It seems that whether red (Labour) or blue (Conservative), both parties harbour an ingrained wilful ignorance of the people, and will continue to do so unless the mechanics of our system are changed fundamentally.
The Conservatives were quick to defend themselves by pointing out the degree to which the Labour party are bankrolled by various Trade Unions in the country. But on quick observation, it is plain to see that the equivalent of around 90% of the funding from Trade Unions to Labour, is provided by 'individuals' to the Conservatives, which I believe highlights the grand disparity of wealth between individual supporters of the two main parties.
|Source: BBC News|
That's not to say that Labour haven't had their moments of attracting funding from wealthy lobbies. We all know about Lord (why oh why...) Peter Mandelson playing guest of honour for Russian Oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, aboard his yacht back in 2008. And much more prominently than this, back in 2001, the same man resigned for having seemingly fast tracked the citizenship applications of two Indian businessmen (Hinduja brothers), in the light of their funding of the Millenium Dome, who had originally had their applications rejected.
Some claim that Labour are controlled by the dictat of Trade Unions, but conversely, it can be argued that these groups are a sensible counterweight to the parliamentary system, after all, only groups can prevail in our system...unless of course, you have a large amount of influence (wealth, economic prowess...) at your disposal, in your capacity as an individual. This might then serve as a convenient catch-all description of many Conservative funders.
Perhaps, some generous funder is behind the latest cut of the top earners' tax rate?
The fact is, this is an endemic problem in the British political system, and policy amendments and well-timed soundbites are not enough to change what is an age-old habit.
What is needed here, is to take a look at the heart of British political life, and to make the fundamental change that will be required for everything else to follow.
For you see, in spite of the fact that neither Lord Mandelson of Labour nor Peter Cruddas of the Conservatives were elected by the British electorate, yet have the power to influence policy, our media and by extension the repeating public, will spin the tail of inherently corrupt politicians, calling for less of them and by extension distancing their actions from the public, out of convenience. Convenience of not having to deal with the smut of politics and (some) politicians, but also, the convenience for those within the administration, for only having to deal with the electorate every five years.
The core of this habitude, to be frank, lies within the heart of the British constitution: the blame starts with our Monarchy.
It is the one piece of the mechanic of our system, which is never considered, beyond superficial amendments to primogeniture, as if that is enough to justify the presence of an unelected entity at the heart of our so-called democracy.
This corruption which we occasionally note from our elected representatives, happens on a daily basis with our Monarchy, yet we have been brainwashed into never questioning it, as if it is somehow above politics, in spite of being the glue which holds the corrupt and partisan practises together.
I dispair that our country is being readied to celebrate yet another 60 years of corruption, unaccountability and deference. (Otherwise called the 'Diamond Jubilee.')
The prime examples are Prince Andrew with his practices of associating with undesirable people or receiving money, which in turn compromises (the albeit grand myth) of his political neutrality. Or his relative Prince Charles, and his overstepping of political convention- a codified constitution's sickly relative- by interfering with the democratic process in favour of his own interests, which are often wrongly portrayed as in the national interest by certain media outlets.
The above links, demonstrate the extent to which even the assumed apolitical core of our system, is clearly riddled with vested interests, and is the lead example of corruption and unaccountability that the rest of the system follows.
An article from the ResPublica's blog, claims that "Monarchy protects the people from parliament." When you consider that the Queen granted Peter Mandelson a peerage in spite of his corruption, it makes you wander where her interests lie. Naturally, how could she oppose practices of which her family are the bastions?
If we are to emancipate our politicians from this cycle of malpractice; if we are to have the British people take a hold of their own political system, then the basis must be the dissolution of the monarchy, and the establishment of a democratic heart, upheld by a codified constitution and Sovereignty vested in all of the British people, rather than an unelected, unaccountable few.
The British people pine after transparency, control and a system which listens to them. This will not be achieved if we continue to criticise politicians without seeking the source. Our elected MPs are merely the buffer zone between the people and the unaccountable core.
Our executive (The Cabinet), which is conflated with the legislature, and which holds the original autocratic power of the Monarchy, wields too much power in the face of a despairing British public. So long as they wield this power, they will not consider a more transparent way.
We must strive for a real democracy for the British people, and that can only be achieved if each and every one of us, starts to take steps to ask for the end of our monarchy, and the beginning of a real British democracy. We must ask the British republican question.
When we remove the heart of the problem, everything else will follow.