Where do you go when the spin doctors can do no more? Screenplay or advert writers.
Whilst a nation sits waiting for simple, factual, honest and purposeful politics utilising modern technology, the UK Government would rather continue experimenting with advanced media manipulation techniques and increased focus on leader personality (worryingly) to win their game. When mainstream media organisations promote what, hopefully by any reasonably intelligent person, can be seen as a predictable piece of staged acts (Come on BBC, is copying tweets that have no provenance to a real individual actually reporting news?), I was left wondering are the UK voting population really going to fall for this?
Here’s a great pitch for a little story called “Convincing the Disillusioned” or “The Milliband-Brand Bond”. It may be familiar to some of you as we’ve just watched the most exciting few episodes play out. The love affair has started so now we have to start wondering how will it work out for them? Will they lead the country to a ‘happily ever after’ and be together forever? Martina and Hugh could never have given us such a heart-warming 21st century story.
Casting was fairly straightforward, a single main character who, to those in parliament, appears to have the ear of a widely scoped younger voter that is not interested in British politics, fits the pseudo-intellectual ‘alternative’ demographic, craves media attention in the most sad “look at me, look at me” way yet has little talent left to gain such attention and finally, of most import, not actually being very intelligent at all.
So whilst Russell Howard, Noel Fielding or Lee Nelson (as examples of similar rallying points for younger viewpoints) may fit some of the criteria, they would not work, as although they actually do appeal to the focal market (as well as 14-20 year olds as the push to allow 16 year olds to vote will increase allowing for more easily manipulated voters), they simply have too much common sense, intelligence and talent to agree to such nonsense.
The Backdrop – 2015 UK General Election build-up. Following the incredible display of democracy in action in the Scottish Referendum and the comical farce where three main political parties continue to ignore even giving the impression that they stand for different purposes (a situation that presumably originally developed when ‘dear’ Cheri wouldn’t let Tony lead the Conservative Party) and the only purported alternative parties are based on single issue principles that will fail to provide any form of government, British politics has reached the point where spin has truly spun the voting population into an orbit of indecision.
The staunch percentage who would always vote for their parties have even been shaken in the past fifteen years of political misrepresentation. To hear someone who has staunchly hated the Conservative Party on principle, state they would never vote Labour again due to Tony Blair, has to emphasise how lost many traditional ‘working class’ voters are today. If UKIP is gaining support on the repeatedly stated principle that “Nigel Farage is an arsehole but has more presence than any of the other current leaders”(did Germans once say such things about someone else?), then something truly is wrong with confidence in our system of government.
It is far easier for those who have embraced a consumer based capitalist economy (seen as traditionally Conservative) as there are now even more parties to choose from and they will mostly protect those who have more than the average income. Even though the Blair camp convinced the moneyed voters to side with them previously, the city will not be fooled again this quickly, so the Conservative ascendency is pretty much assured for this election, however many deals they have to make to gain a majority.
So, how can Labour gain back some votes or at least pave the way for the next election? If not traditional Labour socialists and not ‘The City’ then who?
What about those who just simply don’t vote? Hmm, since the dawning of the Blair regime, millions of voters have flocked away from the polling booths and stayed away, so whoever can bring some back or simply convince others to actually vote, holds the key to the return of strong majorities. (See, Some Mathematical Perspectives on Voting in the UK) Is it coincidence that Tony Blair’s government and the adoption of ‘style over substance’ government marked the point at which those who don’t vote exceed the number of people who elected a UK government?
Let us be realistic here, there are potentially 15-18,000,000 unused votes to play for in a system where 10,000,000 votes can win you a majority government. Yes, at least that many people who find our system of government and voting to be pointless and have so for decades (Remembering that many more will vote purely to ensure the principle of democracy is maintained). In fact, if just the seven or eight percent who have not voted since 2001 voted for Labour in the 2010 election, they would have been one million votes ahead of the Conservatives.
