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Politics is in the gutter - Counter Cut will continue to play our part in holding power to account
With scandals in Westminster and here in the West Midlands, do we need a rethink in how our politics operates?
Stone me, what a life!
Often uttered by Birmingham’s finest comedian, Tony Hancock (sorry, Jasper!), to convey his exasperation. It perfectly sums up how I’ve felt recently whenever a new political story breaks.
I’m relatively new to the political arena. I have always voted as I have always understood it was important to use your vote. Politics, however, would only ever enter my world if there was a scandal or in the run-up to a General Election. That was, until we started Counter Cut and I knew if I was going to contribute I had to have an opinion built on more than ‘they are the ones I usually vote for’.
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I don't think I was ready for the absolute chaos I was opening myself up to. It has been a wild ride in such a short space of time. I think I have seen every possible outcome of every situation. Well, we all have.
Nothing was quite as fascinating to me as the type of politician we now elect.
Sycophantic lickspittle grifters, who in days of yore wouldn’t be trusted to milk the village cow, are now allowed to poison the well to benefit their own careers, rather than serving the constituents they were elected to represent.
It’s hardly any surprise considering these are deemed ‘qualities’ in the highest offices of government. A Trumpian dismissal of fact or reason as ‘Fake News’ or whatever the British equivalent is. Parliamentary Privilege being used to say the most egregious things knowing they will be taken, clipped and nicely packaged into a 30 second video. A sound bite to destroy the opposition with no basis in reality.
Never before has access to information been so readily available to us and yet we have become politically dumb. Blinded by the ‘Us vs. Them’. ‘Blue vs. Red’. Pick your side and don’t you dare change your mind. The way your side behaves is irrelevant. Do you want to win? We must win at all costs.
Politics is being taken to the gutter by people who value fame more than their constituency. Chasing the sweet dopamine hit of going viral or ‘annoying just the right people’. This is compounded by the endless stream of thought-terminating clichés. Available now on constant cycle on your preferred news outlet. Giving nicknames to serious issues to make them more palatable, to hide the severity. Brangelina politics. The Politics Idol era.
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The current system offers very little choice, in fact, it’s no choice at all really. Which sides misconduct do you find the most tolerable?
‘But that’s in Westminster!’.
‘It’s the way it has always been!’
Not strictly true.
At a grassroots level, this ‘untouchable’ behaviour is endemic too. ‘They all lie, the lot of them!’ So why do we put up with it?
It would be ridiculous to think we could have any real impact on Westminster but we have the power to change our local communities. From the very bottom of the pyramid we can stop the damp rising.
As communities shouldn’t we be ensuring these vampires, who feed off the power of office, are held to account?
Anti-semitism, libelous claims of anti-semitism, racism, whistle blowers of racism being relieved of their duties, the rascist taking office, holding seats in two counties, defrauding charities, stealing from independent businesses and let’s not forget ‘womb-man’. The list goes on.
Now this isn’t being ‘Woke” or subscribing to ‘Cancel Culture’ - again thought-terminating cliché - this is about holding to account the people we employ to represent US! They find themselves in positions of privilege and power and they should respect that we have given them that privilege and power. They should be held to the highest standards. When they sit in council meetings or Parliament they are our voice, they represent our communities.
If your brother, sister, mother or father, cousin, best friend or work colleague acted in some of these ways, wouldn’t you question them? Why are people elected by us untouchable? Allowed to conduct themselves however they like, protected by their party colleagues, and then call ‘bullying’ or' ‘cancel culture’ when they are questioned?
You rarely read about these things though, unless you go looking for it yourself or read the local newspaper front to back (or subscribe to Counter Cut!). They should be front and centre, regardless of political leanings, these are the things the people need reporting so they can make informed decisions on the people that represent them.
If your newspaper has a readership with a certain political leaning, surely they are the first people who should know about the abhorrent behaviour of people who they have or want to elect. The party shouldn’t be a magic cloak that absolves a person from being a scumbag and protect them from criticism. Whether you are Blue, Red, Green or Orange should be of little concern when it comes to racism, theft or libel by an elected official.
Ultimately, if you ignore it, you become complicit in the deceit and abuse of power. In 20 years time, if they get their way, these jokers will be sitting in Westminster acting exactly the same as they do now because nobody held them to account.
The cycle continues.
Whether you are ‘tofu eating wokerati’ or you like a cup of ‘remoaner tears’ with your evening meal, we deserve better.
I don’t have all the answers for an imperfect system but I can see the system is broken.
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Perhaps at councillor level you don’t affiliate with a particular party. You are elected on what you can do for your community rather than who has paid for your leaflets. It would encourage candidates to engage with people across the political spectrum and not just those with the same ideology. If and when they make the step up to MP, they already have the backing of a whole community regardless of political leanings. Of course you can't please everyone, but if it has been proven you have their best interest at heart why would they not vote for you, irrespective of which party you are standing for? You have earned the right to be their voice.
I'm often reminded that we don't have a US style electoral system, yet we are sucked into the cult of personality of American politics. If we truly elect our MP’s to represent us in Westminster, then there needs to be an overhaul of grassroots politics in this country. So people who, first and foremost serve us, do so rather than being driven by their own voracious desire for power, or worse - column inches.
Not all, but some, are out for themselves. The party banner giving the appearance of some sort of ethos or idea, when in reality they would step over, or on, anyone to get to where they want to be. I think it's high time we reminded them who put them there!
At Counter Cut, we will at least continue to play our part to hold our leaders in the West Midlands to account, whether a local Councillor at the heart of a scandal which people need to know about or the failing manager of a local football club.
Written by Tomas Browne
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