Writing in the Barclay Brother Beano, Rev Dr Peter Mullen uses 378 words to support his assertion that this Conservative Party is more socialist than any government he has seen in his lifetime. While Rev Mullen is right in what he says, 378 words barely scratches the surface of the story.
In relative terms his is a throwaway comment that actually provides little if any value to the discussion. Nowhere in those 378 words is there any mention of the chasm that is the democratic deficit in this country. Nowhere in those 378 words is there any acknowledgement of who actually governs this country. Nowhere in those 378 words is there any reference to the manner in which the interests of a select few are pursued at the expense and detriment of the many. Nowhere in those 378 words is there any consideration of alternatives that might empower the people who are treated with barely disguised contempt by the political class.
Long before millions of people trudged to the polls to cast their ballot at the general election – a futile exercise cynically passed off as proof that we live in a ‘democracy’ – David Cameron had already shown himself for what he is. Enough people had spotted Cameron’s rapid reverse away from previous attention grabbing pledges, delivered with his face contorted in that trademark sham sincerity, to back away from the Conservatives and deny him what would pass for an election victory.
Not that it mattered. Whether it was the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems or a coagulation of any two of them getting their hands on levers of power that they and their ilk have willingly disconnected from everything that is remotely capable of controlling anything, we were always going to end up with the same outcome.
For too long politics in this country has been characterised by creeping progression down a path that is rejected by voters time and again. The political class continues to be unaccountable to the people they are supposed to represent. Their supposedly bitter political battles are nothing more than shallow theatrics designed to obfuscate and conceal the reality that on all the major issues they share a common agenda. What the people want never comes to pass because the people have allowed power to be taken from them and have not taken it back.
What is needed is not another mini op-ed from the likes of Peter Mullen, who are angry not because of the direction this country is being taken, but because they fell for the partisan party charade in the first place. Their value is negligible. What is needed is a new settlement. What is needed is a constructive blueprint for the future that empowers people and makes them want to support it for positive reasons. What is needed is something that is borne from the grassroots and evolves and grows, rather than something imposed from on high.
The seed might have been sown. But it will only germinate and take root if people who care are prepared to help nurture it and play a part in tending it to maturity and strength. The time for complaining is over. The time for positive and constuctive action is at hand.