So, as has been known and feared for many years, the intelligent non-voting population holds far more political importance than the seemingly confused ‘vote or die’ camp. “How do we tap this silent majority?” has been the clarion cry of political parties for many years and will continue until the penny finally drops.
Ok, now that’s sorted, onto the screenplay.
In a country crying out for a new way, when nobody understands what is needed to solve all the problems of the world, one man takes a stand to save us all!
Tabloids and internet media outlets from Twitter to BBC News somehow stumble across stories of how a simple, sensitive, comedian and intellectual has been learning about politics in the UK and how he doesn’t like what he sees. After only a few months of learning he stumbles across the obvious answer and becomes convinced he understands the way to solve all of the problems in UK governing systems so he seeks a forum from which to espouse his new found wisdom.
Even though the concepts spouted from his mind fall into realms that would be dissected and thrown away after a couple of lectures during the first year of a politics course, he manages to get to be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman to deliver his view of the future of politics in the UK. This voice for a new way thus provides a beacon to those disillusioned masses, a voice that speaks for them, a figurehead to guide them based apparently on years of experiencing every facet of life in the UK. As Rik might say, “Right on kids, we’re going to be the revolution!”.
This is obviously a person who has lived and breathed in the worlds of local and central government, policing, military, commerce, welfare and media and so understands exactly what is wrong in every area of our society. (Pardon, he didn’t, you mean his wisdom comes from, as his bio purports, being abused as a child and taking drugs and attending acting school? Can’t be correct, can’t trust anything on Wikipedia.)
Pan forward a couple of years.
Now our self-labelled activist returns having spent the past few years formulating the means of enacting the social and governmental revolution that will bring peace and stability to the world eventually. He is ready to take the stand to fight the evil empires that exist by rousing his rabble into not voting and not doing anything to achieve this dream (perhaps a hallucinatory or dream scene inserted here stemming from some psychedelic interpretation of Ghandi’s approach). At least that is what is suggested even though no actual substance to back the basic concepts are portrayed, it is the media soundbites that will matter (This is only a story after all).
Cut to leaders of parties lambasting the naive and inexperienced views of this exalted media personage, dismissing his immature views as unhelpful and breaking the fundamental benefits of our living in what is portrayed as an enlightened democracy. Voting is good, voting proves that we live in a true democracy. Cameron takes the obvious and standard line of belittling the unhelpful and well explored concepts espoused by this ‘activist’ in favour of proper politics. Milliband takes a similar yet softer approach as this is his role (must ensure the different responses are denoted with subtly differences so as not to give the game away to the viewer until the main episode).
Cut to the final build-up to voting. Amid what should be the growing debates and final pushes to convince the populace to vote for their party, the great man, Ed himself, takes time out to try and win the belief of this ‘activist’, to perhaps, hope against hope, convince him of the validity of our existing system. How also, with the help of great men such as he, a bright new future could be brought about by allying the ‘revolution’ to the Labour Party.
Oh joy they emerge! Perhaps a little music from Love Actually or a fanfare could be overlaid on the BBC coverage of Ed and Russell holding hands as they emerge, Ed smiling as he has won the hearts and minds of all those who follow this great man, Russell blinking in the sunlight of his newly awakened awareness of how politics works and how only Labour can bring this revolution to our lives and bring freedom, wealth and long lives to everyone in the UK. Perhaps they could issue a joint tweet to reach the ‘coolerati’ they now represent.
Cut to – Both walking off into the sunset together towards our bright new future.
