We just had an election…wonder if anything will change?

In honour of the election here is a special poem about politicians. I’ve posted it before but hey…it never goes out of date.

Clowns

Every few years we get the chance,
stroll down the road,
tick another box or two,
decide which toad
will screw us over for the next few,

break promises so easily made,
take junkets too,
raid our wallets with glee,
those well-dressed few
who spew smug platitudes and see

no shame in cat-calls, insults, petty
parliamentary
games – he said, she said. Lice!
You disgust me,
you clowns for whom we pay the price.

 

 

And on a lighter note I also finished the 2nd draft of the Queen of Langoria….things are moving along

Voter’s Manifesto

This is not my usual satire and light-hearted stuff , but I am increasingly pissed off with politicians so this is my Voter’s Manifesto…for all politicians. I don’t care which party you are in.

Dear Politician,

I, a voter, am fed up with you lying to me and taking me for granted. I am not impressed with your constant whining and lack of accountability, your insistence on blaming others for your mistakes and trying to pass blame down the line when you should take responsibility. You constantly break election promises, give in to cheap short-term opportunism at the expense of making long-term decisions for the good of the country, and demean me with short slogans rather than explaining your policies properly. I am fed up with hearing you all behaving like children bickering in the schoolyard, being bullies, and treating us like servants of the economy, rather than acknowledging that the economy is there to assist in the running of a country.

So, this is my simple 7-point manifesto,

1.  If you spend your time demeaning your opponents with personal attacks , I will not vote for you.

2. If you try to hold others to standards that you have not met yourself, I will not vote you.

3. If you break election promises, I will not vote for you.

4. If you sign away sovereign rights on trade deals, you are disempowering yourselves and the public who vote for you, so I will not vote for you.

5. If you make policy u-turns just because there is some short-term political gain rather than for the long-term benefit of the country, I will not vote for you.

6. If you refuse to answer interviewers’ questions and just dribble on about what you want to say, I will not vote for you.

7. If I think you are taking my vote for granted, I will not vote for you

that is all.

While I’m on the subject of politicians…how Parliament works

If you ever become Member of Parliament you should spend some time getting properly inducted into the basics of the system. This will allow you to slide smoothly into your new role with the minimum of fuss. It would be a mistake to think you know much just because you have read the papers, seen official reports, and watched Question Time on the television. All of these are just for the public, to provide assurance that the government is working and there is healthy debate both between parties and within parties. To help you out, this chapter will take you through some of the underlying principles and processes that occur on a daily basis – those that are not reported on in the media.

Mutually Assured Distraction

Most parties are reluctant to make actual decisions for fear of making a mistake and causing themselves angst; they prefer to rely on government departments to provide advice about what should happen. As most people know, government departments are also reluctant to make decisions. This leads to a vastly increased likelihood of embarrassing stalemates and inaction, together with a very short list of achievements for that particular sitting of parliament – usually consisting of the easy no-brainer decisions (although there is no guarantee there will be quick agreement on these) with difficult decisions postponed until the next sitting, or the next, or even the one after that. The theory of Mutually Assured Distraction (MAD) prevents such inaction becoming embarrassing. It is implemented by both major parties and protects them both from a conspicuous lack of progress that will look bad to the electorate…well alright then, worse than it currently does.

MAD ensures that when difficult decisions have to be made, and there is potential for both parties to look incompetent due to their complete lack of ability currently sitting on the front benches, one or other of them will suddenly bring a new issue to the fore. They will flood the media with quotes and headlines. This distraction will, ideally, be a very minor issue that has been blown out of all proportion and / or be an issue that is global and beyond the control of a single country. It may even be time for a skeleton to be let out of closet and to have a scandal. Whatever the distraction, it will bounce around in the media for months before there is finally a coordinated agreement on what to do. By the time this has happened everybody will have forgotten about the difficult problem that needed to be avoided.

The Party Whips

The Party Whips are not ladies dressed up in leather and thigh-high boots, as most of the public would think when this term is mentioned in the same sentence as politicians. No, they are senior politicians with a distinct and essential role. Because the party hierarchy knows that the general level of understanding of most issues is not that good among most of their parliamentarians, they employ the whips to run around and tell everybody how to vote. Now, you could be a little insulted by this and feel aggrieved that they do not trust you to make a good decisions, or, and I highly recommend this approach, you could be happy that someone else has decided to do your thinking for you and turn your brain to less onerous activities like what you might have for lunch that day. Who wants to have to wrestle with complex and divisive issues if someone else does it for you? Anyhow, if the whips start getting you down, you can always go and visit the leather-bound ladies with the real whips.

The House Bubble

Contrary to what you are probably hoping, I have not mis-spelt bubbly; I am talking about an imaginary force-field that surrounds Parliament. This bubble prevents politicians getting into too much trouble. It separates them from the outside world. This bubble is to protect you by preventing annoying journalists from pestering you for quotes on a matter of current policy, and to stop members of the great unwashed asking you difficult questions. It also helps keep you at least a decade behind the time, where social attitudes are concerned.

Speeches

Every now and then you may be required to make a speech in Parliament. This is not a cause for concern or embarrassment – every politician has to do this once in a while. Your speeches will be written for you by people who are skilled at keeping you out of trouble and making sure that what is on the paper in front of you is what your party whips believe is what should be said. On rare occasions you may be required to speak to the general public. In this case the same process applies, except that there is the additional aspect of looking like you are genuinely concerned about the subject matter. This can be quite challenging.

The Committee System

The committee system is how issues debated within the Parliament are resolved – at least far as possible given that we are talking about politicians. It has always been done this way and it will always be done this way, so don’t argue – unless you are the Prime Minister. If you are in the top job, then you will probably be so assured of your infallibility that you will make random statements without committee oversight – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The committee system is another way in which the political machine stops you from making an idiot of yourself in public; it hides your stupid comments in the minutes. It also hides you within a larger group of idiots, so you won’t be revealed as the class dunce and get voted out by your electorate at the next election.

Your Office and Appearance

As a member of parliament, you will get an office, along with money to employ an assistant. Your office is where you hide when you’ve had enough of life and don’t want anybody to find you. Your assistant is there to repel any attempts to enter your office. Furnish it with some comfortable chairs and a minibar and you’ll be on your way. Where your attire is concerned, you should always dress very smartly and use your allowances to get top-of-the-range suits. People want to see their elected representative cutting dashing figures on the camera. No matter what you do and say in the House, people will have more inclination to support you if you look the part.

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