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Change Can Be Unfair To Everybody
by Ian R Thorpe

The 2010 UK general election campaign has been more Presidential than ever. But does the focus on the three leaders, zGordon Brown for Labour, David Cameron for the Conservatives and the Liberl Democrats Nick Clegg. The emphasis on television debates has enabled the leaders to evade any difficult question requiring detailed answers but do their vague promises of change and a fairer society serve Britain's version of democracy well?

Change Can Be Unfair To Everybody
by Ian R Thorpe.
2010-04-27
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: change-unfair-clegg-brown-cameron-politics-election-2010-change-fairness-spin-society-nation-MP-constituency-parliament

It cannot only be me and my colleagues here at The Daily Stirrer who are fed up of hearing about change and fairness in this election. Campaigning has been more Presidential in style than ever before with attention focused on the party leaders and in particular on the televised debates. This is bad for democracy of course because The British Constitution (and we do have on American visitors though it is not contained in single document) requires that we elect Members of Parliament per Constituency to represent all the people of the constituency and not that we vote according to which of the party leaders is the prettiest, has the most vacuous catchphrases or parades the prettiest wife on his arm.

The new style campaigning does not serve us well because all three party leaders are being allowed to get away with making vague promises to deliver something called "change" and creating a fairer society without having to be very specific about what changes they intend to make, how those changes will benefit us as individuals or the constituencies or how in trying to be fair to all they will avoid being unfair to everybody as is inevitably the case with social engineering projects.

One size fits all politics, like one size fits all clothing, will actually fit nobody very well.

In emphasizing the need for change all three parties are jumping on the Obama bandwagon. Are they complete morons, to they believe what they read in America's government friendly press or watch on America's sycophantic television news coverage. Do these morons not understand the incompetence of Obama's administration, most of whom are hand picked contacts from the President's days as a race hustler in the cesspit that is Chicago city politics. Do they not look across the pond and see a financially bankrupt nation being driven beyond redemption to absolute ruin by a naive, self worshipping nincompoop who thinks the US Treasury and their many international creditors settle financial transactions using monopoly money? Do they not see on the other side of that pond a nation divided against itself with those divisions becoming deeper every day?

Is that the kind of change they want to bring to Britain?

In the comment thread of an American blog run by a friend of mine I once remarked, with tongue in cheek, that I like Sarah Palin. The Tsunami of hatred and anger that was directed towards me was unbelievable, not only in the number of people eager to tell me I am a right wing nut job who spends all his time listening to Rush Limbaugh (Rush who?) When in response to someone who told me exactly how and why I must hate Mrs. Palin I explained that my liking for her was based on some similarities to my very dear friend Janet C, who though blonde is a very good looking lady and has a similar verbal delivery and a similar cheeky attitude and is a Republican though not a George W Bush fan.. It turned out that if Janet is in any way similar to Sarah P, I am also duty bound to hate her too. There is just no reasoning with such idiotic and hate filled people and yet they had all been cheerleaders for Hope and Change in the 2008 election.

Do we want to go that way in Britain? I was very active in the Liberal Party years ago and my sympathies still broadly lie with the Liberal Democrats though I am not an active supporter. In spite of that I can work on a joint internet project with the former Conservative MP for this constituency (a friend of my wife's family) and have very convivial dinners with my oldest friend and our wives. They are both dyed in the wool Labour. None of us are defined as people by our political views.

One of the changes that seems to be coming whether we like it or not, another unfortunate import from America, is this politicisation of identities. Americans, for reasons probably nobody truly understands seem to be emotionally needful, they have to define themselves by politics, religion, colour or sexuality. To do so is deeply damaging to society, how we see ourselves is a deeply subjective and personal aspect of who we are. When our self image spills over into a belief that we can create our own realities, impose ourselves on others (Solipsism) we become deeply damaged because we lose those common perceptions that bind us in our communities.

There are other dangers too in the Presidential style of politics, the most apparent is the substitution of spin for substance. Listen to how Cameron and Clegg slip into the oratory style of a motivational speaker (Gordon Brown just cannot do it) diverting attention from what they are actually saying by punctuating their speeches with "positive" sounding buzz words. Positive; community; stakeholder; moving; going forward; fair; fairness.

"Change" has itself become the biggest and most overused buzzword. We should remember when politicians promise change however that change does not necessarily mean improvement.

So drop the bullshit Messrs Brown, Cameron and Clegg and just spell out exactly how you and your party intend to shaft us for the next five years.

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