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Democrat March-April 2013 (Number 134)

Arthur Smelt comments on

National Interests

Prime Minister Cameron has declared that his government's prime interest is that of the Nation, first, last and always.

If it were possible to write about our country, where all those requirements necessary for an equitable, democratic and moral society were in place, and people were encouraged to work together for the common good then that would be Nirvana.

Sadly the overall situation is that our society and country are in quite a mess, where one rotten state of affairs after another is revealed thereby generating national unrest.

The promotion of self interest, confrontation and greed predominate and contribute in no small measure to the immorality, corruption and chaos we experience all around us with the usual demagoguery of diverting public attention towards the poorest. The unemployed, people on benefits, the bedroom tax and immigrants to mention but a few, alongside the obscenity of inordinate riches and tax fiddles.

We pretend to be a democracy with an unelected government and something like 50% of laws, rules and regulations which affect the lives of British people having been incorporated into British Statute without the knowledge or consultation of the people. There is little wonder that public disillusionment of politics and politicians grows ever greater as the electorate realise their representatives do not represent the majority.

Throughout the EU we see one catastrophe after another. The crisis in Cyprus epitomises what is happening in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. The chaos is caused by politicians and bankers and the ordinary people are then compelled to bail them out. The anger amongst ordinary people in Cyprus is intense and in the other crisis ridden countries people are dreading a knock-on effect.

In our own country there is need to sort out not just the banking mess but one scandal after another which keep emerging due to incompetence, corruption and moral degradation. Those we call whistle blowers who are motivated to expose wrong doing are suppressed or persecuted.

We see huge sums of money wasted. Last year the money paid to EU averaged out at £299 per household. Recent reports state that taxpayers are to foot a bill of £12.4 billion, in bailouts, hitherto hidden, for Lloyds and RBS. The NHS wastes billions in different areas one of which was the spending of £12.7 billion attempting to set up an IT system which never materialised. There is also the PFI fiasco. Not only have billions been spent on futile wars but the MoD is reported as having wasted £6.6 billion on useless equipment. There are lots of other instances, too numerous to mention here, where money is wasted in large amounts. We are then presented with destructive austerity measures.

Other areas of concern are manifest in the paedophilia scandal where wealthy, famous or special individuals were not prosecuted for their misbehaviour. The attitude to the elderly in some hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere has been utterly despicable and inhuman. Latest reports are that something like 5,000 elderly may have died in the latest cold spell whilst the energy companies make millions. Institutions people want to trust, like the police and the press, have in some areas been a let down.

On the letters page of the Guardian newspaper dated 8.3.2013, Jane Scott from Dorset wrote: 'Perhaps it is time for a shift from politics based on conflict and aggression to politics based on compassion and collaboration. If we're to keep Earth fit for humans to live on, women and men who value co-operation over fighting need to work together to radically change the political agenda, before it is too late.'