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[personal profile] godricgal
This is a rare explicitly political post from me and, British flisters, I can only beg you to read it.

This morning, Lord Peter Mandelson took over from Harriet Harman as Acting Prime Minister. This means that the person currently governing our country is unelected, entirely without mandate.

It is bad enough that Gordon Brown can compromise the democratic integrity of this country by appointing him First Secretary of State, a position that is Deputy Prime Minister in all but name, but to leave the man in charge in his absence is wholly unpardonable, and seems to showcase the contempt this government has for anything but their own will.

It doesn't really matter what your politics are: socialist, liberal or conservative; if you are a citizen of this country who values their right to vote, then this is a flagrant infringement on the democratic process.

We're not talking about ideals here -- well, perhaps some will think we are, but there are some that should not be compromised -- and I'm certainly not in the habit of using shock tactics or drama to convey my concerns about the state of politics in this country, so I'm not going to tell you that in the next week, Mandleson could stage a political coup, but this is a man with a personal agenda, and it is not unreasonable, at all, to suppose that he will use this opportunity to spread his wings and make little movements towards whatever his ultimate goal is -- the premiership, one must assume.

But there we are moving into the arena of distrust in the man himself, which is subjective. It honestly wouldn't matter if it was my father in his position, or myself, for that matter. The very pertinent point is that right now, an unelected man is in charge of the country, and that ought to be enough to worry us all.

I am going to be looking, over the weekend, for a petition against this, or start one myself, if anyone wants to be linked to it, and I really hope some do, then please let me know.

Thank you for reading, if you have got this far, and apologies for being political this late on a Friday. ;)

Date: 2009-08-07 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carnivalgirl.livejournal.com
I was abroad for four weeks and didn't check the news much. I guessed there'd be more government fail, and I was right. :(
10DowningStreet.com is a good place to go to start petitions. I've signed petitions there and got responses from the government. Though that one 'resign' petition, with nearly 70,000 signatures, isn't having much success.

Date: 2009-08-07 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Apparently Downing Street has now retracted its earlier statement that Mandelson is in charge, but they're idiots if they think we'll believe that. It's not like he's not really in charge anyway.

It's unfortunate, really, but I won't use the 10, Downing Street website because all it does is hand the government a list of the names and addresses of people who disagree with it. As the 70,000 signatures indicate, doing something about the results isn't high on their list of priorities. They'll carry on doing whatever they want to do.

As for my distrust, that might sound a bit paranoid, but they have done enough since 2001 to demonstrate that control is more important than civil liberties. There is so much information that we are obliged to hand over to the government, that to do it voluntarily goes against the grain. This government is bad enough, but in trusting them with information, we are also trusting all the governments that will come in the rest of our lives.

And I really do realise that sounds paranoid, but we are too trusting of our status as a fair and democratic country when there is already so much evidence that we've begun the slippery slope downwards, much of it in the last eight years, so I feel that it is dangerous to trust that the truly sinister is beyond the realm of possibility -- we must keep questioning and demand transparency and the right for the majority opinion to be heard.

Date: 2009-08-08 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tegdoh.livejournal.com
here is already so much evidence that we've begun the slippery slope downwards, much of it in the last eight years

I hear you! You've got the sympathy of this yank, anyway, and regrets for what ever part we've played. :(

Date: 2009-08-08 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Though September the 11th is undoubtedly the date from which politics began to change, I tend to think it has largely been used as an excuse for gaining more control over us. Couple that with the sheer arrogance of this government and their ever increasing distance from the electorate -- the rise of the political class -- you end up with a very ugly situation. And the really sad thing is that, although I am a Tory through and through, I don't really think the Tories will be much better on that front when they take power next year.

Date: 2009-08-08 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sspring92.livejournal.com
eesh that is scary! they may have a coop on their hands it they're not careful!

Date: 2009-08-08 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Well, as I said, I think that's unlikely. At least until the Autumn, but it's wronger than wrong and I want everyone to be angry about it.

