Are any of our political parties fit for purpose?

by Ray_North on July 3, 2014

Unknown-1We’ve been a bit quiet over the last few weeks on these pages – this has been due to a number of factors including work, the World Cup and my own personal quest to become an international bestselling author.

But, as the World Cup continues to entertain and inspire – domestic politics continues to depress and deflate.

I don’t know about you, but in the last week or so all three main political parties have managed to depress the bejessus out of me – leaving me this morning asking the question, are any of them actually fit for purpose (which by the way, is a phrase I really hate, as it is usually used by people who aren’t nearly as clever as they think they are to describe in the most damning way some kind of organisation that they actually haven’t got the faintest idea how they’d improve) – because, if political parties are judged by their ability to articulate the needs of the people they serve, lead us through difficult times and provide a steady hand on the levers of government, then this lot are just shite.

Let’s take them all in turn.

Last week saw the culmination of the Andy Caulson Rebeckah Brooks trial – at the end of it, Coulson was convicted of hacking into innocent people’s telephone. This is a gross invasion of privacy, a scary act by people who had massive power and absolutely no responsibility – to our collective horror, the Prime Minister brought this man into government, even when there was, and I’m being kind to Cameron here, significant innuendo and gossip suggesting that Coulson was involved in this kind of caper. Cameron chose to ignore this – why? Because he wanted to control the media, control the message, put the Tories back into power. That he was prepared to bring such a man into Downing Street for these reasons is just mind-boggling and tells you everything you need to know about his integrity, his judgement and his lust for power.

But, for me, personally, just as awful last week, was the news that the Ministry for Justice has written off £56m in a failed IT project at the same time as it is cutting the legal aid budget. How incompetent are these people? What is going on.

Which brings me to the Lib-Dems (who, strictly speaking haven’t been fit for any purpose for some time) – this morning, I woke up to the sound of Nick Clegg telling the nation that he was going to give each carer in the country an extra £250 in some kind of one-off payment. For fucks sake – who is writing the Lib-Dems policy papers at the moment? Ok, everyone appreciates carers, ok, Lib-Dems appreciate carers, but does anyone in their right mind seriously think that the nation is going to be wooed by such a brazen attempt to buy support? Does anyone seriously think that the Lib-Dems are suddenly going to leap back into the affections of the nation with what amounts to a miserly for quid for people who are massively, massively underpaid. It made me want to scream.

Moments later, Clegg was once again defending the fiasco of the party’s enquiry into Chris Rennard – ‘do you believe the woman who complained?’ asked the interviewer, not a particularly taxing question, you might think, ‘well the QC said she was credible,’ answered Clegg, ‘but do you believe her?’ asked the interviewer, to which Clegg repeated his previous answer.

Crikey – if he doesn’t believe her, he should say so, if he does believe he should say so, if he can’t answer for fear of pre-judging any future legal case, then even that would be better, than the inane nonsense that this man comes out with.

And talking of inane nonsense, let’s move on to Labour – in the last week, Labour have been attempting to shag business, and I mean in a romantic sense rather than a pejorative sense. And it has been awful, seeing Eds Balls and Miliband fawning over various business leaders has been like watching two slugs having a pop at a lettuce. ‘We’re pro-business, just not business as usual.’ We are told – well, forgive me, but what the fuck does that mean? Oh yes, it means, ‘love us, love us, love us.’ Even though, we aren’t going to change one jot of the fundamental fractured capitalist system that you lot make a shit load of money on, because we are too scared to say anything remotely radical because we’ll get criticised.

I despair. Indeed, I am despairing as I write this.

I am sick of corrupt politicians who want power, I am sick of uninspiring politicians who don’t know what they’d do with power if they got it, and I am sick of stupid politicians who’ve been given a bit of power, and proved unworthy of it.

I want something different (and I don’t for one second mean UKIP!)

There, back with a rant.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth July 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

When was the last time you admired an MP, Ray, & which one was it?


Ray_North July 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I’m struggling Mike.
I remember in the 1990s when I was in the place, there were many MPs who I really admired – Kinnock, John Smith, Robin Cook, Mo Mowlem, Benn, Heath, Ashdown, Simon Hughes, Alex Salmond.
I liked the Plaid Cymru MP, Adam Price, but it says much about Westminster that he felt so disillusioned by the place. I’ve always liked Cruddas as well – I’m sure that there are others – but I’m struggling to think of many MPs who could be properly described as heavyweights.


Fionauk512 July 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

This is a real problem for anyone with a social conscience, there is no credible alternative to the path all parties are committed to. There just seems to be an overall lack of principle, conviction and courage, they are frankly shabby. I’ll exempt Stella Creasey and Caroline Lucas from that comment, but they seem to be the exception to the rule.

On another note I have used the term unfit for purpose when describing Ofsted, but I do at least know how they operate. Granted, it is possible I may not be as clever as I think I am.


Fionauk512 July 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

Did you read the write up in the Guardian about food banks and the rise in their use over the last four years in yesterday’s paper. It surely highlights the sorry excuse for human beings we have in Government. The total lack of empathy and denial of any responsibility, in fact blaming the users of the provisions was so thoroughly depressing. I actually cried in anger, and yet Labour cannot present an alternative even in these extreme times.


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