Eastleigh. A new beginning?

Eastleigh electors must make sure that they do not waste their vote in the forthcoming by-election.

There was a time when government had nothing to do with Political Parties but sadly, that is no longer the case. Hopefully, one day all politics will return to choosing individuals who are best-suited to manage and lead. Unfortunately that time has not yet come and so we must make the most of what we have.

Every party has individuals who are good at what they do. Their abilities have nothing to do with political allegiance. Even within the present system – those are the people we should be voting for……….The converse is also true.

We should not be ignoring the Liberal candidate  because the previous one self-destructed. We should not be ignoring any able Conservative just because we don’t appreciate the Conservative Chancellor’s approach to dealing with the economy. The Labour handling of the 2008 banking crisis  and their leader’s dodgy haircut should not influence us if we have a Labour candidate who looks as if he or she has a positive contribution to make.

What should influence us is simple – which INDIVIDUAL do we believe can be entrusted with the responsibility of representing us most effectively. Our vote should NOT be used to punish a national political party or, for instance the fact that “we don’t like the look of them”.

Blind partisan voting will only give us a random chance of voting-in the finest. At best we will elect a few good people – at worst, we will vote-in a total moron simply because we like the colour of his or her rosette. Nowadays, many politicians are just “ballast”. Remember Blair’s Babes or the present crop of Cameron’s Cuties? They sit in Westminster, nod or shake their heads like Muppets while those with proper views do the talking and decision-making. They are there to do nothing more than vote.

Party Politics has evolved into a Game of Two (and a bit!) Packs. Too much energy is given over to political in-fighting rather than concentrating on the needs of the voter. Just look at Prime Minister’s Question Time and the destructive exchanges between the parties. They are playing “Westminster”! (It’s like Monopoly but nowadays, without the money!)

Even local politicians play “Westminster”  within their crude facsimiles  of the Commons Chamber (they even  have a Cabinet!). Local politics has become national politics in miniature!

Consequently a local by-election result is now considered to be a vote either for or against the Government.

In  politics, the “management  and business classes” have largely given way to the “talking professions” because the ability to debate has become a more precious skill than the ability to say, manage a budget (and it shows!). The old-fashioned free-thinker has given way to the party pack-animal who will normally vote as the party tells him – the ideology of the party has displaced the common-sense of the independently-minded individual.

In spite of all this, we do need to be represented by local people who have the voters interests and not their own ambitions at their core.

The  usual voting turnout during a local election (below 40%) gives strength to the “centralist” argument  which is in favour of more and more power being taken away from local people and handed to the political party which “handles” your representative. That is just one of the reasons why it is important to vote sensibly. If we do not vote or just vote for a rosette, we give the impression that we do not care about or want local representation by the best local person possible – irrespective of  his or her party allegiance.

We have all noticed that the big parties “parachute” external candidates into constituencies. That’s possibly the greatest insult of all because they assume that our county, town or area is unable to produce a candidate capable of representing us in Parliament.

Finally, remember that not all Liberal candidates are vegetarian lecturers and Guardian-reading white-collar public-sector workers. Not all Conservatives are toffs, barristers, middle-managers and skinheads. Not all Labour candidates are teachers, media people and union members and not all UKIP candidates are racist single-issue nutters.

There is a rarely-printed saying in politics – “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” ……………… That’s US – the voters!

So, Eastleigh voters, ignore this week’s media political mud-slinging (it started last week), take a careful look at ALL the by-election candidates, decide which one looks like the best to represent YOU and vote!

The time has come  to vote for the individual and not the rosette.