It is an interesting time for Political parties as they struggle with Police investigations into funding and vote rigging, lobbying scandals, trying to grapple with the concept of falling membership, and watching as citizens become newly empowered through social media.
So, one has to ask, what exactly is the role of a Political Party?
Parties only really came to the fore when free men (and women) were finally allowed the vote. Whereas a landed Gent could pretty much expect to be selected for a Westminster seat, the masses finally had to be consulted as to whom would “represent” them in Parliament – hence the birth of Political movements, party membership and the rise of the Political Classes. You’ll all know that I don’t even register to vote, (despite having stood completely anonymously for election in 2010 in Cambridge, I digress) which in itself is a criminal act punishable by a fine up to £1000, as I refuse to play a game where my opponents are at liberty to change the rules as they see fit during play – where is the logic in taking any part in a game designed to see me fail?
I’m not a great fan of democracy as it now stands: not that I insist we all live under a benign dictatorship or some such, but we all know that no one is representing our views as an individual and that the Individual – yes, you – are the most important minority out there. But to witness the endless incompetence of our pseudo elected elites deciding on our behalf how we must live our lives will not sit well with this Libertarian. Our legislators (for I now refuse to call them representatives) are simply out of control, drunk on power and influence, and like every other aspect of the State employment machine, from press to Police, completely unaccountable to anyone. Little wonder then that the likes of Len McCluskey or hedge fund managers are so keen to ingratiate themselves with the 650 oily rats currently sitting in their villas for a two month holiday.
So the question is simply “do we need representation anymore?”
I’m perfectly happy to govern myself under the guidelines of common law but I’m pretty much alone in that – after all who would build the roads and the street lights if we didn’t possess a £60B nuclear deterrent or hand over 75% of our earnings every month? I don’t need to consume a new Mercedes or regulate diversity amongst my fellow citizens to live a happy and fulfilled life, and certainly a smorgasbord of wishy washy promises (inevitably broken) from someone who is only interested in lining their own pockets is not going to change that. Squabble and argue all you like, Honourable Members, we all know why you’re really there – and my welfare is way down the list of your priorities when you enter the Parliament of the People (sic).
The 21st century is going to be as radical as the 20th century was. Hopefully, Political parties will no longer be able to kill their opponents in their millions, wage brutal wars in our names and plunder our wealth to feed their masters – the little red button on your TV remote is going to change all that – and I’m fairly confident in predicting the fall of the central Political Party, with a welcome return to local politics where I can go and shout at the mayor when I’m not happy instead of being arrested for calling an MP a coward (yes, it really happened).
Don’t believe me? Look to Switzerland – the happiest, wealthiest, healthiest, most educated and democratic people in Europe – and no one even knows who the head of State is.