Thursday, June 29, 2006

Politics - I'm a Democratic Anarchist

I suppose that if I were to describe my political beliefs I would say I am a democratic anarchist.

Now that seems to be a bit of a contradiction doesn't it? Let me explain. This refers to the UK but I'm pretty sure it also applies to the US and every other 'democracy':

When I was a child my parents voted Conservative so naturally I began to think I was one too. The trouble was I wasn't quite sure exactly what a Conservative was. I still don't because for the life of me there seems to be little difference now between the three major political parties in the UK where I live.

In the old days Conservatives stood for:
  • Private enterprise
  • Land/Home ownership
  • A strong belief in the right to get rich
  • A strong military
  • Private schools

The Labour party stood for:
  • Nationalised major industry
  • A welfare state
  • Public housing
  • State run schools
  • Powerful unions
  • A strong belief that the rich should pay taxes at a higher rate than the poor
  • Less spending on 'defence' (well that's the word they used but really they meant 'offence')
The Liberal party stood for:
  • Anything they thought could get votes

Now it's all changed. They all seem to want:
  • Anything that will get votes
  • Anything that will prove just how bad the 'other lot' is.
  • The media to dig up scandal about X in the 'other lot'.

If you listen to them in Parliament - well there seems to be little debate - just a slanging match with each side saying how bad the 'other lot' is. Seldom do we hear an MP from one party saying what a good idea the other party has had!

Now I want a political party which represents not the party but me. I'm darn sure that at the moment none of them do that. Not one MP has ever asked me for my views or ever responded if I give them. I know that every few years we have elections but what sort of choice is that? I may like ideas from different parties! If I've needed help from my representative they always seem to be on holiday. I don't need a representative in Parliament - I need one in my local area.

In this era of Information Technology it seems stupidity to send all representatives to a central location at great expense. What's wrong with video conferencing? We wouldn't need massive security or a fortune spent on travelling and maintaining two homes.
Here's what I would like to see:
  • Close down Parliament - it can become a tourist centre. Maybe a good place for comedians to practice in.
  • MPs work at home - in their constituencies and talk to each other by video conferencing.
  • Use the money saved to pay them more! They don't get nearly enough. Let's give them a 1000% pay rise in the hope that the increased money will attract someone to the job that can actually do it.
  • In a few years we can forget paying MPs - just give them a share of the profits of running the country. If they can't run at a profit- they shouldn't be doing the job.
  • Pay for several well qualified assistants to help each MP who can act on their behalf.
  • Scrap the party system - their job is to represent the views of their constituents. Each MP could vote for ministers and Prime minister.
  • Stop criticising others and keep quiet unless you can put forward a better idea.
  • Use Internet to communicate with those who elect you. Actually listen to them! When you need to vote on an issue you should vote as directed by your constituents in an online constituency referendum.
  • Maybe one day we can do without representatives altogether and each do it ourselves.
So that's what I mean by 'democratic anarchist'. It's a true democracy where everyone can take a part in making decisions - if they want to.

As to politicians - well anyone who wants to be one is very probably the least suitable for the job.
Any disappointed anarchists of the 'blow them all up' type should follow this link

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