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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peter Hitchens on One Party Britain

So here we see our new, one-party elite in all its lack of glory, interchangeable careerists from fake ‘Tory’ and fake ‘Labour’ front benches, floating around in lukewarm seas of money with Russian oligarchs, hedge-fund millionaires, foreign media magnates and who knows what else?

This, the Corfu set, is your choice at the next Election. You can have one thing, or you can have the same thing. If you want anything else, you can get stuffed. These individuals have no interest in you, or in this country, nor much idea of how the rest of us live. It is centuries since Britain was ruled by a set of people who have so little in common with those they govern.

What they’re really embarrassed about this week is that you might realise that this is what they are like. Peter Mandelson (above) is less troubled than George Osborne because nobody would be surprised by anything he did, or anyone he met. If Peter turned up in North Korea having cocktails with Kim Jong Il, it would be Kim’s reputation that got damaged.

But it is much worse for the Tories. They have spent millions (raised how, exactly?) on buying themselves a nice new image. Now they fear that the whole lot has gone down the plumbing.

They tried so hard to avoid this. David Cameron even had a pseudo-holiday in Cornwall, where he posed for pictures, before heading off for his real holiday in Yachtworld, where he wasn’t so keen to be seen.

How it makes me yearn for the much-mocked old days of the grouse moors, and even Harold Wilson’s expeditions to the Scilly Isles. Our political leaders may not have been much good but at least they were ours, not the trashy flotsam of the global elite.

writes Peter Hitchens in his excellent article in today's Mail on Sunday.

As regular readers will know, I’ve long argued that in Britain we live in what is to all extents and purposes a one party state. Does anyone out there have any doubts after this week’s revelations about the goings-on of the Corfu set? It‘s also interesting to compare Peter Hitchens’ observations, with those of Martin Kettle in The Guardian. Kettle, nominally a man on the ‘liberal-left’ wrote on Friday:

“The Rothschild pad is presumably at the luxury end of the market, but so what? Are politicians - Labour politicians in particular - not allowed to have rich friends?

Once again the Corfu revelations- and the reaction to them- have shown that the 'old’ left and the 'old' right have far more in common than they do with today’s globalist political elite and their media apologists- such as Martin Kettle and The Times' Chief Leader writer Daniel Finklestein (who after describing the Corfu revelations of his own newspaper as a 'non-scandal', then embarrassingly did a 'somersault')

PS: One small point I would take issue with in Peter Hitchens' brilliant post though (and David Lindsay makes the same observation) is his line that our political leaders in the immediate post-war era ‘may not have been much good.’ The likes of Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson were actually very good- especially when you consider that unlike Prime Ministers from Thatcher onwards they didn’t have the benefit of the bonanza of North Sea oil. Harold Wilson was a particularly effective- and under-rated Prime Minister; (as well as being an exceptionally nice man), whose record looks better with each year which passes. And as Peter mentions, he spent his holidays on the Scilly Isles, not in the villas of the global financial/business elite.


robin carmody said...

Martin Kettle is ... quite infuriating to read, more often than not. One of many Guardian/Observer writers who really aren't what both their admirers and their critics think they are.

Roland Hulme said...

Ha! having lived and worked on the Isles of Scilly (how DARE you call them the Scilly Isles, you philistine!) I can assure you that there was nothing modest about (some) of them.

jock mctrousers said...

It's strange how Peter Hitchens now seems way to the left of most of the self-styled left. At least there is a sort-of consistency to his views. Martin Kettle, however, is just a scumbag - a former 'left' poseur, now in the money, revelling in trashing the aspirations of anyone who didn't sell out. What a state we're in. There's no organised left anywhere, except maybe the Green party, and they're so insipid it's hard to get excited about them. With all this public cavorting of MPs with the oligarchs, one might hope that somewhere, in the darkest corners of the internet, there might be a call for designing the influence of money out of our system. But no! Not a word. Of course, we've got some token distractions like reforming the House of Lords, proportional representation, and limiting donations (aimed, of course, at ending the influence of the unions), but the REAL problem is never discussed anywhere - how do we ensure that elected representatives work for all citizens equally, and not, ultimately for themselves, by serving rich masters to ensure their after-office careers? On some of the left fringes, there is a call for ' workers' reps on worker's wages' (or something like that), and there's even the very worthy Socialist Party MP, Dave Nellist, who tries to live by it, but how useful is that, really? Would that attract a useful caliber of person to the job? And, more importantly, is a little slogan like that all the thought that our democracy merits? Why aren't all these think tanks funded by the TUC, and all the academics affiliated to them, working non-stop to produce paper after paper to get a discussion going on how effective democracy would work? Anything else is just pissing in the wind. There's not going to be a revolution unless the citizenry can see plainly that their just demands for real democracy are not being met, but their so-called, and would-be, leaders aren't even making these s
zdemand. There would need to be a lot of discussion and a lot of research to come up with the correct program, and it would have to be subject to continuous research and testing, and it would face a concerted contra propaganda campaign from the rich-owned media, especially the likes of Martin Kettle, so there would need to be complete unanimity, and understanding that this is what 'left' means - effective democracy - and if you're not with the program, you're not on the left. It's too late in the day to be diverted into discussions of pseudo-Marxist gobbledegook. How do we design the influence of money out of the political system? Firstly: in the electoral process, and that would need to include discussion of the media, including the use of drama, fiction etc to promote undemocratic messages. Second: there must be severe restrictions on the activities of MPs in and after office, maybe compensated with a generous pension, they must be recallable if they don't do what they claim to do... Don't say this is impossible, or dreaming! We've cracked the genome code, we've put a man on the moon - this is child's play ! And I assure you I can see the glaringly obvious problems with what I've discussed - e.g. would representatives guaranteed a cosy income for life have any incentive to perform well? How would security of income be compatible with recallabiltiy? These things have to be discussed. Dave Nellist may be a saint, but few are going to be attracted to politics if it means scuppering their previous career, and offers no advantage. One thingWithout a program to get our reps working for us, all talk of reforming the banking system, to take a rather pressing example, amounts to little more than talk. If we can't come up with a program for making democracy work, then we can't come up with a program for making a socialist revolution work. First things first. And one thing's for sure, I'm not going to come up with the answers on my own, off the top of my head, and neither is anyone else. So let's get our heads together and start taking democracy seriously.

Anonymous said...

Democracy died and the voters were outwitted when the trio of professional politicians , editors and trade union leaders all became of one mind.

jock mctrousers said...

anonymous - that's the point, and MY point is - what are we going to do about it? Are you happy just to note that 'democracy died...' Oh well, it was nice while it lasted... That seems to be the general level of morale in our society nowadays. Let's get back some of the Dunkirk spirit - on our feet or on our knees!