River Wissey Lovell Fuller

I had a dream

June 2015

A little while ago I wrote a piece expressing some of my views on the royal family and the associated elitist class in this country. If, however, we were to become a republic, we would have the problem of how to select a president. We have recently watched the rather pathetic spectacle of our politicians attempting to win our votes, the ridiculous promises that they could not possibly keep, the lies and the weak excuses for past failures, and with all the back biting. They are reminiscent of days in the playground when children attempted to out do each other with their boasts. I concluded that the election of a president of a republic would be just the same and the president would, almost certainly, be chosen from the same bunch and I further concluded that perhaps we are better off with an unelected monarch. That does not mean that I have any sympathy with the pomp associated with our current monarch or with the expensive band of hangers on. A royal family more like the bicycle riding Scandinavians might be more acceptable. An upper council is an important institution with an important role, but the current membership of the House of Lords is totally inappropriate and in no way relevant to the average citizen, even those members of the Lords that did have humble beginnings have been removed from those times for far too long. Looking at the results of the election produced more dissatisfaction for me. It was clear that the result had been determined by voters in a relatively few marginal constituencies, the votes of millions of people had no value whatsoever. The first-past-the-post system resulted in some very odd anomalies, for example: 4.7% of the votes went to the SNP which gave them 56 MPs. Only 50% of the votes in Scotland went to the SNP but they won 56 out of the 59 seats. 63.1% of the voters did not vote for the Conservatives. The SNP and the Lib Dems together polled less than three million votes and got 64 seats, UKI and the Greens polled over 5 million votes and have two seats None of this is democratic and neither is it fair. Our whole parliamentary system and our election are beyond a joke, viewed from afar it would look like a comic opera. Incidentally it is clear that 50% of the Scottish voters did not support the SNP, and I believe that a significant proportion of the voters that did vote for the SNP did so because they were attracted to their left wing policies and were not necessarily supporters of Scottish independence. Claims that the success of the SNP in the election is a clear indication of the overwhelming support in Scotland for independence are not justified. When there are a number of smaller parties first-past-the-post is extremely undemocratic, I was very surprised and very disappointed when the referendum held a few years ago rejected a more proportional system and gave overwhelming support to first-past-the-post. It does seem that it will be necessary to reconsider Had the number of MPs been determined in proportion to the votes cast the result would have been: Proportional Actual Result Conservatives 240 331 Labour 198 232 UKIP 82 1 Liberal Democrats 51 8 SNP 31 56 Greens 24 1

Had the result been in accord with the proportion of the votes and we assume that the SNP and the Greens could be relied upon to join Labour in opposing right wing Tory measures, together they would have out-voted the Tories. Whilst that might have produced some difficulties it would most certainly have been a much truer representation of the electorates views and much more democratic

I had been thinking of these things when I drifted off and had a dream. In my dream the nation decided that the parliament should be scrapped and called for a convention, getting together respected people from the professions and businesses with other representatives coming from all sectors of society. The convention was charged with considering the way in which we should be governed, the nature of our parliament or congress and the method of selection of the ‘congressmen’. I cannot remember how the congress or parliament was finally constructed. but in my dream a new government was formed. I was pleased to see that their first priority was to tackle the extremely serious and shameful housing shortage that so drastically impinges on the young. They tackled this in a similar dynamic and dictatorial manner to that used by the government in 1945. They built high rise buildings on brown field sites and new towns in the country side, they had no time for nimbyism, (it is no good asking people if they would like a new town just down the road). I was greatly heartened by this clear and decisive action and began to look forward to watching this new government in action. Sadly I awoke before I was able to see what they did next and then realized that it was all a dream and I knew that there is no possibility of our system of government changing and that we are stuck with politicians as they are today for evermore, I despaired. Ron Watts

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