The British electoral system is broken so why not change it?

The country is on its knees, in the mire. Unless you’re a top earner or part of a wealthy family you’ll probably find it hard to disagree with this. The political parties of recent terms have lead to this. The political system and the electoral process that puts them in power is clearly broken and for the good of the country needs to change. Public services, once owned by the people are now private companies, providing those services for the profit of companies and their owners and shareholders. Those not already privatised are going through the process and it is likely that those that aren’t are in line for it at some point. See Noam Chomsky on privatisation on YouTube for more information and to give you an idea as to which may be in line for it.

Politicians have been proven to have stolen from the public purse through fraudulent expenses claims and other forms of corruption and vested interests are evident. Look at the related jobs that MPs often walk straight into after leaving their political roles for examples. Most recently George Osborne at Blackrock. They work as lobbyists for big business such as Priti Patel and British American tobacco. The examples are abundant if you’re willing to do a little digging. Then we have the blatant manipulation by the mainstream media, abbreviated to MSM. A huge percentage of the British press and media is owned by a few billionaires who, it is alleged, pay no tax or very little tax by off-shoring their finances. Their publications sway public opinion towards the party who will best suit their corporate and capitalist needs. A bit of mutual back scratching, if you will.

If you are capable of independent, critical thinking and have any awareness of the world around you then you’ll have learned nothing new, so far, from this blog posting. There are many other systems and processes involved that determine how the people are represented by the governing party. These involve constituences, which are basically regions that have a parliamentary seat. These seats are sat on by a member of parliament, MP for short. These MPs are supposed to represent the people in their constituency. As you’ll know if you look on any online estate agent’s site, some constituencies are better off, or more affluent than others. This is like a class map of the country. So, in theory, different constituencies are populated by people of different classes, usually measured and dictated by their income and background. As areas change shape and size, clever politicians like to make the constituencies that they represent change with them. They change the boundaries of the constituencies, to suit. An area that was once lower class is slowly bought up by richer people, because it is cheaper that way. So the area of a lower class of people is now owned by a higher class of people. It all skews over time. A long time, as in decades, so it isn’t always apparent that it is happening.

Based on these constituencies, the governing party is decided on a system called First Past The Post. It essentially boils down to which party wins the most votes in the constituencies, aligning to how many seats are held by each party in the House of Commons part of parliament.

This skewing is also evident with the political parties and voters themselves. Traditionally, the Labour party is meant to represent the lower and working classes. The Conservatives usually the business owners and upper classes. The Liberal Democrats are still a relatively young party but sit somewhere in the middle and in my view are simply opportunists who will sit where ever they think they will get votes. This is consistent with political leanings, ie left-wing, right-wing and all the convoluted variants in between. So Labour should be left-wing and for the working classes down, Conservatives right-wing and for the business owners up and so on. Traditionally, the Conservatives were seen as low tax, low spending on public services. This has only recently blown up in their faces when they broke a key election mandate pledge in raising National Insurance for a part of their voting base, the self-employed. Labour has traditionally been seen as a higher taxation party, but also a better public services spender. You can probably make your own correlation between wealth, constituencies and voting preferences, from what I’ve so far described. It is a very simplified and possibly naive description, but it is my interpretation and my blog, so please bear with me.

Now, supporters of the Conservative party say you always know where you stand with them. This is true, they are always right wing. The problem in recent decades is that the same can not be said of Labour. They have not stayed true to their left wing roots. Because of the influence of mainstream media and I sadly suspect for their own vested interests, Labour have swung to the right wing, in order to win elections. The have been dubbed Tory-lite. As a result of this, all British politics has swung away from serving the people, as in left wing and is now set up to serve the right wing. Big business and the very wealthy are the right wing, dubbed The Establishment.

Okay, again this is a simplified and possibly naive interpretation. Having said all of the above as a background to the main point of this post, I will now get on to the actual main subject of the post itself. A suggestion for how to stop this bias and offer a true choice, a truly democratic way for the country to be governed. It will return power to the sixty-odd million people that make up the populace.

My proposal for an electoral reform solution is really quite simple and it is as follows.

1. Use proportional representation (PR) instead of first past the post (FPTP). PR is essentially 1 person = 1 vote for their preferred political party.  This ensures that the governing party is chosen by the true majority of voters. Why should a constituency with a few hundred inhabitants carry as much weight as one with several thousand inhabitants, in political terms?

2. Instead of people being registered to vote, which requires a physical postal address, use something that all adults already have;  their National Insurance (NI) number. This would help to ensure that homeless people and those who may otherwise find it difficult to be registered on the electoral register still have a say.

3. At the polling booth, the political parties are not shown, only their mandates, or election pledges, if you prefer. This is known as blind policy based voting and will rid elections of party loyalties and ensure that the vote is given according to the voters’ needs and wishes. It also has the advantage of removing the need for expensive election campaigns.

4. If an elected governing party breaks its mandate then another general election is called. This holds the party accountable for its pledges and promises. In certain circumstances changes could be allowed by referendum.

