Politics, corruption, walks in the park and the need for reform

Posted on

The priorities of our government in the UK are now clear.

They can spend more buying PPE that is not needed, and in some cases is useless, through companies owned by their friends and and associates than they can budget to spend on tackling climate change.

And now we know they can plan significant cuts in the aid budget because that is supposedly unaffordable whilst increasing the military spending budget by £16 billion over the next four years, which makes no sense when climate change is likely to create the biggest military threat that we face.

This is also a government that can worry more about the celebration of Christmas, which has limited religious significance for most, but ignores the fact that it has disrupted the festivals of many other faiths.

And it places greater priority on satisfying the demand for excessive consumption at Christmas than it does on the health of the country.

Meanwhile, teachers can be sacrificed when they have contact with Covid infected children and must keep working, but politicians must not.

The inappropriateness of the decision making, the corruption within it, the callousness, the disregard for the vulnerable and the lack of respect are all apparent.

I am all too well aware that right now many are disaffected with Labour. I have evidenced it myself. It too is hardly overwhelming us with clarity of vision or evidence of competence, and respect is being tested in many fronts. But even so it us not Tory lite, as some claim. Misgovernment on the scale now being seen from the current government is quite different to anything that Labour might manage.

Saying which, I am continually angered by the now very obvious failure of the UK political system to deliver three things.

One is government that reflects the actual wishes of electors in the UK. Electoral reform would solve that.

Another is competent politicians. Electoral reform plus the requirement to negotiate coalitions, and to establish priorities and policies as a consequence, would solve that. In Europe only Belarus shares our absurd commitment to absolutism that so debases political competence.

A third is economic competence. I would love a commonplace comprehension of modern monetary theory, but even some awareness that macroeconomics is not microeconomics grossed up would help. The trouble is, most who call themselves macroeconomists don’t get that last point and so fail to appreciate that macro us usually the opposite of micro, to which it provides the double entry in a great many cases.

But we don’t have those things.

As a result we do not have the counterbalance to corruption in all its forms, including that driven by pure dogma.

Daily we see the evidence of that.

And it is going to be very much worse in 2021. We might get a Covid vaccine next year, but Brexit is going to make 2020 look like a walk in the park.

Will that be enough to finally crystallise the demand for the change that we so obviously need? I hope so.