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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Charles Moore: The bulb begins to glow

It's always struck me as extraordinary how otherwise intelligent people are unable to see something that to me is perfectly clear, like looking at those dot pictures in which I can instantly recognise the hidden figure within whilst someone else squints, turns their head and tilts the picture through three planes saying "No, still can't see it". So it's with some satisfaction that I read Charles Moore in this morning's Telegraph and see the first feint glow appear in the lamp bulb. He's seen the hidden glyph for the first time. 

This and many other centre right, independent, non-aligned blogs and sites have been banging on about it for many years. Politics is local but politicians are centrist. The parties are dying. Fewer than 1% of the electorate are members of the Big Three. An alien metropolitan political class has hijacked our democracy. MPs now put party before country or constituency. Politicians have more in common with each-other than they do with their electors. The parties have become consumer brands competing on the same ground for market-share. Politics should be a vocation and not a career. Voters are not apathetic - they're angry and fed up. And now these truths are dawning on those such as Charles Moore perhaps we can move to the next stage.

He's mistaken only in a supposed surge in Tory membership that he attributed to Margaret Thatcher, and here is the danger of relying on anecdotal evidence. No doubt in the immediate range of her powerful penumbra she had this effect, but the Conservative party overall actually lost over a million members between 1979 and 1997 as a direct result of centralist policies that robbed local Conservative associations of power. 

Eastleigh demonstrates the circle to be squared. The parties must recognise that it is perfectly legitimate for a local MP to lead the campaign against the development of a local quarry without either the party having to adopt a manifesto position against domestic mineral extraction or taking from them the whip. The local party may support GM crops in Norfolk but oppose them in Wiltshire. And as Moore suggests, when the Chairmen of local parties write to ministers they should listen as intently as they did in the 1950s when Margaret Thatcher entered politics; had they done so, Sir David Nicholson would have been sacked many months ago, before he became an albatross around the neck of the government.


DeeDee99 said...

The Parties (LibLabCON that is) all represent The Establishment.

The Establishment wanted the UK in the Common Market and wants to see the EU succeed with the UK in it.

The Establishment supports the aims of the Bilderberg Group which are to build a One World Government (as Healey freely admitted). Prime Ministers are only allowed if they are approved of by the Bilderbrgers and will carry out its policies.

The Establishment will not allow LibLabCON to represent the wishes of the people - because the people do not agree or support the Establishment's aims and objectives.

So now we've created our own Party.

The chickens are coming home - but the fox is waiting for them in the henhouse.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

R, have linked.

If I may use your blog to answer DeeDee99?


You write: "So now we've created our own Party." - by which I presume you mean Ukip?

How does a leader who can write, in a book, that "local authorities should be allowed to...." differ from any of the other party leaders - all of whom have no understanding of democracy and who, consequently, practise what can only be termed "democratised dictatorship"?

Is not he, too, condoning a continuation of the status quo - namely the practise of representative democracy - aka democratised dictatorship?

If I have misunderstood your meaning of a new party then naturally I withdraw my comments and questions.

Rush-is-Right said...

When Charles Moore wrote that "Miss Roberts.... increased the membership of the constituency Conservative association to 3,160" he was talking about 1950-51, not the period of her government.

DeeDee99 said...


I have replied to you on your own blog on this issue in the past (under a different name).

At the moment we have to work within the political system currently in operation.

It is hard enough to get disaffected, alienated people to listen to alternative policies from a small party - and to stop their tribal voting.

A tiny, tiny proportion of people will even understand what the Harrogate Agenda is all about - let alone take much interest in it.

Change happens gradually in this country. We don't go in for revolutions. The growth of UKIP represents change - the breaking of the LibLabCONsensus.

THEN I believe we can start addressing the next question - which is devolving power to the people.

George Orwell said...

As an American, I agree that all the national parties have been seduced by power and therefore represent the interests of the politicians, not the interests of the country or of its individual citizens.
What our goal should be is not attempting to make the central government less corrupt or more accountable to local interests. All central governments throughout the history of mankind have been corrupt and focused only on the needs of the rulers, not the ruled.
This is an iron law of human nature and cannot be altered.
Only by making central governments so weak that their corruption and self-interested actions do not much effect the average citizen is there any hope for good governance.
Emasculation, not reform, of big government is the only hope. All but a very few of the functions of government must be returned to the local level, where responsiveness can be judged and voted upon effectively.
It is not that our national governments do not function well, it is that they cannot function well that is the essential lesson to be learned from history and especially our recent experience.
However, another obvious lesson from history is that power is never surrendered willingly by any ruling class. Only revolt or collapse can return our societies to a better structure of governance and, frankly, my reading of history only a few nations (for example, England and America) have ever successfully accomplished the transition to a better system of government with only limited violence.
My belief is that change will only come after collapse. Society may then reorganize with small scale governance that serves individuals better. Better government is not the probable outcome of revolt or collapse but it is a possible outcome. However, I do not expect to live through the transition so I hope that we will stumble along for a few years more.

Budgie said...

DD99, you are right. WfW appears to have been seduced by Richard North's conclusions. Whilst RN's research is usually excellent, his judgements can be off target, sometimes alarmingly so.

Direct Democracy is right but it cannot be in place in time to sort our current problems.

cachaciero said...

While evolution rather than revolution may be the perceived British way I believe the mood of much of the country is nearer revolution than at any time in the past. The riots of a year ago were depicted as criminality which to some extent they were but they were also as much a demonstration of the despair, lack of hope, and anger that exists in many areas of society over the ways things have been run.
It only requires an organisation with credible policies for change (not UKip) and some one with the oratory skills of a Churchill or Hitler and revolution could happen sooner than we may believe.

Anonymous said...

Another faint glow in the MSM

Climate change: the invisible global warming

Lawrence Solomon in a recent post charted the “rise and rise” of global warming over the past fifteen years. Based on UK Met Office data, the graphic above shows the global temperatures in degrees Celsius

NO GLOBAL WARMING. NO CLIMATE CHANGE. Panic. Panic. How will we fund Benefits to Muslims around the world if we cant have a EcoTax?

I have it. Climate always changes, and if it is not changing, then it must be the fault of those stinking Capitalist Western warmongers.

Increase taxes immediately to fund an increase in CLIMATE CHANGE NOW.

Robert of Ottawa said...

George O, I think it's not a question of parties being seduced by power rather than they are all using the same PR firms, have media reps in the same media opinion makers and all went to the same schools and universities. And, most importantly, all go to the same dinner parties.

In short, along with geogrhical centralisation, they are all mere representatives of a slightly different faction in the same dinner circuit.

They are out of touch and impost their own fads as public policiy. There is a Tea party in the UK, but currently its display is FO apathy.