Innit sweet? I’m sure they’ll be very happy together and Russell can sit back and know that people are still talking about him, ahh. Ed gets the connection back to the Big Brother watching populace. “If Russell likes Ed, then Ed must understand us. His leadership is what will give us the future we deserve.” (A little truthful irony has to be inserted here I’m afraid)
So the battle to convince those voters, who are not disillusioned by the concept of democracy and who are too intelligent to believe that the UK Government is actually split between political parties who stand for differing futures, is seen as won. The 25 million ‘staus quo’ voters will vote in the modified trend pattern of previous elections but with enough definition to still suggest a functional democratic system exists. The extra 15 million non-voters from the last election may continue to reduce thus bringing the UK back to more than the pathetic range of 60% voting up to the amazing heights of around 70% but no revolution will occur and nor do we want it.
A simple, honest, factual and implementable solution to the management of UK systems needs to be designed and implemented. It will not be championed and built by the UK Government, it will be championed and built by the people of the UK. A revolution has been repeatedly shown to provide nothing but instability, often destroying the good as well as bad of a previous system. What is required will supersede what exists whilst absorbing the beneficial aspects.
In the UK we do have some of the most advanced and developed governing systems and those need to be given the resources they deserve rather than being set up and left to run with no financial support. If the UK Government expanded a market that causes nothing but damage to many millions of lives to be legalised, viz, the £16,000,000,000 per year ‘industry’ of gambling, then where is the money for social care, education and health going? Not to necessary things but to frivolous ones.
Instead of a government which pays much of UK taxes to external consultancies for running government services (where much of this is spent on hotels for such consultancies and government representatives), privatisation of government services and returning to the public the services that the UK population paid for (rail, telephony, power, water) is what will build foundations for the required changes.
The justifiable fear held by all political parties is that 15-25 million people will find a way to do this and a group that will take the lead in designing such a system of government will be then be able to achieve a majority government exceeding any majority in UK parliamentary history. (If only 12 million joined they would still likely win!)
The truth will not be given to you by a second rate comedian looking for media attention, nor slimy, wet politicians, it will come from hard work given freely by those who wish to improve the basic standard of living for the majority of people living in the UK. You want a responsible government, you will have to take some personal responsibility for it. You want it to care about you, you will have to take care of it.
The path still yet to be trod entails spending less time contriving ways to manipulate a far better educated population (after all schooling statistics are demonstrating a constant improvement aren’t they?) and instead dedicating time to answering the true desires of the population from their government.
• Prioritising the provision of stability for the population by implementing policies which benefit the individual and not the average.
• Legislating against global organisations sidestepping legal and financial national boundaries.
• Separating the functional requirements of the nation from the experimental (funding for ‘new initiatives’ or ‘consultations’ which include private consulting and development costs should not be funded if existing, functional public services lose funding as a result).
• Definition of a Ministry of Technology to gather an industry leading set of technologists who represent the national interests in technology (Given that currently a number of non-government organisations approve, design and implement many government technological systems whilst the UK Government has no means to validate such systems for themselves) and to work with security, education, health, and local government services reducing the immense wastage extant today.
These are just some areas that perhaps should rather be the focus of UK parliamentary attention. On the whole most people couldn’t care less if Conservative, Labour, Liberal or Monster Raving Loony were in control so long as their concerns are addressed. Those politicians who only understand party politics and their perceived need to sell and use advertising to win an election has so disillusioned so many of the voting population that expanding the range of media stunts is not going to improve matters.
This will be the most interesting election for many a year both statistically and evidentially in terms of the mood of a nation (Referencing the trend charts from Some Mathematical Perspectives on Voting in the UK). Liberals, SNP, UKIP and Greens all fighting for a chip in the game whilst the Conservatives sit confident that the moneyed votes will likely bank on their staunchest supporter to get through the next few years of massive financial instability.
I started putting my money where my mouth is back in 2004 following the Gordon Brown financial advice model (if Gordon doesn’t reckon it will do well, invest in it!) and made 100% per year for five years straight on my admittedly paltry investments in gold. I regretted not putting on a small bet when a hung parliament seemed so obviously a result in the last election. For this one I’d not risk my money as even though erring on the side of a Conservative led parliament, Labour could have a multi-party coalition deal waiting in their back pocket.