There is no one in charge

Posted on

Yesterday was the day when UK politicians did, at least for the time being, concede that there is no one in charge.

David Cameron gave his ministers a free vote in the EU referendum debate to come, opening up factions and discord as a result and tearing asunder the united election fighting machine that is the Conservative Party in the process.

Jeremy Corbyn had the longest and smallest reshuffle of a cabinet in history and left Hilary Benn in his existing role, which seemed to leave all the divisions he was facing in place.

Just for the record, the SNP had another MP come under investigation.

The impression that no one is in charge is growing, and with reason. Maybe no party now has the ability to build the consensus within it to co-exist in any meaningful way with the demands of the first past the list system. The consequence is that the power of the financial elite grows, unchecked.

I do not see a solution to the problem that is now apparent in creating parties capable of really governing with a substantial majority in a first past the post system. The challenges, divides and opportunities for dissent are just too great to achieve again what Labour did in 1997. I can only see multi-party rule, coalition and electoral reform as the way forward.

But the financial elite, via the media that is their best friend, will fight that as it is in their interests to do so: they want weak government.

There is a fight for the credibility of democratic government to be taken on and won in that case, with the problem being that existing political forces and big business are aligned against it. It is not a pretty prospect.