Monday, 5 August 2013
Britain's Pork Barrell Politics.
After Danny Alexander's attempt to feather bed Lib Dem voters in Devon, it now emerges that he has already introduced American-style pork barrel politics into his own constituency in Scotland. While happy to force austerity on the rest of the country at the behest of his Tory pals, his own constituency has been the grateful recipient of some very lucrative goodies including public money for a tourist railway, a bailout for the London-Scotland sleeper train, tax breaks for ski lifts and a generous allocation from the pot to fund exemptions from the so-called “bedroom tax". The reason is easily understood since, without bribery, Danny Alexander is most unlikely to retain his seat at the next general election. This is simply yet another example of how low the Lib Dem party has sunk in the last three years, from wide-eyed idealists to corrupt money-grubbers in the blink of an eye. It is also yet another example of how the corruption rife in the Tory party has spread into the whole of the British body politic, poisoning debate and embedding the ideology of self-serving greed. It is little wonder, then, that participation in the political process in this country continues to shrink with general elections routinely being decided by less than 50% of the electorate. What is the point when the march of corruption seems so irresistible and our political parties are so eager to be corrupted? With the gap between the rich and poor accelerating to the point where it worse now in Britain than it is in Nigeria, undoubtedly the next general election will simply be just another stage on our descent from democracy to banana republic.