The papers are in uproar, because Miliband has openly met with Brand. This is apparently evidence that Miliband is unfit to be our next Prime Minister. What we don’t know is how many wealthy donors, trade unionists, industrialists or newspaper moguls have met Miliband and Cameron in the last few months and agreed or implied all sorts of deals and ideas that would be very helpful if the men concerned did make it into (or back into) No 10. It is reasonably clear to all sensible people that no deal will have been done with Brand! We know that in large part neither Cameron or Miliband have bothered to meet ordinary people, people without power or influence apart from one vote they could cast and almost every time we see one of them speaking in front of a crowd, the crowd is stuffed full of party members and party supporters. This means that long before either man does get into Downing Street, their capacity to hear the views of ordinary people will have been lost, and the key thrown away. It is clear from the way that most of the front bench MPs in both parties speak on Radio and TV interviews that they spend far too long with media advisers helping them to find ways of evading questions. A classic example was William Hague on this mornings Today programme at 8.14 when being question over possible support from the Conservatives if a Labour Government attempted to get a replacement for Trident through the Commons. It is little wonder that so many of us don’t trust Party Politicians and want to see a new form of national decision making. The news that the Party which promised no top down reorganisation of the NHS, that promised to reform the Lords, to deal with Lobbying and have failed on all of these promises, is now promising us a Law to ensure that they cannot increase taxes is presumably proof that they now no longer trust themselves!
The well understood concept that decisions are taken by those who turn up, assumes that by showing up, we can make a real difference. This may be the case in constituencies such as mine where a vote for Caroline Lucas (three votes from our household have already been cast) has the potential to ensure that there is at least one voice in Parliament which will speak out against some of the preconceived ‘norms’ that the two main parties believe in. The same is true in constituencies such as Southampton Test where a really able Independent candidate, Chris Davis is standing. Sadly far too many members of dominant parties, even where in private they may hold contrary views, are generally unable or unwilling to speak out against the Party. In many cases even on the doorstep I have been told my views are wrong on issues that are at odds with the Party concerned. Any idea that people with such dominant ideas are really willing to listen to my view is simply naïve.