DEMOCRACY Day, May 7 2015, is fast approaching when the electorate’s votes will be eagerly sought and promises of near Utopia will be made. Sadly democracy will then be forgotten for a further five years until the process begins again.
It seems to be an eternity away when I actually believed that MPs knew best and fought for Britain. They are intelligent people who had all the relevant facts and information; all 650 of them could debate the issues in the House of Commons, hearing all the differing viewpoints and could then vote on the best solution. Yes, even if I disagreed with the outcome, this process, I believed, must guarantee the correct policies.
Now, some 50 years later, I am totally disillusioned, and indeed, I’m sad to say I too often believe MPs ‘are all the same’, with little confidence in them.
So many policies which are implemented defy all my understanding of common sense.
Why does Britain continue to give hundreds of millions of pounds in foreign aid to India and China, making it easier for them to take our jobs?
Why has Britain based our Armed Forces in Germany for 70 years since the end of the Second World War – has Germany, or indeed anyone else, contributed to their cost?
Why do we have to pay towards the insane movement, for over 40 years, of EU business from Brussels to Strasbourg for one week every month?
Britain’s inheritance as an island gave us rich fishing grounds. Why did we agree to share this with other European countries as a sop to joining the then European Common Market? Were we going to share Europe’s inherited assets, or did Europe believe that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is to share?
Why did we destroy our dairy industry? We consumed all our own milk, daily deliveries of a fresh product meant Britain consumed far more milk than other countries; no surplus milk like Europe, due to this superb organisation of the Milk Marketing Board, the thousands of milkmen who delivered milk in bottles and the efficient dairies. But, we agreed with Europe that all of this constituted a monopoly and could not be allowed and the market had to be opened up to competition (unfair competition, that is). Now Europe is awash with milk it cannot sell and many of our dairy farmers have left the industry.
Why did we deliver a hammer blow to another of our cherished industries, the Post Office? Yes, we allowed foreign competition, but this competition was only for densely populated areas and not for the unprofitable rural areas. The Post Office, under its charter, still has to deliver to all parts of the UK at the same price and we have wilfully handicapped their operations.
Britain has over a century of coal reserves, can remove over 90 per cent of harmful emissions with clean-coal technology, had the best coal miners in the world, has over three centuries of space in depleted oil fields to store these emissions, could have energy independence, yet we abandon this magnificent inheritance and import coal and wood pellets from the other side of the world. Why?
But, I forgot, the EU says we cannot use fossil fuels, even though they, as above, are cleaner than the mess we have created. They monitor our carbon footprint and impose penalties for any so-called breaches of targets. They maintain they can control climate change and the awesome power of nature. Is this the same organisation that has been incapable of providing audited accounts for the last 19 years?
Why do we continue to award lottery-sized pay-offs to failures?
Why do we allow halal abattoirs in Britain? If immigrants wish to live in our country and are accepted, they should willingly accept our way of life.
If business leaders say membership of the EU is essential for our trading position, why does Britain have a huge trade deficit with Europe. How many more jobs would be created in Britain if we did not have such a trade imbalance?
Why do leading politicians in the run up to election day become footballers, bricklayers, chefs etc when they would be more suited to being clowns?
And most of the people who are elected to Parliament in May to be MPs will have a very limited influence on government policies. They will be told by the party whips how to vote and for the majority of the time will simply be voting fodder for an elite few.
Disillusioned? You bet I am.
Barrie Frost, from Filey, is a retired milkman and a regular contributor to The Yorkshire Post’s letters pages