Britain, on Friday 7th May 2010, stands on a precipice.
This weekend could be the single most important time in living memory for British politics.
It is now almost certain that, once the final UK General Election 2010 Results are in, Britain will have its first Hung Parliament for more than thirty years. The UK is at a crossroads: the wider economic melee Britain finds herself in demands leadership and decisiveness at a time when those very qualities are unable to flourish.
During last night’s election, the British public pointed out an overdue need for radical reform within not just the way votes are cast, but the way they are counted, and, more importantly, the way they count.
But, the ensuing political to-ing and fro-ing, where Political Parties are forced to collude and compromise in order to retain or sieze power – which is currently only just begining – will also highlight most tacitly the flaws inherent in the UK parliamentary system: flaws which have lasted due to an if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it attitude of more than 100 years. Last night it more than broke. The democratic wheels have fallen off.
Now is the time to fix it.
Britain needs total Constitutional Reform, and fast, to allow a strong Government, elected by its people, to show true and effective leadership. The country is fighting at least one war. In addition to the humanitarian and economic cost of military action in Afghanistan, Britain is losing hundreds of millions of pounds every day as a major player in a system which has, through poor financial management, seen excessive borrowing bring the Global Economy to its knees. Britain, as part of a Europe reaching financial melting point, and in her own right, risks losing her credit rating if radical spending cuts and revenue increases are not effected as soon as is practicable.
Britain needs a war cabinet to fight these battles – fought on several fronts – in the short term.
What Britain has on its hands, instead, in its Hung Parliament, is a monumental power struggle.
What Britain then needs is immediate decisiveness to put a strong Government in place that the public is confident was elected by all. A Government that will act in the best interests of its people; not some Party Political agenda designed to retain power for powers sake.
The people of Britain have voted for change – but they do not trust any one party to lead them out of financial crisis. The clues are there for all to see: Britain’s people voted for a Hung Parliament because it could not see – or did not wish to choose from – any alternative offered.
This opportunity must not be missed: voting reform should be immediately followed by Parliamentary reform, and, if necessary, a re-election that allows people to select a local MP and, consequently, one way or another, a Cabinet Minister who better represents them, and the needs of their country, both immediately, and in the longer term.
At the same time, the checks and balances provided by the House of Lords, and the expert assistance of the Civil Service should by brought into line with the needs of a 21st Century European liberal democracy. British people should have a say in who represents them on a national level from their locality (their MPs); who runs the country , from those elected Members (their Government); and which professional politicians and guardians of morality (Lords) are there to oversee the whole thing.
None of this should be decided by a non-publicly-elected Party Administration. The people who are currently sitting in rooms deciding how to carve up Britain’s political future are not the British people, in deciding how to vote, but the British Political Establishment, deciding who is to run the country.
This is not democracy, this is rule from behind closed doors by a political elite.
British people should act now and demand that the current elected body of MPs creates the best Government it can – irrespective of Party ties – one which is also committed to creating and implementing a fairer system of voting and a better Parliamentary structure which ensures Britain can be lead effectively, responsibly and, most of all, democratically.
Britains people should then demand that these reforms are put into practice as soon as possible to avoid the greatest economical and political crisis the country has seen since the Civil War.
The British people should let its Hung Parliament know this: they are only hanging while the British people await a lasting solution, a solution that corrects the many ills inherent in her current constitution.