancient freedoms, rights and a familiar form of government or actively opposing the Establishment that no longer listens or represents us? Should we be concerned that the European Union is centralising powers unto itself of a bureaucratic super-state and is increasingly controlling our lives? Does this deficit of democracy matter?
It has been said (by Winston Churchill amongst others) that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried. Joseph Schumpeter, the economist and political scientist predicted the evolution of capitalism into corporatism, rule over everyone by the few in large organisations. Lord Acton, the nineteenth century historian, politician and writer said ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
So with astute and reputable commentators pointing to potential problems we have considerable cause for concern, we appear on a slippery slope, which far from getting better is likely to get worse. Yet as we see today in less happy lands than ours, where there is limited democratic means of opposing a government that ignores or exploits the people, there is oppression, violent confrontations and poverty. Of course we want to avoid all of this, but how and can we succeed in our opposition when there are attempts to shut down honest debate and ‘work’ the political system?
Democracy can only flourish where there is (self)-Restraint, Responsibility and Reciprocity (the Golden Rule ethical code); these align with the best of traditional British values. The same is probably true for equitable, efficient and humane operation of free market economies; they also need the Three ‘R’s. So in the face of the ugly side of politics there is a strong case for strengthening these values and using them to help build a better, brighter future for everyone in this country as a free people.
This approach does not demonise or vilify anyone; rather it respects their humanity. Nor does it employ deception and manipulation. Rather it treats everyone honestly as flesh and blood human beings, of considerable potential and who have real feelings. But can it work, when the other side is not so decent? Also, how can it be squared with their accusations of creating fear or other strong emotions? The answer is somewhat obvious, for too long the British people have not been given this choice by the political establishment. Instead of the Three ‘R’s we have experienced repeated debasement of standards. Ugly and misleading accusations may succeed in the short term, but people are unlikely to be taken in for long, when the reality they witness, and reflect on, is far different.
So yes there is a refreshing alternative to the ugly side of politics; an alternative that offers the prospect of a much brighter and more successful future. What is needed is that we, the ordinary people, who until now, have not spoken, start to make it happen through grassroots organisations such as UKIP and make a stand for the best of British.