Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time to salute and hand over to the electorate

There's a time in politics when you simply have to submit yourself to the electorate, stand back and humbly await their verdict. It is a bit like bungee jumping without being sure that the bungee is attached to terra firma. In a way, going through it is liberating in a fatalistic way.

It goes for life as well. We all think we can control events (just as politicians can delude themselves into thinking that they control events). But in the end, we are at the mercy of fate, luck, chance, predestination, the grace of God...delete as applicable/call it what you will.

As much as we like to think we are the centre of the universe, there actually are moments in life when all one can do is stand to attention, salute smartly and await the verdict of fate, going down with the ship with all the dignity one can muster, if that is what it comes to.

That time has come now in British politics. It's time for a general election simply because it is obvious that the House of Commons has lost the trust of the people. It's time for an election for the people to choose a new lot.

There's no point in struggling on - it will just make the situation worse.

Much as they are often derided as having 'no interest in politics', the British people do collectively have sound judgment. When roused they are ignored at peril. We should never forget that the British people own this country. It's not the Queen. It's not the Prime Minister. It's not the political class in Westminster. This country is owned by its people.

The people give parliamentarians a long bungee every four or five years and as that four or five years comes to an end, the bungee gets taughter and taughter. If allowed to get even taughter, it snaps and we have unedifying scenes of Angry from Tunbridge Wells sharpening their pitchfork. Most unseemly and unnecessary if a simple bit of fatalism is applied in Westminster.

It is pointless blaming the Telegraph or even part-blaming them. Of course, their coverage has borne little relationship, at many times, to proper journalism. The Alan Reid episode proves that. Their flagship of the Andrew/Gordon Brown cleaning story that wasn't proves that. And if any final proof of the insanity of the Telegraph+baying mob is required - just look at today's "Ten Saints" listed by the Telegraph.

Pass the sickbag, Alice. We have ....I can hardly type the words.....Martin Salter and Theresa May being listed as "saints" because they didn't claim a second homes allowance for the last few years (or in the case of May claimed nothing last year and a relatively small amount in previous years).

Hello? Earth calling Telegraph! Perhaps you ought to note what constituencies Salter and May represent. Let's have a look. Oh I see, Reading West and Maidenhead. Then, oh Telgraphistas, look at the railway map of England, such as it is post-Beeching. You will see a very bold line emanating from Paddington and making its way westwards. It's could the flipping mainline you numpties! And it just happens to stop, most times, at Reading and Maidenhead you cloth-eared muppets!

So Salter and May are "saints" because they are lucky enough to live (in their constituencies) a 30-45 minute subsidised first class train journey from Paddington, but Alan Reid - who happens to live in his constituency in Scotland and needs to pay for B&Bs to get around to see his constituents and needs to pay for the costs of travelling and staying in London - he gets pilloried simply because of the facts of basic geography - the same basic facts of geography for which Salter and May are venerated. AAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

But in the end, we shouldn't, as Michael Martin did this week, shoot the messenger. As I have said previously, the whole of the House of Commons - except those who voted against the ACA or for its reform - are guilty of a gigantic conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer. Therefore it is time to submit to the electorate.

Of course, Michael Martin should go and go n-o-w (a word it seems, from the prognostications of his representative on earth, George Foulkes, he (Martin) does not understand and if you want evidence that he really should go then read this excellent account of the genesis of Moatgate here by Heather Brooke) but rather than tangle this all up in an unseemly wrangle between pigs in the pigsty, it is just that Michael Martin continues until the end of this Parliament - which should be this coming Tuesday. This Parliament has run out of road.

So Nick Clegg should call for a dissolution of parliament now and we should all prepare for a general election. Well done Lynne Featherstone for an excellent piece on this.

Lynne quoted a pundit who said we need to wait three months (conveniently taking us into the long grass of August) before an election so we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Quite frankly, to hell with the "baby".

If the UKIP, BNP, Jury Team or goodness knows who else benefit from this, then - so what? The British people need to decide who they want in parliament. All politicians can do is present their case as best they can and, most of all, stop any further prevarication.

Will this happen? Of course not. Gordon Brown is lacking in vital types of intelligence. One of those is the intelligence which gives him a sense of the mood of the people and how to react to it. Another area where he is lacking in nous is in simple political savvy. He thinks he is a clever tribalist, but he is not. This is the best chance he has of avoiding anilhilation (which may come anyway). Labour is damaged, but the Tories are also damaged, to an extent. The British people will recognise Cameron's extreme hypocrisy. This may not prevent a Cameron rout but an election now would see the best chance of a limited Cameron rout that there's going to be between now and when Brown really does run out of constitutional road next May.

By the way, a British general election can be called within 17 days. So if Brown gets a proclamation of dissolution and writ moved this Tuesday, the general election can be on the same day as the Euros and the counties on June 4th.

It should happen.

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