Date: 2009-08-08 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jesspallas.livejournal.com
The man is a snake. I don't trust him at all. He's like Dracula - stake him, drown him holy water, chop him up and throw him in the river, but he always comes back stronger...:/

*shakes head* I've always felt the New Labour government care far more about simply being in power than doing anything for the good of the country with it. To me, that's dangerous. The trouble is, I'm starting to get that feeling from a lot of their rivals too and that's quite scary. I doubt there are many people left these days who go into politics because they want to represent the people and their lack of respect for us as shown lately is just a symptom of that...:(

Date: 2009-08-08 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
He must really be something if they keep bringing him back. I can't see how he can be anything other than a liability, but clearly they can't live without him. Says a lot about the rest of the idiots we have running the country.

They do care more about being in power than anything else. This this morning I was watching an interview with that idiot Labour MP who posted a spoof video of David Cameron -- such a fool of a twerp you never did see -- who said, 'my job as a Labour MP is to work to get a Labour government elected to a new term.' No it isn't! It so isn't! It's about working on behalf of your constituents and doing what is best for them! And that's what so many MPs seems to have forgotten - the whole point of the parliamentary system is to have democratically elected REPRESENTATIVES, who can, you know, represent the will of the people!!! It makes me so mad.

Date: 2009-08-08 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
It's about working on behalf of your constituents and doing what is best for them! And that's what so many MPs seems to have forgotten

That's so true! I wish more of them would remember that. Sadly though I don't think that's the kind of person politics attracts, it's seems to be mainly people who like the sound of their own voice. For most of them I don't think it matters what party they belong to as long as they get the power that goes along with it. Where's Guy Fawkes when you need him ;)

Date: 2009-08-08 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Picking up from your point in the other comment about being from a working class/mining area, this is exactly why we need MPs to have their main focus on the needs of their constituents, because the needs ARE so different, and all of them need to have a representation of their interests in parliament, not to just follow the ideals of the ruling party, and this is why I think the Tories are so much better placed to govern the country.

I think it is highly unlikely that any government is going to suggest that we shouldn't have the NHS, or we shouldn't have the welfare state -- they are unelectable positions for a prospective government to have.

You mention the funding status of higher education, but that has come at a cost. It's not a redistribution of public money that's paid for that, it's a tax on education that leaves graduates in crippling debt. I'll be lucky to pay mine off and buy a house before I'm forty. Besides, I'd argue that over twelve years, better education is simply, at this point, progress. It's not necessarily the triumph of one political ideology over another. It's not even 140 years since the Education Act was passed, and 12 years represents a lot of that, really.

We simply don't know what would have happened in the last 12 years under a Tory government, which seems to me to be an important point to remember. The 20th century was one of unbelievable social change and it is wrong to think that it's not still ongoing whoever might be in power.

Date: 2009-08-08 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
this is why I think the Tories are so much better placed to govern the country
That's where we will have to agree to disagree. From my perspective the Tories had exactly the same attitude when they were in power. There's something about being in power so long that encourages that kind of attitude.

To extent you are right about the funding of HE but it has not all come from tuition fees, that's only a small percentage of the funding. Government funding itself has increased a great deal, less than third of the teaching allocation comes from tuition fees and then there's widening participation allocations, research allocations and extras for sciences etc. The Tories would have brought tuition fees in too so today's students would be in the same position whoever was in power. Yes there would have been progress anyway, but when I was at university they were severely run down and using facilities from the 60s, there's not a university in the country that hasn't built new buildings and revamped old ones in the last ten years. And the majority of that has come from government funding.

You're right though we don't know what would have happened under a Tory government during the last 12 years.

I remember 1997 very well, I was 20 and in my second year at university. I have never seen people so engaged in politics before or since and there's a reason for that. A lot of people were desperately unhappy under the Tories and whatever we may think of New Labour now it was a breath of fresh air at the time.

