Friday, 23 December 2011

"Them" and "Us" Politics

Tracey Crouch MP Chatham & Aylesford

I like Tracey Crouch. Regular readers will not be surprised by this. Indeed at work those who watch me beaver away over the Medway Messenger, writing notes and typing up blog posts on my lunch hour have a theory that I'm secretly blue.

I must say that rumours of my imminent defection are completely unfounded.

I admire the way she works for and with her constituency and represents it in Parliament. She is hard working, isn't in it for an easy ride, goes to local events and works very positively. She also provides a positive role model and is working hard for causes close to her heart in the form of women and young people in Sport (especially football), the elderly especially their care and dementia.

She has attracted plaudits from many political neutrals, Conservatives and even Lib Dems (other than me obviously).

I feel comfortable with in my own party loyalty and myself to say that of her.

I honestly believe credit where credit is due and Tracey deserves credit in my humble opinion.

However there are some, in all parties who cannot complement someone or mention their good work just because of party allegiance - as if to say that someone has a good policy or has done a stirling job getting a key debate or representing their community is some how treasonous.

It isn't at all.

These people, and there are many in politics, define themselves by what they aren't rather than what they are.
Within Parliament we have Lib Dems who define themselves as "Not Tory",
Conservatives who define themselves as "Not Lib Dems."
Labour MPs who are just "Not the Coalition."

Indeed every party has tried to define itself. We started the ball rolling with the Orange Book which has divided our party some what but still it provided policy ideas and for  those who were interested, a way of seeing what direction we wanted to go in.
Labour have followed suit with their Purple Book which I've just started to read, and is about picking up the pieces of last year's defeat and redefining a post Blairite party and I have no doubts it will cause similar divides in their party as well as provide a useful tool. - Though it is interesting to note that Ed Miliband's introduction does sound more like a Liberal Democrat intro, perhaps by Nick Clegg, than a Labour leader... Does he agree with Nick?
A few Conservative MPs have also written After the Coalition to give an idea as to what Conservativism stands for in the modern era and what they should aim for in the 2015 election as well as to redefine their belief's against Liberal Democrat influence in Coalition.

These are useful exercises and one that every party should do from time to time. A sort of reality check to make sure that we are all agreeing.

Still we get politicians and politico's defining themselves by what they aren't or disagree with rather than what they do believe. How many times have you read a blog post, letter to the paper or press release and thought;
You don't/can't believe that... Do you?

 They shout and scream blue (or red!) murder every time that a Councillor or MP does something that, although is a good thing, should be opposed or "isn't good enough" even though it is the best that could be done of the situation.

Like the rail fare rise. Our MPs have done all they can but because the fares still increased that is some how their fault.

Some of it boils down to Political point scoring. If you point and shout loud enough about failings and say "My party would have done this that and the other..." then you will attract votes whether or not it would have made a difference in real life or not.
I can do the same, look;

If we were in Government, separate to the Conservatives we would have scrapped tuition, Trident, Nick would have walked across the channel and saved the Euro and we would all have Monkey butlers. 
It doesn't ultimately mean anything.

To congratulate or to praise a member of another party could possibly lose you votes and a vital currency.

I may be being Naive... and I admit that I am probably, maybe I'm a little too open and nice for the whole political game- I just think that if someone is doing a good job you should say it.
If you want to criticise what someone or a party is doing you should do so constructively, with reason and not tired repetition (the same is true of the National media as well.) and making everything into a Political battle of wills of "Us" vs "Them." and trying to politicise everything.

An Authority's initiative's aren't designed as a direct attack on the opposition Parties and their principles.
Take the Coalition's deficit reduction schemes, I don't agree with all of them but I understand the aim but when listening to some Labour MPs attacking the Chancellor or the front bench you would think that every policy was directly aimed at destroying Labour as a party.

True some moves have been personal, such as Michael Gove overturning Ed Ball's pilot scheme the day he came into office and it had been something he vehemently opposed in opposition.

But Politics is about the People, the Electorate, you and me... their problems that need solving.

Now all problems need to be approached and different people have different approaches to coming up with a solution. Those with similar approaches have banded together to form parties. It is not to say that any other party's way is wrong just because it isn't your way, unless of course you can prove that it is detrimental to a group or many, or environment etc etc...
Then it is up to discussion and mediation before a final answer can be come to. The next election should be based on;
"Well the Lib Dem Council brought in Monkey Butlers, we argued that it was a bad idea and that Monkey's can't pour tea but after a week of debate we were out voted and they didn't listen to your complaints... Vote Green to rid your city of Monkey faeces and return to sensible policies."

Or am I just being niave and silly?

Grown up politicians and indeed adults should not squabble the way that some do in National and local politics across parties and the country. My message is to grow up, decide what YOU stand for and oppose things that should be opposed and not those for opposition's sake, avoid politicising EVERYTHING -it's not all about you or scraping another four or five voters, and give credit where credit is due - even if that means eatting humble pie and admitting you were wrong or praising an MP from another party on the good work that she is doing.

Oh... and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

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