Saturday, March 15, 2008

Politics Today

After an 18 month trial, permission for television broadcasts of Commons' proceedings was finally granted in 1990. I was marginally against this. Why? Democrats (in the purely British sense of the word) might well believe it would give the proceedings transparency. I was afraid that the men (and women) in the flash suits would have ‘the edge’. While I do not wish to infer that the voting population of Britain are not capable of making objective judgements, it seemed to me that we are a nation of ‘cap doffers’. With the best will in the world, we, the British have a tendency to trust the man in the suit, the one who is well presented. We do not look beyond the image. The politics of the last 30 years and more should show us that being well dressed does not mean the individual is worthy of our trust. Many of these well dressed men and women have let us down.

I make the point of John Profumo. Well Dressed, gentleman? Turned out to be untrustworthy and a liar.

Michael Foot who, in the 1970’s placed a wreath to the fallen from two World Wars on Armistice Day at the Cenotaph, wearing a ‘donkey jacket’ gave up leadership of the Labour Party because of the outcry, instituted by the right wing press and their Tory overlords. I shan’t quote the obvious- that most of the men who died to protect our freedom would have been similarly garbed. (Yes, I quoted it. I’m a liar, too.) I’ll just say we gave up a man who might have brought about some real changes. A man, who despite the donkey jacket, was a genuine and trustworthy individual. I was a member of the Labour Party back then. He would have made a great Prime Minister. When I say that, I mean in the vein of Benjamin Disraeli, Lloyd George and even, perhaps, Sir Winston Churchill. We really lost an opportunity for Britain to be ‘Great’ again.

I’ll end by saying that was the beginning of the end of the Labour Party in once Great Britain. We saw the beginning of career politicians. When the job became more important than the care of the people. When the expense account became more important than the job. When looking good meant more than being a good politician.

I rest my case.


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