Isabel Hardman writes in the Speccie, asking: Why are politicians so self-loathing? She berates a politician, in this case Dan Jarvis, for suggesting that something needs the politics taking out of it. thus implying that politics in itself is inherently a bad thing and that politicians can never be trusted.
In so doing she quotes Jarvis: Let’s be honest – MPs who represent areas along the HS2 route or in the Heathrow flight path have a tough call about whether to vote for these schemes. So let’s take out the politics. Let’s look at new powers that allow the government to refer major infrastructure decisions to the National Infrastructure Commission for an independent decision on whether projects should go ahead.
Citing an Ipsos MORI poll which found that only 21% found politicians trustworthy does not mean that politicians should agree with the public that they are not trustworthy, Hardman then continues by stating that politics, at its heart, is about making decisions, and about people who are elected and paid to be better informed and take decisions on behalf of their electorate.
Hardman also queries whether MPs whose constituencies are affected by major infrastructure projects shouldn’t have to agonise about whether or not to support them? Some decisions aren’t easy, but that doesn’t mean politicians should be allowed to avoid taking them.
Not to be ignored is her statement: Even unfashionable political parties and their hated whipping operations have a noble purpose, which is a group of people who share the same principles working together to ensure those principles don’t just float about on campaign leaflets and banners but actually make their way into public policy.
I am continually amazed that journalists can write about a subject, yet fail to highlight the problems inherent within the matter with which their article deals. For example, we learn from the parliament website that: The UK public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.
If MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents in the House of Commons; and thus to take decisions on important matters, just why should they be able to ‘pass the buck’ to a group of people who have not been elected and over whom the people have no say?
Hardman also makes a point about the hated whipping operations; which in turn begs the question why, if MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents, is a whipping system necessary – unless of course a system of democracy exists which is no more than one comprising a democratised dictatorship.
She also states that politicians are people who are elected and paid to be better informed – which on matters EU can only mean that politicians, with one or two exceptions, are guilty of taking money under false pretences.
In one important aspect Dan Jarvis is quite correct; ‘politics’ does need to be taken out of decision making, especaily when it seems that those in politics are there for reasons of only self-promotion and self-advancement. Change the current system of representative democracy to one of direct democracy – as encapsulated in The Harrogate Agenda – and the reasons/causes for self-promotion and self-advancement are promptly negated.
While the current system exists whereby decisions are taken by force (which they, in effect are through the whipping system) then, as Ian Parker Joseph states on Facebook, it will always end in failure. Did not David Cameron state, on taking office in May 2010, that the people are always the masters and politicians their servants? So how come the reverse situation appears to remain?
If politicians are, in fact, self-loathing then they only have themselves to blame for allowing themselves to become ‘puppets’ within a system of democratised democracy. What happened to principle; what happened to honour; what happened to representing the views and concerns of their consituents – and what happened to democracy per se?
That Isabel Hardman, in common with the present crop of journalists (Christopher Booker excepted), appears to shut their eyes to the problems we have in our nation where politics and democracy are concerned not only beggars belief, but does their profession much harm.