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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dead dog politics


I don’t support any of the three main UK political parties, although over the decades I’ve voted for all of them at one time or another. With the benefit of hindsight, it was a waste of time, but ho hum - onward and downward.

In spite of this, I have a sneaking tendency to see the Labour party as the major problem with UK politics. Not by a massive margin, but I see Labour as Top Problem. The reason is familiar enough – too many Labour voters do not seem to care how their MP and their party actually perform once in office.

When Labour MP  Denis MacShane was jailed for expenses fraud, the voters simply elected another from the same party. They didn’t seem willing to punish their party for harbouring an MP convicted of false accounting. The other parties are almost as bad, but in my view not quite as bad, not quite as insanely loyal. It's a fine distinction but real enough I think.

Suppose we call it dead dog politics.

Dead dog voters are happy to vote for their party even if it the candidate might as well be a dead dog towed around the streets by its enthusiastic agent. Okay, so dead dogs don’t actually kiss babies but as far as voters are concerned that doesn’t matter – the metaphorically deceased mutt belong to the right party so it’s a done deal as far as Mr and Ms Voter are concerned.

Unfortunately this weird level of loyalty leads to dead dog MPs being elected to the House of Commons. They support their party come what may. They don’t even have the detached point of view of a real dead dog... hmm... that’s something to ponder.

Dead dog voting is not so much a problem as a route to democratic disaster. Even so, I’m not sure the average voter cares about such theoretical clouds on the horizon. Democracy eh? Who needs it? If the dead dog has the right rosette pinned to its collar, then what’s the problem dude?

So on the whole I don’t think we were cut out for this democracy lark.

7 comments:

Michael said...

At my tender age, I'm just voting where my heart lies.

Once, I thought the Liberal Party were worth a look, but seeing how spineless and wind-blown they are - or were - about forty-five years ago, that idea went right out of the window pretty soon.

So now, in retirement, I just imagine - and vote for - someone who says 'Sod orff' to the 'mainstream', whatever that's supposed to mean, and try and get some real opposition going.

Real opposition means eventual government, which is what I want for my grandchildren.

A K Haart said...

Michael - I'll be voting that way too. Probably UKIP at the next election if only to rock the boat, then I'll vote for the person - as far as one can judge these things.

Demetrius said...

"But soon a wonder came to light, That showed the rogues they lied: The man recovered of the bite,The dog it was that died." Goldsmith, Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog. Also Tom Stoppard play.

Sam Vega said...

I take your point about the Labour Party, but I think we owe them a debt of gratitude. Admittedly it was more by constitutional luck than by design, but in the summer of 2013 they prevented Cameron from taking a whack at Syria. That would have meant destroying Russian weapons systems, probably manned by Russian personnel, in the service of a major and well-armed regional power. Whereas now we are supporting said regime, against some groups who are apparently more of a threat.

However I vote, I'll tell any doorsteppers I'm voting UKIP, just to upset them. And I might buy a dog, just so I can set it on the Lib Dems.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius- yes, their bark may be laughable but their bite is poisonous.

Sam - I think it was luck, which says much for their powers of foresight.

Don't buy a cocker spaniel even as a lib Dem deterrent - hair everywhere. Dog hair that is.

James Higham said...

Vote for the rosette.

A K Haart said...

James - it's so much easier on the brain.