I shall be honest with you; I always am. Upon approaching this subject, my first thought was to burn the lot to the ground. To burn it with hellfire, piss on it, mix it up into a gooey paste, and then bury it. Once buried, it should have a headstone of a giant cock. Upon said headstone being erected (haw-haw), every sigil known to beast and man should be carved into it; this is more to protect you humans from yourselves.
It would have stood as a monument to that utter stupidity of asking man to decide upon something without requiring that man learnt about it first.
Then, I let my human calm down.
I thought that maybe, just maybe, what we needed were just minor tweaks. You know, like going to the hairdressers and asking them to tidy it up a little. Then I realised that was also impossible. You think it should be, but when you leave, you discover you have been in the place for thirty minutes and now look like something that would not feel out of place, poking its head from a socialites handbag.
At this point, I rolled my human up and packed him in a cupboard. Sometimes, I said to myself, you have to view things from a fresh angle. So I stood on my hands and wrapped my legs up around my shoulders. When viewing at this particular angle, things became apparent, and I started to write.
The houses of parliament are a mess. It is going to take years to repair and billions of pounds. It is the Granny that visits once a year; you sort of like it, but really it is old, falling apart and would be better just to be left to its own thing. She feels the same way about you, by the way! Demolish it, bury it, recreate that scene from V for Vendetta, make it a museum. I don’t care, but get rid of it from our politics. All the vermin will clear out when it is refurbished anyway, but then they will want to go back, so you have solved nothing. You will have painted a lycra bra over a chest that is a triple z in size. It ain’t going to last. This is not papering over cracks; it is using a prit-stick to try and join the Grand Canyon.
Google tells me that the exact centre of the UK is “a field at Lindley Hall Farm, in Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire”. Buy it, get as close as possible, and then build the new buildings there. Build a massive apartment complex next to it, and you have your accommodation. If they want a five-bedroom place with a seventy-five foot TV, they can fucking buy it themselves. Enough with the second homes, second jobs, expenses, allowances, and other shite.
Design and manage the thing in the spirit of working together, of compromise. Make the debating chamber circular and mix the MPs up, so it is not one party on one side of the house and the rest on the other. Churn it up a little so they don’t end up looking like a bunch of monkeys at a zoo with excessive bloodlust. You would not tolerate a toddler screaming and shouting as they do; why do you do so with grown men and women?
The House Of Lords.
In the North West of Sicily, you can visit the “Catacombe Dei Cappuccini”. In 1599 they started to mummify the dead and keep them in the catacombs. There are – literally – thousands of them now. You can visit, but it is not acceptable to take a beer or cigar to share with anyone you used to know. I have included a picture, so you can see it. These catacombs close at night, and all that is left are the bodies and the whispering wind that blows through. The noise sounds a little like the murmur you may hear from an overflow pipe on a winters night. There is still more life than during an average sitting in the House of Lords.
In truth, I am a little split on this. An unelected second chamber should have no place in modern politics. However, they have been sending back bills that I don’t like and causing the Tories to sulk. Swings and roundabouts maybe, but still, I think it should go. Throw the fucking lot out and start again with the second chamber. Not with an elected one. Lord Service! There are currently seven hundred and seventy-one seats in the lords. Ditch just over half that, so you are down to three hundred. Call up members of the public to do a six-month service. Pay them the wage they had before and have a “return to job guarantee” with their employer and compensate if needed for temporary staff. Use experts – I know, I know – to guide them on decision-making, legal, sensible, and possible outcomes. Let the informed public have a say. Can it be any worse than seven hundred dozing fuckwits? Some of them flying back to approve cuts to social security for the poorest in the UK?
Accountability, Trust, and Transparency.
This is the rotting, festering, maggot-ridden body of the UK political system. It is eating away at the corpse we call democracy, and all that will be left are the bare bones of a design we once heralded. Mother Of All Parliament? Fuck that. There are good MPs, but they are outweighed heavily by the bad. We are long past Nero’s fiddling stage; we have moved from fiddling to fondling, miles past foreplay and are now getting royally fucked. It is the partner who keeps screwing you over, but time after time, you go back thinking they have changed. They haven’t. They will do it again.
So, how will I fix it? Transparency and experts (Stop booing you Brexit voter!) Everything about a decision should be open. I accept that there are some times when something needs to be sealed and hidden, but at the moment, it is taken too far. Only yesterday, I read in the guardian about the DWP refusing a freedom of access request about sanctions. They had commissioned a report into the effectiveness of benefit sanctions. (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/1949/1949.pdf). Now you can call me paranoid, but if the report had told them what they had wanted to hear, i.e. sanctions work, then why would they refuse to publish? They promised to publish it.
Mistakes happen; that is just human nature; it is one of those things. Often you read about things not being released under FOI, or maybe, released thirty years down the line, and it makes no sense why it was hidden. Unless it makes the current government look bad. In government, a mistake may cost lives. If it is an honest mistake, then it can be forgiven. It may be hard to forgive; it may be impossible for some. But, an honest mistake is a mistake. If a minister has taken the best and most logical course of action, and it is proven to be wrong, then you can only hold your hands up and say, “well, it was the best and logical choice to make”.
The covid crisis, for example, if all the documents are released to the public, and it turns out that they had taken the best course of action. They had balanced the risks and picked the path that seemed the most sensible for the general public. I believe the majority would have understood and supported them. You will always have the vocal outsiders, but overall I think most would have understood. My thoughts on the covid situation is that they prioritised business over the general public, wealth before health.
If things are made public, then you will build trust. People take advantage of trust, and they abuse a person’s trust. Trust is hard to make but so incredibly easy to break, as I used to tell my eldest daughter. You have to trust elected officials. If you can’t trust them in the good times, how can you believe that they are doing what is right in the bad?
I would hold ministers to account for their actions. Why should (George) Iain Duncan Smith walk away from the DWP “reforms” that have left so many dead? Worse, he was made Sir – fucking – (George) Iain Duncan Smith. Why should (Alex) Boris – fucking – Johnson (and others) walk away from Brexit?
I would assign each cabinet member an expert in the field, someone independent to work with them. There are 22 members, so 22 experts. If you are chancellor of the exchequer, you would be working with an expert in that field. Same for the DWP, and on, and on, and on… If you choose a path, and this is where transparency comes in, that the expert tells you will not work. Then, fuck it, you should be held accountable in law and to be judged as anyone else would be. If the expert tells you it may not work or that it will work but then fails. That is life; it happens. Not everything can work. You cant do what they did to the DWP, you can’t go to war, you can’t “reform” the NHS, you cant leave the EU and then walk away as if nothing has happened. You – literally – have the publics life in your hands at times. You have to consider all options and take the best course of action, no matter your politics.
I want my government to be open, honest, and transparent. I want to be able to trust them.