Saturday, March 08, 2008

Politics in crisis?

I was speaker at a Conservative dinner at Llangedwyn, in the Tanat Valley last night. One of the issues I spoke about was the crisis in confidence that the British people have in the body politic. Last night, I was still reeling from the dreadful publicity surrounding the proposal to increase Assembly Members salaries by 8.3%. The issue I focussed on was the reneging by the Liberal Democrats and Labour on the promise to hold a referendum on the EU constitution. How can either party be trusted again? Yet another report in today's Telegraph about this loss of confidence, this time concerning comments by Mike Grannat, who was employed by the Speaker of the UK Parliament until last month.

He said "Parliament is like most institutions in a crisis. Firstly, they they don't quite see what the crisis is, collectively. And secondly, they think that whatever is going on it can be dealt with in the usual fashion by the means and through the usual channels that I think would be a very damaging self-delusion at this point .... I think there's a circle of denial" His main message is that politicians do not seem to realise the depths to which they have fallen in public esteem. I'm just reporting what I've read!

I did not want to speak negatively about any individual last night, but I did promise the people of the Tanat Valley that if I'm elected to represent them at the next election, I would be deeply committed to Montgomeryshire, as I have been for the last 30 years, and my ambition would be to have the constituency known for its serious approach to Government rather than pursuit of celebrity! They think they knew exactly what I meant.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Free Europe? Vote YES or NO at www.FreeEurope.info

Southpaw Grammar said...

"I did promise the people of the Tanat Valley that if I'm elected to represent them at the next election, I would be deeply committed to Montgomeryshire, as I have been for the last 30 years, and my ambition would be to have the constituency known for its serious approach to Government rather than pursuit of celebrity! They think they knew exactly what I meant."

Right analysis, wrong solution, glyn i think EVERY politician says what you just said.

Glyn Davies said...

Southpaw - Its just a question of whether people believe it. I was able to base it on a 30 year record.

I didn't post on the 'solution'. Its sensitive territory, simply because I'm a parliamentary candidate. I said a lot more than I'm willing to post. Why don't you tell us what your 'solutions' are.

Southpaw Grammar said...

Glyn,

Firstly, i am not a politician so my own view is as a 'punter'.

Secondly, i was merely saying that you are essentially the same as every other politician i have heard on the matter. To me the culture of politics is so broken that i simply do not believe any individual politician, particularly one seeking election, can make out jot of difference in the wider scheme of things. You may on a personal level do excellent by your area, but your party, the institutions it sits in, the games its plays, the 'spin' the lies the dodgy expenses, the lack of representation of working people, women and ethnic minorities.

If you were so determined to change those things you would attempt to criticise ALL parties including your own, and be honest enough to admit that if you really wanted to offer an alternative, then you would opt out of the party system itself. Most people believe that any 'internal' attempts to revive politics is futile because of the political class mentality- i have to agree. You cannot be the police officer and the criminal at once.

Glyn Davies said...

southpaw - I spent most of my public sector career as an 'Independent', declaring myself as a Conservative in the mid 90s. My view is that to sit as an 'Independent' in the Assembly or Westminster is hopelessly ineffectual. The only place to make a real difference is in policy development within a political party - rather in debates between political parties. As an example, I'm trying to help develop a positive attitude towards devolution within my party - and hopefully am making some difference. The issue of personal integrity depends on local people's knowledge and experience. We shall have to wait and see what the voters of Montgomeryshire think. I'm not as defeatist or cynical as you seem to be - and for someone so young too!

Glyn Davies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southpaw Grammar said...

I'm not as defeatist or cynical as you seem to be - and for someone so young too!"



Still young enough to be patronised it would seem…



Let me offer you a young person’s perspective on politics, particularly someone who is massively interested in politics and believes wholeheartedly in the positive impact it can play.



Firstly, politics doesn’t even register with my generation, nothing, na da, diddly squat. My friends barely know who their MP is, let alone their AM. I try my best to try and enthuse them about politics, I managed to get most of them to at least register to vote and even actually vote but they still believe that politics is broken and is irrelevant to their lives.



Of course, there are societal reasons for this, consumerism, triangulation of politics, the relative decline in material poverty for many etc. But my question to you is, unless politics is massively overhauled, what will happen to political participation by the time I am in my forties?



All parties are hollowed out in terms of age, in my local party, a strong labour seat, I am the only member who is involved in his twenties, there is one is his thirties, less than five in their forties.



My point being, and this is not aimed at you because I hand on heart believe you’re not one of ‘them’, that the next generation of adults will have zero interest or connection in politics unless it offers something fresh now.


I am cynical of what can be achieved by our current crop, not what i believe politics can be.

Glyn Davies said...

southpaw - its perspective that makes it patronising. From my standpoint it was no more than light banterish.

I've read your post carefully, and I don't think there is anything I disagree with. As it happens (and I know this sounds insufferably self serving) but its my love of political debate, and detestation of the shallowness, celebrity, and deliberate breaking of promises that I see so much of in modern politics that persuaded me to have a crack at becoming an MP.

Huw Waters said...

The Houses of Parliament has still not had a full debate on the Iraq war. How effective is the political system? Not very.

Glyn Davies said...

huw - Its very depreeing. I thought the rushing through of the debate on the Lisbon Treaty last week was almost as bad as the reneging on a referendum. Its no wonder that so many are dissillusioned.