Barlow's Beef: England expects everyone to do their duty


Due to foreign travel my election news came to me via satellite TV these past two weeks.

With the benefit of distance one gets an entirely different perspective of the absurdities of UK politics. The glib statements of politicians, with no first-hand experience of the world we inhabit, become increasingly farcical.

Advice on the economy from opponents who have never suffered the uncertainties of the self-employed or the deprivation of long-term unemployment are as ludicrous as flying lessons from a submariner.

Polite requests by foreign tourists to explain some preposterous statement made by a Westminster party hack are as impossible to justify as the perennial Santa question posed by a sceptical child.

What becomes abundantly clear from the perspective of foreign shores is that venturing outside the Westminster bubble presents a huge risk for the political elite serving only to expose the cosseted ignorance of those within.

So what's to be done? How can we, the public, who finance, those purporting to serve change the status quo? It is not as difficult as it appears.

First and foremost we can demonstrate that our blind support is no forgone conclusion.

We must eradicate once and for all the notion that we will follow like sheep regardless of the incompetence of the shepherd. It's this certainty that encourages politicians to treat us with such contempt. A healthy dose of insecurity would work wonders.

If you are unhappy with your representation make a change. If you find builders invading the greenbelt against the wishes of your community elect a new representative. It's failure to do so that feeds political arrogance.

We cannot complain about our politicians if we are afraid to change the way we vote. If you are happy with what's happening in your town/country stick with the representation you have if not make a change.

At some stage you will be asked to explain to your grandchildren what you did to create the community and country they inhabit.

Telling them you complained incessantly but did nothing won't win their admiration.

Imagine for a moment how political decisions would change if no seat was 'safe.' Do you really think any government or council would destroy the greenbelt while leaving ugly brownfield sites undeveloped if they weren't certain of our vote?

If you want your government and local council to be more sensitive to your opinion pull the rug and vote for change.

It's time for YOU to do YOUR duty.

(If you've spent the last few years admiring the achievements of your political representatives you may be excused.)

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef