Hey! I’m a minority

4 Oct

Isn’t Politics a messy business? Yesterday I went to a presentation/workshop hosted by Cornwall Council, but with the main speakers coming from a Government Office in London.
As we were nearing the end of the session we were asked to fill out a questionnaire to mark our satisfaction with the day. Most of us had just got to the bit where it asked: “Has the meeting today been satisfactory in dealing with issues of equality and diversity”, and then one of the Whitehall ladies started answering a question about grant money. There must have been some legal issue with differences in Scotland and Wales, because she said rather forcibly, “This only applies in England”. At this point the senior representative of the Cornwall Council delegation sprang to his feet and said with all seriousness, “I feel sure you will not mind me pointing out that it applies to Cornwall as well” Phew! That was close. He nearly got a minus score on his questionnaire!

In a similar, but bigger arena, an MP put his rather large foot in it yesterday concerning Ed Miliband’s father Ralph. When it was pointed out to the MP that Ralph Miliband had been a humanist Marxist at a time when such Philosophy was considered to be the modern approach to left wing politics, and did not mean that because he felt that representative democracy was not the right doctrine, that didn’t mean that he was anti-British. The MP retaliated by saying that Communism was a dirty ideology and had been responsible for killing millions of people. Hang on a minute! How many people did the great god capitalism kill in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the atom bombing of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? All in the name of Democracy.

Why don’t politicians think before they make such statements? Possibly due to the fact that some Public Schools produce a lot of dross because they have to deal with all abilities across the range. It doesn’t matter which party you choose, (except MK of course), most of the top 25% are Public School boys who couldn’t do anything else except go into politics. If you look at behaviour in the House of Commons, it equates pretty well to a bunch of spoilt 14 –15 year olds.

Apart from being part of a minority, there was one very, very interesting thing I learned yesterday. A spokesperson from Democratic Services was talking about eligibility to vote in Cornwall with regard to second homes. The official line is that in order to vote in two places in local elections or referenda, the householder must prove that they spend a considerable amount of time in each residence. The ideal was obviously stated as being 50% in each. This status is questioned when the person applies to be put on the electoral register, but there is no check to see if they have answered truthfully. The reason for this was said to be lack of staff and money, but it was admitted that there were probably a “fair” number of people registered to vote who only spent a few weeks in Cornwall. A hint was given that some entries on the register would be re-checked. And more stringent interpretation of the rules applied in future.


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