Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Will the big three parties 'step aside' now please

As there now appears to be a new convention in public life in the shape of “stepping aside” while inquiries take place into incompetence and/or misleading broadcasts by the BBC, surely there are grounds for extending this practice into political circles as well.

So in the interests of probity, here is a short, sample list of malpractice and/or lying at Westminster that should, if we lived in a real democracy, lead to all the big three political parties “stepping aside” for the foreseeable future.

     New Labour years
  1. Claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and using this lie as the basis of an illegal invasion and occupation of that country. The hundreds of thousands of deaths that followed are the direct consequence of this action and prosecutions for war crimes are in order.
  2. The introduction for the first time in 1998 of university tuition fees on the spurious ground that this was the only possible way to continue to the sector. It signalled the end of free higher education.
  3. Creation of the light-touch regulation of the City and finance through the hopeless Financial Services Authority, thus misleading the public into believing their money was safe in the hands of the banks. The financial collapse of 2007 showed this to be a lie.
  4. Expansion of “public finance initiative” projects to build hospitals and schools on the basis that they would save taxpayers’ money in the long term. The recent collapse of several NHS Trusts shows this to have been deception on a grand scale.
  5. Claiming that the expansion of the global market economy would benefit everyone. In fact, inequality grew faster, executive salaries soared and the ownership of wealth became more concentrated in fewer hands.
  6. Using the spurious “war on terror” as the cover for a war on civil liberties and human rights through detention without trial, integrated national databases, interception of emails and the merging of criminal and civil laws through the notorious ASBO system.
2010 election and the ConDems
  1. In the run-up to the 2010 general election, the three major parties consistently refused to divulge their plans to cut public spending if elected. As a result, the election was a massive fraud perpetrated on the electorate as a whole. The Coalition came to power without a mandate in a constitutional coup.
  2. The claim that “we are all in it together” made by the ConDems has proved to be one of the greatest lies of British history. Spending and welfare cuts, inflation, the rise in VAT and other measures have fallen disproportionately on average earners, those in need and people with disabilities. The rich, as per usual, have got richer.
  3. Lib Dems propping up the Tories by breaking their election pledge not to support a rise in tuition fees. Vince Cable, the business secretary, proposed the increase in fees to at least £6,000 a year. This alone disqualifies the Lib Dems from ever being in government again!
  4.  David Cameron’s pledge that the health service was “safe in his hands” has become one of the all-time political lies. The NHS Act opens the door to privatisation by making hospital trusts ever-reliant on fee-paying patients and allowing GPs to commission services from the private sector.
We could go on and on, but no doubt you have your own examples of how the political system has become a conduit for misleading, misinforming and lying. There’s only solution – and that’s for the perpetrators to step aside.

Unfortunately, they intend to cling on to office for as long as possible. So it’s going to take one big shove to get them out of our hair to make room for a real democracy to take shape.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor

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