The politicians from the LibLabCon parties have begun their electioneering, and various speeches have been made to different groups. In essence, the messages from these boil down to this:
Conservative – Cameron thinks the economy is on the up, the NHS needs yet more money, immigration ‘needs to be looked at’, and the surveillance agencies need more powers.
Labour – Milliband thinks the economy is shit, the NHS needs even more money than the Conservatives have said, immigration isn’t a problem, and the surveillance agencies need much greater powers.
LibDems – what ever they say doesn’t really matter as the chances of them returning many MP’s after the General Election is pretty slim
UKIP – well at least here we have Farage speaking some sense about the erosion of our culture due to mass immigration, the evils of the EU and few other things.
But missing from all the above is any mention of Freedom and Justice. Without these, there is no Democracy. Without Freedom there is no Justice, and without Justice there is no freedom. Oh there has been lots of weasel words over the last week regarding freedom of speech, but this is not the only element of freedom. I am specifically thinking about the secret courts we now have in this country, some of which were brought in by the last Labour government. These should have been abolished immediately the coalition came to power, and any government with a hint of conservative heritage would have done just that. There is no place in a democracy for secret courts, absolutely none except in extreme cases. The ONLY time there should be secret hearings would be if national security would be compromised, or the safety of security agents/agencies would be compromised. But these would only form part of a court session, not the whole sitting. And instead of abolishing them or at least cutting them to those strictly necessary, this government EXTENDED them! And the option to use them only as a last resort was not included in the legislation. At least Family Court and Court of Protection proceedings can now be made public as of January last year, but that was after a long fight. But in a true democracy, these fights would not be necessary.
The current set of MP’s were are lumbered with appear to think that trading freedom for security is what everyone is happy with, as they will be fulfilling their primary role as a government, which is to protect the citizens. But sometimes, that price can be too high and we reached that point a long time ago. Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one”. Ansd how right he was. All this trading has ended with us being attacked on all sides from Muslim extremists, our way of life undermined by politicians, and our freedoms stripped away.
Every day, I walk a mile across town from a parking place to my place of work. I must pass at least ten ‘security’ cameras. Do I feel any safer than I did 30 years ago when these didn’t exist? Do I hell, because 30 years ago there was usually a copper around the corner patrolling the streets, and his/her presence automatically made you feel safe. We didn’t have security guards outside stores because a) there was usually a copper around as above and b) the justice system dealt correctly with anyone who was light-fingered who wished to do another harm. So the justice system worked for US. Now the justice system has been high-jacked to work for government and big business, government including the NHS, Social Workers and a plethora of government employees who feel they have ‘our best interests at heart’. NHS whistle-blowers get fired and do not receive justice; social workers who do the same receive no justice; and the families involved in both these instances don’t get justice. Local government rides rough shod over planning decisions especially if it has a ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ element. And wow betide the local council and people who vote against the construction of a wind farm This will be referred to Ed Davey’s group of idiots and it will be nodded through. So much for local democracy.
And this is a situation that is repeated over and over again throughout the country. The smoking ban is a particular nasty example of government riding rough-shod over the will of the people and instead, being in thrall to NGO’s, i.e. Tobacco Control. A survey on banning smoking found the majority of people did not want a ban. But that was totally ignored and the ban brought in anyway. How can that be construed as anything but an attack on Justice, Freedom and therefore Democracy.
How do we get back to a situation where by MP’s, civil servants, local government et al get back to being OUR servants and not the other way round? How did we slide into this without either noticing or shouting against it? Well one of the reasons is that one cannot get a cigarette paper between the policies of Labour/Conservative/LibDem and so we end up with the same government no matter how we vote. So will say, and I agree to a certain extent, that UKIP is different and a breath of fresh air against all what has come before. But I don’t believe that they will achieve any more than a dozen seats in the next Parliament, and while that represents a quite effective opposition, it still will not be enough to override even more ridiculous decisions that will be taken in our name. Maybe this will take 3 or 4 more GE’s to overturn and at each one, UKIP will make even greater inroads until finally becoming the majority. But that is 20 years away. Quite frankly, I can’t wait 20 years for things to change. We need to start getting our freedoms back NOW, piece by piece. How that’s done is a difficult question to answer, but we can start by questioning decisions made at local levels. Use the FOI to find out where money has been spent and why, and why those decisions were made. From personal experience, it doesn’t half piss em off in the local council when you pursue an FOI request. Especially if they knock you back the first time and you dig in. It costs them time and money, but they do ahve to comply unless they have a rock-solid legal reason not too. Once any information is released this way it can go into the public domain, via the local newspaper. And local rags love these sort of stories.
This may be a very small step in grabbing back our freedoms, but if enough of us do it, it WILL make a difference. And we can then start to rebuild the Pillars of Democracy.