“What do we want?”
“We don’t really know”
“When do we want it?”
Why has avowedly-not-racist jack o’lantern Nigel Farage been gurning at me from the newspapers lately? Well, it turns out that the UK electorate aren’t happy with the revolving carousel of identikit Oxbridge purveyors of perfidy from whom we periodically select a herd of scapegoats and have responded by throwing a few votes the way of UKIP candidates who’ve promised to make the country all better by closing the gates to an invasion of Hungarians, Romanians, Romulans, Klingons and other surrogate darkies bent on taking our jobs and impressing our women with their swarthy charm.
As it happens, the Green party did pretty much as well as UKIP. You may have failed to notice as they’re quite sensible, did their maths and didn’t stir the dusty old loins of the Daily Hatemail’s readership. Still, it’s clear that we aren’t happy with our politicians.
If there’s a bright side to this then it’s that a modicum of intelligent debate has been sparked in some of the broadsheets. Sadly, the readership of said articles are massively outnumbered by the slack-jawed yokels that make up the electorate.
The problem is that people don’t know what they want. Ask the man in the street and he’d probably say that he just needs 56p for the bus to heroin… bugger, I mean Harrogate. Ask the man in the house on said street and he’d probably give some mealy-mouthed crap answer about family and friendship coming first while a functional MRI of his brain would spell out the phrase “MASSIVE LOTTERY WIN AND YOU LOT COULD FUCK RIGHT OFF” in six-inch high letters of incandescent neon. As George Monobiotic pointed out in another scarcely read article in the Guardian, however, such riches rarely make the people that urge for them happy. Ironically, I suspect that the people who would get most fulfilment from the wise deployment of unimaginable riches are those who would actively shun their acquisition.
Our politicians should not crave after these riches. How can the pursuit of personal wealth be a compatible aim with the role of ‘public servant’? In yet another Guardian article (this isn’t a sponsored blog, I promise*) Roy Hattersley bemoans the absence of committed socialist principle in his old party. It’s a good article and I agree with his point. I don’t think that he goes far enough.
A public servant should be exactly that. It should be made clear to anyone who seeks a career in politics that the country that they serve should come before their own ends. I would suggest this:
We raise the wages of politicians. Yep, you heard me right. Raise them so that a politician would know that they would be able to live comfortably, raise a family and make sure that they will be able to retire without worry. We also make them sign a legally binding contract that they may not earn any other form of income. That any other money that comes their way from gifts, contributions, bribery attempts, wages, stipends, book sales, speakers fees or playing the ukulele outside their local Burger King can be confiscated and returned to the public purse and that any knowing attempt to break this contract will result in imprisonment and, because I’m feeling particularly vindictive towards the current crop of crooks, the forcible insertion of freakishly large and spicy pickled onions into sensitive, personal orifices.
Because we need politicians. We need intelligent, well-meaning people to make the difficult decisions that the public won’t. The public have proved that by thinking that Farage and his proto-bigoted brigade of innumerates can somehow make any difference to politics.
So, vote for the Big Pickled Onion Party at your next election. You might still end up with politicians that you think are buffoons but at least you’ll know they’re not robbing you while they cock things up.
*I feel compelled to point out here that my independent experiments have determined that a Finger of Fudge has been demonstrated to constitute sufficient to give 93% of kids a treat with less than 1g of wastage. I may have to work on the slogan.