Saturday, 16 May 2009

Bottom Up or Top Down?

This whole expenses fiasco got me thinking about the selection process for prospective candidates and where the power really lies.

Let's get the obvious out the way first - people are pis*ed off (pardon the French). There is massive dissatisfaction and anger out there towards the political class be it MPs, AMs, MEPs or county councillors. These people now have the dubious honour of being the most reviled group in Britain, I bet that traffic wardens are feeling pretty smug now.

I’ve been wondering as to whether the local parties will listen to the collective cry from across the four nations of Britain calling almost in unison “get these cheating bast*rds out!” (again pardon the French - I think it was necessary to convey the right emotion.) Will local parties take the initiative and start de-selecting MPs who have been taking them for a ride over the past however many years?

The Labour party has prided itself historically on being a party of the people. Their policy-making process has a sizable input from grass-roots members: the national executive committee diluting the power of party leaders and often frustrating them with their left wing militancy. Traditionally Labour’s selection process for candidates (when not held to ransom by the trade unions) has been very bottom up in approach giving an important role to the local party - but what now?

What if the local members of Salford put their foot down and say “its time to deselect Hazel” or if the local Labour party in Dewsbury say “we’ve had enough of Shahid”? Where does the power lie? There is a lot of pressure to try and rekindle the public belief and respect for Parliament and many feel a new one would do the trick - so will we see the de-selection process used?
It’s not so tricky for the Tories, local members have only had a vote in their leadership elections for 12 years so the tradition of top-down decision making is not new to them, but in an attempt to be whiter than white (classic Cameron) they may de-select some MPs to teach them a lesson, which would be a nightmare for the upkeep of a certain moat.

I expect the top down approach will prevail and most members of the House of Commons will keep their nomination (if they still want it), otherwise it would be like the naughty kids in school running detention. But you never know, some plucky local parties may just cause a stir and give back to politics a little a bit of credibility (well, maybe).

Dewi Un

P.S I think de-selection would earn some respect and support from the public.



Patrick Lismore said...

Interesting blog post,

People now have the tool to express themselves and we can show Politicians what the people are feel like in real time.

Rate Your Politician

Twitter @R8YP

also coming soon is ,

Rate Your Minister

Twitter @R8YourMinister

Anonymous said...

Interesting article! Not sure though if anyone actually really realises (not even political journalists) how pissed off the werin bobol really are. This disgust with politicians, government institutions and the like is as bad as I can remember, reinforcing my belief that too much power, comfort and money desensitises some shallow individuals, alienating them from the struggles which are a core element of most people’s lives.

The real gut wrenching stuff is the response of these empty vessels to all of this. What’s wrong with using the word greed in this context. People like Margaret Beckett who would be excused possibly if she’d used tax payers money to sort out her hair!! And dear old Hazel in her leathers the famous equality and diversity advocate!!!! Enough!

Let’s focus instead on the real stars. Those who use their emotional intelligence and imagination to survive on incomes that would turn this lot into criminals overnight but hang on....their criminals already.

It’s an odd thought but we will never be able to get too excited in future about benefit fraud......after all they didn’t write the rules did they? But surely society will view the redundant factory worker on £60 JS Allowance sensitively if he was caught doing a few hobbles to feed his growing family! Not cleaning his swimming pool or anything like that just taking the wife and kids for a trip to Aldi’s.

Its Christian Aid week and I saw a film of child labour in the Congo where young kids worked their socks off for 38 pence a week and then gave this to their parents to help the load. My mum gives all her extra money (my dad’s coal pension £202 a month) to her grandchildren and charitable causes.

A little girl in Grenig Rd is always telling me she’s hungry. Doctors have to work less hours so more patients will die in Wales as a result. Care homes are a disgrace so we’re not looking after our elderly. Women fight for Herceptin and nothing makes sense.
If my dad was alive he’s say their punishment should be a couple of shifts down the mine shafts.....but there was never any money down the mines....and as my gran used to say “but we managed”
Of course these respectable exploiters of privileges don’t understand the concept of just managing..........and maybe that’s part of the problem.

Politics Cymru said...

Read this! Good timing!

Dewi Un