MR Pendle’s comments re the nature of politics rings bells with me (“Telling it straight”, Leader Times, June 24th).
While I am sure there are individual politicians of principle, I must admit when party politicians are in power, I don’t trust them. Have you noticed when they are out of office, they promise the earth in their manifestos, such as electoral and political reform? Then, when they are in power, they drop their promises like a lead balloon.
I am not convinced most politicians are out to serve the best interests of the country and its citizens – the common wealth of the nation. A majority are in politics out of self interest - what they can get out of the system – positions of power and privilege. In a democracy “Politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians” as Charles de Gaulle, French President (1959-1969), cryptically commented.
Left to their own devices, Governments usually get it wrong, like the economy, unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the costly privatisation for profit of public services. As J. K. Galbraith, the American economist, concisely observed: “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable”.
We need to reverse the apathy and powerless of people to take action themselves and the defeatist attitude, which is reflected in the sarcastic view of Paul Valery, the French poet and critic, who said: “Politics is the art of preventing people taking part in affairs which properly concern them”.
To start with, all politicians should be elected to office in Government, including to the House of the Lords, and fully accountable to the electorate. The practice of appointing cronies to Government bodies should cease. Local authorities should be given more powers and involve people at the local level in decision making, which would influence the policies of central Government.
In other words, we should have a People’s Democratic Republic with an elected president on a fixed term of office. We can then dismantle the unelected hereditary monarchy and disperse their sycophantic retinue to join the rest of us in a free and fair society.
Noyna Street, Colne