Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

DEMOCRACY
Just for a few minutes let go of some of your firmly held views. You can revert when you’ve read this but just see if there is any common ground.
Brext Explained

It’s October 1st. 2019 and for weeks, months - even years - the newspapers, radio and television have bombarded us with Brexit. I vowed I wouldn’t add to it by doing a blog but this last few days things have gone from bad to bloody awful.

On the 23rd June 2016 there was a referendum to see if we should stay or leave the EU.There was a 72% turnout of the electorate. 51.9% voted to leave and 48.1% voted to stay. Being at least a theoretical democrat I accepted the decision regardless of my own particular preferences. As with a general election, if there is a majority for one party or another, we accept that Government regardless of how our constituency voted.

It is now over three years since
WE decided to leave the European Union and our politicians are still bickering like a bunch of primary school kids. If they were endeavouring to sort out the details I could live with that but, without taking sides, they all seem to trying to score points, elevating themselves, doing down the opposition and with what looks like a total disregard of the main purpose.
Swine fever

For me, one clear picture emerges. A political system that is broken. Scoring points and winning arguments is far more important than governing the Country. We don’t expect them to agree with the ‘Other side’ but surely the people we select to govern us should respect the right of people, who ever they are, to have opinions which may differ from theirs.

What causes me despair is the fact that the ‘Bear Pit’ we call the House of Commons seems to be totally out of control and needs to be taken in hand, sadly the only people who could make it better are the ones who have made it so bad. In researching how we are governed I became completely lost if facts and figures I don’t vouch for these statistics, I leave it to you to check.

The top level must be members of parliament. The basic annual salary of an
MP in the House of Commons is £79,468. MPs also receive expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London or their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency. Some MPs appear to claim as much as £100,000 in expenses. Add to that the cost of housing them in the Palace of Westminster.

In addition there are currently 26 county councils in England and 9,000 parish and town councils About 80,000 people serve on these councils. Of course they are truly altruistic performing their duties for the benefit of the community in which they live. They probably get computers, telephones, travel and attendance allowances and some expenses. They will have at least a meeting room and perhaps an office which has to be staffed, maintained and secured.

In commercial terms, are we getting value for money?

Guy Fawkes

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