Invest in our political system to make it fit for purpose.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inadequacies in a number of our institutions. I will focus on the political aspect. The current, almost two party, adversarial system has been shown as seriously wanting. In the modern world, the left / right divide (eg Brexit, Red wall etc.) is becoming more and more difficult to define, with most people just want politicians to “short it out”. The Westminster bun fight just puts people off, although it makes for good churnalism! As a result our leaders come from an ever diminishing demographic. The appeal of politics needs to be widen, this will help more people reconnect with democratic systems and encourage more people to vote. For consideration; increase MP pay to ¬£100K PA, this might encourage people who have relevant experience. Professionalise and stabilise the Civil service, encourage those with skills and ability to stay in post. End all donations to political parties, this encourages very rich individuals to gain influence for a few thousand pounds (potentially making millions) in the grand scheme of our overall spending this proper funding (¬£10 million, 2009) would hardly be noticed! Find a constructive way for the parties to work together, “First past the post” does not encourage this. The Party in Government is terrified of U turns, opposition has to oppose everything and with debates so structured and formalised they just generate a lot of heat and not much light. Some of the abuse of politicians on social media is unacceptable and incredibly dangerous and corrosive, this is across the political spectrum and should not be accepted “as part of the job”. These are complicated and difficult changes to make and it may be wishful thinking but I think this is the purpose of your exercise?! Thank you for the opportunity to air my views.




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