Sunday, 21 January 2007

Another (Red) Brick In The Wall - we need a Yellow Brick Road

I'm sure that most of us in our thirties or beyond will remember Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall". I was listening to it a few moments ago, and remembered the picture of the wall being built from the video.

I believe that the last ten years have been ten years of building that wall - a wall of oppression; a wall that, brick by brick, removes our freedom. The picture I see is the 3000 new criminal offenses that Blair and Brown's presidential-style government have imposed on us, the people. Not only this, but they have even started flouting their own rules - rules about party fund raising, and Mr Brown's magic ratio's for the economy.

Rather than those 3000 or so bricks, we need, not a wall, but a road. Yes.. it's another song. Let's follow the Yellow Brick Road.

Rather than Tony's red bricks forming a wall, we need a path to follow, one that sticks to values that are enduring and enable us to have a world that works, rather than a world that gets worse.

Our Yellow Brick Road is a road that protects freedom; holds people to account for when they infringe of the freedom of others; gives choice and control back to local communities; removes red tape and most importantly, requires accountability and transparency in the people we allow to represent us in our government.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Ok. But we do have rights and freedoms. Isn't that liberty? Isn't that liberal?

Not so fast... I'll come back and write this one... promise!

Liberty and democracy? Don't we already have them?

A mere mortal could be forgiven for thinking that those in the western world generally live in liberal and democratic societies. For those of us in the UK, we elect at least one person every year to our local council. On top of that, we elect our members of the UK parliament typically every 4 or 5 years and members of the European Parliament every 5 years. And if that's not enough, some get a 'democracy bonus' of elections to either the Scottish Parliament, or Welsh Assembly.

With all these elections, you might think that we're swamped in democracy, living content in the knowledge that if we're not happy how our taxes are being spent, we can go and campaign against those responsible, and vote for someone else at the next election.

Sorry. Think again!

For all those opportunities to vote, we're actually a bit stuffed when it comes to democratic accountability in the UK. When we do vote, most of us get ignored. If we didn't vote for the winner, we're ignored. No one gives us the opportunity to say "Hey, if my preferred candidate doesn't get many votes, give my votes to the not so bad one.. not the complete moron".

But... hey. That's alright. At least some people did vote for them, which is rather better than the rest of our system, where the people making the decisions weren't elected at all.

Hail the rise of the QUANGO!