Sunday, 27 May 2018

Self Service

I keep hearing Brexiteers accusing the Lords of being self-serving in relation to their scrutiny of Brexit. It's usually in respect of any that have EU pensions but, a) very few do, and b) they will get their pensions whether we remain in the EU or leave. It's a very specious argument that can be equally levelled at the electorate itself.

We all know that if we had more tax money available then many things would improve - the NHS, libraries, police, etc - anything to do with public service. Yet, when it comes to general elections and the electorate is offered the choice of a tax increase or a tax cut, the tax cut wins hands-down. Isn't that self-serving?

The will of the people, to use a popular phrase, is rarely in the interests of the country as a whole. Every few years our constitution provides the electorate with an opportunity to display its ignorance, which it does by voting for a self-serving policy. Given electoral horizons don't extend beyond five years, any damage can be reversed at the next election, should the people will it so, but they rarely learn.

Brexit, on the other hand, will affect a whole generation for decades to come - the irony being that it's nether in the interests of the electorate nor the country, just speculators and rich press barons. Even Patrick Minford, who is one of only a handful of economist who predict an upside and has been criticised for using an out-of-date model, does so on the back of massive job losses, which he admitted when pressed.

The Geheime Brexitpolizei now want to get rid of the House of Lords, yet many, prominent, Conservative Brexiteers actually voted against reform of the Lords a few years ago - JRM included. Now they've changed their minds, but only because their Lordships disagree with them on this issue. Isn't that in itself self-serving?

Filling the Lords with political appointees merely to get a majority, one way or the other, is not conducive to proper political scrutiny. Say what you like about the old aristocracy, but their horizons extended far beyond a five year parliamentary term and they did have the interests of the country at heart. I really don't know what the answer is to Lords reform, but we do need scrutiny of new laws and the HoL to be filled with people having experience. We also need it to be above mere politics and filled with people who operate in the best interests of the country, rather than a particular political party.

Talking of voting, it seems de rigeur now to accuse the winning side of voting irregularities. It's become an automatic, knee-jerk reaction in many countries. In many cases it's actually very valid, but in some it's merely a political ploy that is becoming wearing.

1 comment:

  1. Given the accusations recently about the Russians having a hand in Trumps election do you think there us any possibility that they hand a hand in the brexit campaign?