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Ending Political Games

24/04/2017 12:36

If you heard Theresa May's announcement today, then you would have heard that she believes people are playing political games, harming our chances at a decent Brexit negotiation.
 
Pushing aside that this is clearly a bit of spin, you can see that this election is going to be very key.
 
It'll be a tough one for people like myself. I'm 99% likely to vote Conservative, but I hate Brexit and would applaud anything that stopped it. My vote on June 8th is going to be seen as an endorsement of May's Hard Brexit 'no deal is better than a bad deal' mentality. I don't like that.
 
However, this is a GENERAL election, and I generally side with the Conservative Party, Hence my membership card and my getting stuck in with the local party.
 
This election is about so much more. It's about the NHS, Foreign Policy, Armed Forces, Pensions, Independence for the regions, women's rights, infrastructure investment
and so on. Each and every one of these is going to be discussed and you should look at each before putting your X in the box.
 
The most important thing that you can do right now, is go online and make sure you are registered to vote. There is time enough to sign up, and no excuse to claim voters are disenfranchised when it's so easy. Whilst I, sort of, bemoan this election I'm aware that other people across the world will look on at our free and fair elections with envy.
 
And that's what I want to come to. Free and Fair.
 
You see, I agree that now is the time to end political games. If this election is about country before party then we need to see people grow up and be more adult in their campaigning.
 
Throughout the London Mayoral election we saw personal insults traded and racism seen as a valid vote winner. In the EU referendum we had both sides spouting fear and lies.
 
I want our MPs to grow up. Don't tell me how bad the opposition is, tell me how good you are.
 
Theresa May has already set the tone, she declared it's between a 'strong and stable Conservative Government' or 'one lead by Jeremy Corbyn that's tearing itself apart' - I paraphrase, but that's the message I heard.
 
Right from the off the mud is flying. Rather than just tell us that she is good, the sentences run on to tell us how bad Labour are.
 
I'd love to see a grown-up MP tell me something good about the opposition. Let's disagree well, but let's also find areas we agree on and get on even better.
 
My main bone of contention though, when it comes to 'free and fair elections' is the 'Thanet South Problem'.
 
Currently there are over a dozen Members of Parliament who are being investigated for election expenses fraud, or similar. The most notable of these, Thanet South, is a Conservative seat, that held off Nigel Farage.
 
We also still have the spectre of the bullying claims hanging over politics. There was a suicide, sackings, closing down of party wings, and no resolution.
 
 Just this week we saw Turkey hold a suspect election, with many in the UK and 'the West' declaring it as manipulated. International observers were sent in, in a big way, and we're all calling on the Turkish President to play fair.
 
But until this expenditure scandal is over, we have no right to pass comment.
 
Should 10 or so MPs be driven to jail in the back of a Police car, then we'd have a very different outcome in 10 or so seats. But these investigations are still under way and likely to last beyond the election. I think we need to wait for this to clear before we go and give them another mandate to serve.
 
So if Theresa May is calling for an end to political games, then we need to call for one too.
 
This election will happen. Police investigations or not. But that's not the end of things. You can go and get stuck in and bring an end to political games.
 
Here are my 'how to's'
 
1) Go and join your local party.
This is the biggest change you can have. Party membership is small and you'll be influential. You can get involved and play fair. Most MPs are lovely honest people. If you can take more of that honesty and fair play into a political party, then you can change the way we do things here.
 
Let's end the games. Go to hustings and praise the opposition. love your enemy. Share a vision for a better Britain, don't just paint a picture of gloom.
 
2) Stand
Ok, chances are you won't be able to stand as an MP in this election. But it's about more than MPs. We have local elections, school governors are needed. Go and influence these positions for the better, Go and disagree well and serve people above party.
 
3) Say no.
If you are doing the above and get asked to do something illegal or suspect, then say no and make a point of it. We shouldn't let people give our democracy a bad name with their game playing.
 
But most of all, go and vote.
 
Don't vote just based on Brexit, that's not what this is about. Do your research. Who is best for you and Britain? Brexit will happen regardless. Hard Brexit is inevitable. What is up for grabs is everything else. Political parties in the UK disagree on most things out of principal. So there will be plenty of options for your future.
 
I'm calling for a few things.
 
1) A larger presence of international observers. If we demand this of Turkey, then we should have this in the seats where fraud is accused - at minimum.
 
2) Lock out of candidates. If a candidate is currently being investigated for fraud, then they shouldn't be allowed to run. Unless found innocent. The police could complete their investigations or other candidates could be found. You can't have a string of expensive by-elections in 6 months time if found guilty.
 
3) Open ears. Political parties need to go to their members right now. It should be the people who influence party policy and not the other way around.
 
This blog was originally posted on DigitalGruel.com

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