Date: 2009-08-08 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
Oh and I was going to say, this is such a great debate! So many people I know are either not interested in politics at all or have the same perspective as me, it's nice to discuss it with someone who has a different point of view!

Date: 2009-08-08 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Oh, I meant add that, for the record, I wish William Hague was still Tory leader, too. He should never have quit. No Conservative leader, however great, could have won the election he lost and he should have stuck it out.

Date: 2009-08-08 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
The state of politics in this country is something which despairs me every day. I really feel we don't have a valid choice anymore. I'm a Labour voter and I probably always will be, I grew up under the Tories and I don't want to go there again and I don't trust David Cameron farther than I could throw him. I would like to vote Liberal but frankly I always think they just say what people want to hear knowing full well they will never have to do anything about and some of their policies are just unrealistic.

Your point about Peter Mandelson is completely right, he's another one I don't trust at all and he's the Minister for Higher Education (under this stupid Business, Innovation & Skills department) which makes him basically in control of my career. Makes me really think Gordon's lost the plot. (And actually I do think he's a nice and intelligent guy, I just think maybe he's out of his depth, should have stuck to be being Chancellor!) However I really can't think of anyone I would prefer as PM. I think the whole expenses scandal just showed up MPs for the self-centred moneygrabbers they really are.

Date: 2009-08-08 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
This is OT, but I'm always a bit baffled when people say they could never vote Tory after the last time. Margaret Thatcher brought this country back from the brink of collapse. It is not fair to judge them for the epic fail of one man - John Major. And I could just as easily say, my whole adult life has been under a Labour government, and I don't want a repeat of that, but I fundamentally disagree with many socialist principles, so I'm never going to want one. I don't particularly like David Cameron, either, but I don't hate him and I want him to be the next prime minister.

Whatever happens, this government needs to go and we need a new party in power. It may well be that in 12 years time I will be saying the same thing about a Tory government, but we need to get these people out of our government -- they have accumulated arrogance to dangerous levels and that will not change with a change of Labour leader. Tony Blair gave them confidence, and his own arrogance, probably unrivalled in British history, has radiated into almost every person he's worked with. We need a fresh set of people, and the Torys are the only other option at the moment. To address, briefly, the Liberal option, they rule themselves out for me because I would not vote for higher taxes or inclusion in the EU. Simple as.

Gordon Brown has definitely lost the plot - he is out of his depth and going to crazy lengths to try to cling on to power, which seems to mostly involve having completely stopped listening to anything he is been told by anyone other than Mandelson. The sooner he's out and they're out, the better.
Edited Date: 2009-08-08 09:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-08-08 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
I suppose it really depends on your background. I'm northern and from working class area, specifically a mining/manufacturing area where the Tories and Margaret Thatcher did irreparable damage. People in my area are more likely to vote BNP than Tory and that scares me even more. Also I was at school and university in the late 80s to the end of the 90s and I know first hand how chronically under funded education was then compared to now, especially as I work in HE and I can see the difference. Plus the fact that personally I find David Cameron smug (I actually quite like William Hague though for some reason, he if was Tory Leader then I might actually consider voting for them).

But I do agree that we need a change in government, I don't think it's healthy for any democracy to remain in the hands of one group of people for so long.

And thanks for posting this, it's really interesting to have a good debate about these things and hear other people's views, so thanks.

Date: 2009-08-08 04:31 pm (UTC)
sea_thoughts: (TWDon't Mess With Me - holo_daxy)
From: [personal profile] sea_thoughts
I'm with you all the way. Send me the link when the petition's up.

Date: 2009-08-08 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Thanks. I will do.

Date: 2009-08-09 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katyscarlett76.livejournal.com
Wow we got into a little bit of a debate last night didn't we? Was fab though, really got my brain ticking over stuff.

I think, although we obviously have different political views, we do agree on something, that we need a change in this country. And also that Mandelson is a snake and unelected and shouldn't be in power at all nevermind in charge of the country in the PM's absence.


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