VitalSpark: Coalition Blog

Posted: 27 April 2010, in Blog

Apathy, cynicism, loathing, anger and dismay. How would you fancy facing some of that in your daily life? Aye, politicians are a strange bunch. We should help them by normalising them.

I’m a floating voter now, although I didn’t use to be. My politics are socially liberal and I don’t mind paying my share of tax. I’d abolish the Monarchy, the House of Lords and make us a Republic – a bi-cameral legislature with a non – executive presidency, just like the Irish Republic if you’re asking. STV would be the voting system. I’d replace the Honours system with something non-imperial. However, I vacillate on crime and punishment, The EU, and 21st century notions of the nation-state and independence. I’m against ID cards and would not replace Trident. I used to be a Labour Party member but rescinded that due to Iraq and Blair. In economic terms I believe in markets and profit, aspiration, ambition and entrepreneurship.

Re our corrupted politicians, I like Charles Laughton’s quote as Senator Gracchus in Spartacus; “I’ll take some republican corruption along with some republican freedom, but I won’t take the dictatorship of Crassus and no freedom at all!”

I’d force all politicians to take a constituent to an arts event each month and to read a novel chosen by their constituents every month. First suggestion from me is Puckoon by Spike Milligan. Politicians would serve 3 terms max in any “assembly”. They could stand again after a complete break from public office. Their work diaries would be published two months late, so we could see what they actually do, with whom and where. I’d pay them well but reduce their numbers. Every time a new law was passed an old one would have to be repealed.

I’d force people to vote. I’m intrigued by plebiscites and referenda. Although an atheist, I support faith schools. I’m conflicted about the BBC; I’d probably break it up a wee bit. I’d steal the idea that politicians should be made to dress like F1 drivers so everyone could see who was giving them money and hospitality etc. They could have 2nd jobs but would lose their political salaries accordingly.

I’d introduce a Community Reinvestment Act for the banks and stimulate corporate and individual social responsibility through the tax system. I’d mutualise some utilities, Network Rail, the Crown Estate and parts of the NHS. I believe that private or public monopolies are a recipe for disaster.

I would remove govt influence, control and patronage from the Lottery Distributors but the independent trustees would need to be publicly elected on their own “ticket”– we could use the X Factor phone/texting model. I’m attracted to Cameron’s rhetoric about a Big Society rather than a Big State but don’t trust the Tories. I feel happier with The State enabling and regulating rather than being a predominantly controlling provider. So what class, group or voter profile do I belong to, does it matter, (who cares) and who should get my vote?