Monday, 25 April 2011

What are beliefs without principles?

A few items in the media and blogosphere have caught my eye - even this early on a sunny Easter Monday morning. Unrelated in topic, they do however all illustrate the problems we have in our politics today - namely that many people write and speak of their beliefs yet appear to temper the principles on which those beliefs are held to suit various situations. Examples:

Daily Telegraph Editorial: Nick Clegg is castigated for stating that, on the AV debate, people should be treated like adults; that  the "nasty" No to AV campaign was built on "lies, misinformation and deceit"; and that John Reid was being "reactionary and backward-looking". The editorial also mentions that Simon Hughes has accused the 'No' campaign of "telling untruths" and "inventing facts".

Why pray, does the Telegraph not also mention that this behaviour is common in politics, that Clegg has been just as guilty on matters of policy - as has Cameron and the majority of their clique. Clegg has misled the public on the recall system by not making clear that it is Parliament that has the final say on this matter and has maintained that AV will make MPs work harder - something also 'untrue' - yet I do not recall the Telegraph taking Clegg to task on this. Cameron has been disingenious in maintaining that the Localism Bill transfers power to local people yet does not make public in his speeches that any referendum held under this bill can be ignored by the local authority in question if that local authority so wishes. If the Telegraph believes Clegg is being disingenuous on AV and that there is a principle involved here, then they appear to have tempered their own principles.

John Redwood posts on plans that the European Union has for further economic governance - something which is not news to those of us that follow matters EU. Whilst Redwood does rebel against the Coalition in votes on this subject, I have to return to the question of belief and principle. If he is adamant that membership of the EU is so wrong, if he believes that the economic policies of the Coalition - and hence his own party - are so wrong; that self-governance is vital for the good of our country; just what the hell is he still doing in the Conservative Party. Needless to say the same criticism can be levied against Carswell, Hannan and other MPs.

The Anger of a Quiet Man posts on a story of what appears to be financial impropriety within the Audit Commission. If, as the article in the Telegraph states, the problem was highlighted last year in a report by Sir Philip Green then why is the practise still continuing? What has been done to investigate how many more instances of possible financial impropriety exist within government departments? If financial impropriety is improper amongst politicians, then surely it is improper amongst their civilian officials? Once again, beliefs/principles?

Tim Montgomerie posts on Conservative Home suggesting that Cameron should plan for an early general election, due to the possible imploding of the Liberal Democrats. It is quite likely that the Coalition will fall apart before 2015 as David Cameron tempered his beliefs and principles in accepting a coalition with the Liberal Democrats purely, I believe, to gain entry to Number 10 - as did MPs of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrats to become part of the government - and thus achieve power. Beliefs/principles?

If the people are unable to trust, implicity, that which their politicians write and speak and, likewise, are unable to believe what they hear and read in the MSM; then what is the point of politicians, political parties and the MSM?

Just thinking.......................

Update: The Grumpologist has another example of belief and principle being at variance.

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