Those are the specifics for the General Election voting process, now or some ideas about how the parliament would then operate.

Each constituency or region/area then has a party agnostic parliamentary representative. These can be sacked, if they fail to report to parliament as the people require them to.  This reporting would be done with transparency, broadcast to the public to ensure that it is actually happening.

I’m sure there is much more to consider but this, I feel, would be a good start. It would strip away much of the complexity and cost of politics, leaving transparency and accountability. I follow the K.I.S.S. philosophy. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Having this as a basis for the electoral and governance system would make for true democracy, in my humble opinion. The parliamentary make-up may well need some tweaking but I think the actual election process is spot on. I would suspect any party that wouldn’t agree to this kind of electoral reform.

There is a petition on the UK Parliament’s public petitions website calling for parliamentary debate on the introduction of Proportional Representation. It expires on 6th April 2017, so if you would like to back it, sign it before then. PR is, by definition, the most democratic form of voting as it shows the will of the majority of people.

What do you think?


Can Corbyn’s Labour Party win the next general election?

This is an excellent read and should be featured in the mainstream media. Of course it won’t be, but we know why that is, don’t we?

Challenging myths, setting out an alternative narrative suggesting a Corbyn win is very much possible. Source: Can Corbyn’s Labour Party win the next general election?

Source: Can Corbyn’s Labour Party win the next general election?

We mustn’t talk about Jeremy

We mustn’t talk about Jeremy

Although I despair of politics, you and I just cannot avoid or escape it in everyday life, much as many of us would like to. I don’t claim to fully understand it, or even understand it to a novice level, but I do get gut feelings about what is wrong and what is right. My earliest memories of politics, around the 11-16 age range are how I was influenced in my leanings by the media. I remember being confused as to who stood for what and even which MP was a member of which party. It was all such a jumbled mess. However, I could sense what the parties stood for in general terms. Who represented who in terms of social class. It didn’t help that my parents were on either side of the political divide, with my Mum being a Labour voter, my Grandfather on her side, Walter Jenkins, being a former Labour Lord Mayor of my city of birth. My father kept chirping on about how Margaret Thatcher was the greatest leader of UK government of all time. But then again, he’s all about money and a complete Narcissist. Back then he was a charge-hand scaffolder working in the Berkeley and Hinkley Point power stations and other big contracts for what was then GKN Mills, later GKN Kwikform and earning great money for that period.

When I started to develop my own views and leanings, I discovered myself to be completely in tune with the original principles of the Labour party. A socialist, wanting the people to be the first priority in any political debate and decision and for their views to be respected and part of the political process. A true democracy. The votes I have cast have only ever been for the Labour party, including getting New Labour into power and getting them in for the second term. I also voted for Miliband’s Labour, although grudgingly. I think my socialist views led me into the social care sector, first as a hands-on support worker or a year and then in various technical roles for a further six.

Since those times, voting apathy has been a big part of my thoughts when it’s been time to vote and the was because I felt that New Labour just didn’t represent me, my principles and those that I thought were meant to be those of the Labour party. The principles that gained my support in the first place. My utter loathing and confusion of politics had returned. How can the Labour party do this to me, to us the voters? Take us into what was dubbed an illegal war based on highly questionable evidence, sell us out for honours and titles for the already elite and dismiss the voters’ views so badly? I’d come to the conclusion that they were as bad as the Tories. ‘Labour MPs with blue underwear’ I called them.

Then along came Jeremy Corbyn, who I had read about from various online sources. There’s a man of principle, a man of his word, I was thinking. When he spoke, I didn’t feel I had to insert a political babel fish into my ear, or record the speech or interview to go over again and again, until I was able to make an interpretation of the broader message and see through the political jargon and spin. As has been billed, he is a straight-talker. He also has integrity, humanity, puts people first and their human rights appear to be a top priority. The will of the people, democracy, is what appears to shape his policies and that seemed almost unique and even novel in the political landscape that I saw before me. I was delighted to see him become leader of the Labour party and felt a certain relief that maybe things were on the change. A change for the better.

Then came all the political in-fighting within the Labour party, which the MSM (MainStream Media) seem overjoyed to be reporting. My heart began to sink again. The despondency and thoughts of ‘here we go again, a party with an identity crisis’ began floating to the surface. I began losing hope for the only thing that I could see bringing about a change in this country and my voting apathy was brewing up again. Then I came across The Candidate by Alex Nunns and read a free sample of it on my Kindle app. After three pages, I went online and bought it. Cue a night of no sleep. I was hooked. The in-fighting now could be understood, although not agreed with. The resistance against him that was being spouted all over the news was becoming obvious in its motives. I could see two reasons why they didn’t want him as leader the first strikes me as not wanting to fall out with the new breed of Labour party backers, big business and MSM. The second was a win at all costs mentality of New Labour which seems intertwined with the first reason. The obvious influence that the new breed of political backing seemed to be all that New Labour cared about and certainly not for the will of the people who were actually casting their votes at the ballot stations. There’s more to it than that, mostly behind the scenes political jostling and weighting by process, but I feel disconnected from that and totally powerless to do anything about it.

