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Social Revolution

This decade is on course to be the decade of the peoples' revolution. The moderate media, on behalf of the public, have taken on the job of holding the powerful to account in a way that they never really have before. The media, with the help of many an employee with a conscious have labelled this the age of the whistle-blower.

At the beginning of the week i posted a "Top 5 Greatest Modern Political Moments". At number 3 was Tony Blair's last Prime Minister's Questions, and i thought he summed up the British parliament very well;

"...if it is on occasions the place of low skulduggery it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes" 
Tony Blair, 27th June 2007

The public rightly seize on the skulduggery, yet often unfairly refuse to acknowledge the pursuit of noble causes. All too often one incident overshadows years of great successes. Tony Blair's government, for example, achieved great things...but sadly his legacy with the general public is his weaknesses and mistakes. 

I often hear people make wide sweeping statements about politicians, governments and political parties. "the Labour government fucked this country up", "this country is full of foreigners" and "Gordon Brown ruined out economy" etc etc. What the British people are generally lacking, is the ability or willingness to take a balanced view. 

Politicians make a positive difference to our lives on a daily basis. We don't know about it because the newspapers don't want a headline of "everything is OK". A government can be successful, even when mistakes have been made. I have made many a mistake, and do not consider my life to be a failure. In fact i try to turn my mistakes into positive learning experiences. Admittedly government mistakes have the potential to have more widespread effects than my mouthing off without thinking, but humans don't get things right 100% of the time and we should give our politicians the room to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. This is a positive attitude for society to take when dealing with honest made mistakes. Taking that balanced view, we need to ask ourselves if a mistake is so bad as to require a resignation...we must not take the view that every mistake warrants a resignation. Things change when there is any element of there so often is at the moment.

There is an element of corruption in our society...there are corrupt police officers, there are corrupt politicians, there are corrupt bankers, there are corrupt builders, there are corrupt street cleaners and there are corrupt unemployed.
Where we have a corrupt politician, they must be held to account, and dealt with with the full force of the law. I think most politicians know that their behaviour reflects on all politicians... but as a mature society we ought to be mindful to distinguish between a systemic corruption, and individual corruption.

Thanks to the Telegraph we have cleansed parliament of our expense cheats...parliament is a more honest place. Was it systemic corruption? or huge scale individual corruption? I'm not totally sure.

Where politicians have been coseying up to a media mogul, we should again hold them to account. Holding them to account means investigating their behaviour, and taking appropriate action. Again, this doesn't always mean that politicians must lose their job.

We are in the middle of a social revolution against corruption. We must take advantage of the newly found strength of democracy and challenge real corruption where ever it may be. I believe we have unfinished business with the bankers

Every MP shares responsibility for the inaction and fear caused by News International and they have acknowledged that. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of some form of intimidation and blackmail can probably understand the sorts of pressures they were under. What was wrong was that MP's allowed the supremacy of parliament be overshadowed by their own fears and intimidation.

Representing a constituency in Parliament, the European Parliament or a Local Council is a privilege. Becoming a representative of the people should appear to be accessible to all, but i worry that the mistakes made, some unfair commentary in the media and elements of corruption have discouraged ordinary people from getting involved, leaving the way clear for career politicians like all of the current party leaders.

I write this out of pure frustration. Lots of my friends have given up on our politicians, and i don't want to end up going the same way...the problem is, our politicians become so easily embroiled in scandal, it can be all too easy to lose interest.

  • What practicable changes could be made to improve access to politics?
  • When will politicians learn to give us a reason to bother with them?