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Politics: Are we really represented by our MPs?

Kevan James’ article yesterday, ‘Sacking the Posers’, makes interesting reading, although I can’t help feeling that he missed an important point when it came to spoiling ballot papers and choosing to vote for none.

Although I do agree that a ‘none’ option is worth including on a ballot paper, the obvious alternative is to vote for somebody else apart from the Conservatives, Labour or the Liberal Democrats. There are other parties to vote for and what happened in France when President Macron’s government replaced the established parties that had dominated French politics for decades before, shows what can be done.

The big question is, why should anybody vote for a party other than the ones everybody in the UK know about and have voted for before? The Scottish National Party (SNP) will say why people is Scotland should vote for them but the SNP want only one thing; to take Scotland out of the UK. Even though they are a ‘single issue’ party – that of Scottish independence from the UK – what they have also done is build a base of policies to run the country, which is why the SNP do govern Scotland at the moment. That might change if other parties do the same and the Conservatives seem to be the SNP’s biggest challengers, again at the moment.

The fact remains however, that across the country, voters are increasingly saying that the main parties and their MPs are not representing their views anymore and so they will not vote at the next general election. As Kevan says in his article, not voting is dangerous and will allow a minority party to get in to power. What that actually means is that if most people do not vote, then a minority of people will – and it is this minority of people who are the dangerous ones. Like the people behind Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party as it is today. If the Tories fall soon, many people, including those who voted Labour previously, will not vote. But Labour's extremists will.

So if the Labour party of Jeremy Corbyn do form the next government, it will be because those on the extreme left, who are a minority and who now make up most of those who run Labour, have in fact, voted. And if people are not voting Tory either (or Lib-Dem), then it is that minority who will end up running the country.

Since, again as Kevan says, a choice of ‘none’ is not available to voters, then if people are going to vote and keep the Tories and a far-left Labour out, they must vote for somebody else. That means an alternative party and one that has done as the SNP has and come up with policies that can run the country, including all those subjects that concern not only those who can vote now but those who can vote in the future.

Many of those involved in politics now will not be around in twenty years time – I will. And like many young people my age, I don’t want to be left to clear up the mess being made now by unrepresentative MPs who care only about themselves. That is why I believe that everybody should get involved in politics. If you don’t like the main parties now, or what they have become then join one of the others and make your voice heard.

For a smaller political party to do what Macron did in France needs that party to have a lot of people become members and who demand that the party can have policies that can run the country, including defence, social care, the NHS, and all those other things that people talk about. It includes how we trade with the EU once we have left it and our history and culture as a nation.

It means ordinary people who have done ordinary jobs stepping up to make themselves available for selection as MPs and then doing the most important thing they can do when elected – listening to the people they serve.

And not spend their time fighting each other, plotting to promote themselves and it means not trying to impose a narrow, one-sided ideology on the country.

© Lee Sibley 2018.

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