There’s still a lot of the ‘unelectable leader’ and ‘find another leader’ about in the debates, in parliament, MSM and online. But I don’t see it, all I see is Blairite collective and a Tory leader who is threatened by what Jeremy Corbyn represents. Digs about hero worship and fanaticism are slung about and at him and this does have some truth about it. It does seem to be a trait of some factions of the left, but that is because of where many left sided voters come from. The working and lower classes, the disenchanted, disadvantaged, the under-represented and even misrepresented down-trodden ‘peasants’ that make up the majority of the country. Yes, in Bonnie Tyler’s words, we’re holding out for a hero. That’s because we have grown to feel so powerless that we can only see somebody of a higher status, ie a politician or part of what we see as the decision making process, to make the right decisions and lead us into a better life. But that doesn’t have to be the only way. Okay, because of the whole political system, it is the only practical way of getting our wishes put into practical effect, made national policy and passed into law, but it isn’t the only path. There is a path that we are under the illusion still exists within the current system but is actually possible with effort and is the way forward. That path is called Democracy.

What is happening and this is evident if you know where to look, mainly the internet and its plethora of community and individual based sites that are out there. It is what is now being called a movement. A collective of people all trying to pull in the same direction, towards a common goal, the return of democracy. Not the fake democracy that is presented by referendums where the voters are manipulated by MSM and their billionaire backers who want to shape societies to maximise their power, profits and wealth. Not the illusion of democracy presented by the governments online petitions that are then roundly rejected and ignored in the end result. It is the democracy that brought about Corbyn’s improbably rise to the Labour party leadership and subsequent re-election, against the weighted processes that were designed to stop it happening.

I don’t see Jeremy Corbyn as the knight in white armour, riding towards our freedom. I do see him as a role-model but what I really see him as is a voice of the people. Somebody we can trust to be our mouth piece and to carry forward the views and wishes of the people in a democratic way. A leader who will stick by his principles which happen to be the principles of a huge number of the population of this country. What he has done is unite a hell of a lot of people who share the same philosophies and principles. A better society, a truly sharing and caring society. A fair society. Who wouldn’t want that, if they weren’t after a disproportionate slice of wealth and power through guile and least effort?

I could be accused of being brainwashed by another form of propaganda in the form of Alex Nunns’ book, but all it did was resonate and connect with what I have been feeling for a very long time in my stomach, heart and head. It did this by explaining the principles of the movement and by pointing out that there are a hell of a lot of like-minded people out there. An example of this is the Momentum movement. This has restored hope and made me feel that I can have a connection to the people that I cast my vote for. How can that be brainwashing, when all it has done is reinforced my views and beliefs? How can that possibly be a bad thing? I am a critical thinker and what I have seen through this critical thinking is that there is a lot that is very, very wrong with the way things are and have been for quite some time. The only way that we can make that right, within the current rules and socially acceptable norms are to get Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour into government. The next step, should this not come about, would be to exercise peaceful and lawful civil disobedience. This is akin to the unionsised route, which the Tories and New Labour before them have tried to weaken. It is also not how many would prefer to do it and I agree, but it is a better way than outright revolution which is what history has taught us is the extreme, but effective, way to overthrow tyrannical rule. It is not a veiled threat or attempt to incite rioting  or anything like that, I truly hate to see scenes of that nature. It does seem to be a vision in the subconscious of where things might lead in the distant, or maybe not so distant, future if the worm that is society is continued to be trampled on and be forced to turn.

Let us hope that the movement and the collective thoughts and voting actions of the people can get us back to true democracy, or even something resembling that, by playing within the ever constricting rules that are in effect today. It is all about the will of the people, not about Jeremy Corbyn himself. He’s the best person to speak for us at the moment and I hope that continues, but it isn’t all about the man, it’s about the movement. The movement of the people’s will.

Update – 22nd April 2017

Now that a General Election is upon us we need to make our voices heard and use our votes to get the vile Tory party out. We also need to encourage others to ensure that they are registered and to use their vote to get the Tories out. In some areas tactical voting may help, such as where LibDems are second to the Tories. Overall though, we must be aiming for a majority Labour government. I will personally never forgive the LibDems for selling us out to the Tories in the 2010 coalition and voting for the cruel austerity measures that are killing people and doing nothing to reduce the national debt which has, in fact, almost tripled. Nor do I swallow their anti-Brexit line. They cannot and will not reverse Brexit. They have already said that they’re open to another coalition with the Tories, so that will only give us the self harm that is hard Brexit. They have also been supportive of Donald Trump’s unnecessary military actions in the Middle-East. Only a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party will give us the chance of a sensibly negotiated Brexit deal with the EU. Only Labour will revolutionise and rebuild our economy through investment, proper taxation of big business and the super rich and fair wages for the real economy drivers, the working classes.

Use your vote or lose your voice.

Vote for this.

Let’s rebuild Britain by electing a government that works for the many, not the super wealthy few. Vote Labour, get the incorruptible Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.