Tuesday, January 23, 2018

When I Were a Lad

I've said elsewhere that I don't understand politics, but having lived through too many Parliaments I do have views on individual politicians (who doesn't?)

It seems to me that in days of yore our front bench politicians, and some backbenchers, were people of gravitas, or bottom as my father would say. Not only were they serious people concerned with the future of the country, but many of them were fine orators too. It's true that with our adversarial system of Parliament there have been myriad occasions when robust opposition has been mounted, but with the object of seriously debating the current issue of the day for the benefit of the country at large. I may be mistaken, but that is my impression.

Contrast and compare today's politicians, of all parties. Whilst many of them are serious and professional, most seem to be in the game for themselves. So long as they can have the letters MP after their names it seems to be a goal in itself. As for our current "Loyal Opposition" they present themselves as a bunch of playground bullies, finger pointing and name calling, and calling themselves politicians. Their idea of opposition is to yell at the government benches, and try to beat them at every division. That's not opposition, that is posturing. They are hell-bent on power for its own sake, but couched in terms so mendacious that one might almost be forgiven for thinking them serious people. And where are the orators? Speakers who can move nations and change history with the power of their words? To paraphrase Lord Halifax, let us mobilise the English language and send it into battle!

Alas we seem now to be in the age of talking, not speaking. The likes of Lloyd George, Churchill, Tony Benn and Enoch Powell with their galvanising oratory are long gone. One of the last may be Ken Clarke, but even his best harangues seem to have ceased. Now we have the likes of Mr Corbyn, Mrs May, and Sir Vince Cable. To call them lightweights is to overstate their abilities. Bring back the true heavyweight politicians like Nye Bevan, Harold Wilson, and Barbara Castle, politicians of serious public service intent, even if we can't digest their opinions. Parliament and by extension the country would benefit. As it now is we have no real Parliament, only a theatre of ego; look at me, look at me, look at me. 

MP's with serious intent and real ability are more often than not sidelined, ridiculed or called out of touch, and the Members given public prominence are the likes of Mhairi Black, and Jared O'Mara. The state and quality of the lawmakers of this land needs to change in attitude and personnel. Drain the swamp is a current slogan, let's start with our mediocre puppet Parliament, all of them, and really take back control of our Country.

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