Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

What are we going to do about Labour?

It's not hard to think of reasons why Labour should be voted out. The whole Internet privacy thing (read the simple guide here and the issue over restricting Gurkha rights are just the tip of the iceberg really (Worth having a look here and here if you're interested in those two).

But in my eyes, it's like this. We have a government who wants to exploit difference and divide us in any way possible. Yet at the same time, they also want to know as much about us as possible. Hmmmm. This week I've heard that described by people as 'sinister', 'astounding'. I prefer terrifying.

In a slightly drunken debate last weekend, I proclaimed, rather wildly, (as I am sometimes known to), that the kind of world we see in fiction, like in V for Vendetta and 1984, where people are controlled to ridiculous levels and true freedom is barely an idea, really isn't that far off. If the kind of behaviour that we're seeing at the moment from our government continues, we're going to walk into it and get stuck before we even notice. I sound a bit conspiracy theorist when I say these things, but I actually think it's true.

The Labour government has to go. I've said in an earlier post that I might vote against Labour on the climate change issue alone. Add that to the multitude of other issues, and to be honest, it puts the idea of democracy to shame if we let them do all these things that we really don't like and then leave them in because we might save 25p a week in tax (or some other self interested reason).

But who the hell do we get in instead? I don't know. Maybe we should resign ourselves, like Jarvis, to the seeming inevitability of a Tory government?

But surely not? That the history of British democracy tells us we should bounce Tory / Labour / Tory / Labour doesn't mean it will continue that way forever. That can change.

If the Lib Dems or the Green Party were to take power, I doubt they would have the capacity to do any kind of decent job. Sorry, but it's just true. Organisations and responsibilities expanding at that rate is just a recipe for disaster.

I've always tried to support Gordon Brown. I believe a country, like an organisation, can only be well run if people are behind it's leader. Partly that's his responsibility to keep us on board, but also it's ours to give him the benefit of the doubt sometimes. But Labour have lost their legitimacy now. Gordon Brown should have called that election whilst he had the chance, it would have been a risk, but at least he would have known he was a supported PM. Just the same, key Labour Ministers need to stop kissing his ass and start stepping up for what they believe in. Instead of contradicting themselves and each other, they need to start taking a stand. Question when they see things being done that they disagree with. Resign if necessary.

But they're all too worried about power, and their own little empires. We talk about problems with African Leaders and their lack of concern for the country, but I don't think we're any different here. Same issue, just better concealed. We worry about developing countries having 'free and fair' elections where there is actually choice, but what choice do we really have here? How many of our politicians actually serve us and not themselves?

So what do we do? Get behind the smaller parties and build them so that in 20-30 years they might have a shot? Join the Labour Party and try and change them from within? Start a revolution? Opt out? Give up? Go and live in the woods?

I don't know. I really do not know. So for now, I'm walking the very thin line where I schmooze the great and the good by day, and bang my head against this wall by night. Which makes me quite self interested really, maybe I should become a politician after all...


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