Thursday, March 16, 2006

How much a Peerage?

I feel in my bones that this is not a particularly life or death scandal, however it once again highlights the fact that Patronage is and has been part of our political system as much as it has been part of the US system.

We have to look again at many parts of our honours system and seperately at the second chamber. Personally, I am in favour of removing the ability for politicians to place honour upon anyone - especially as they often seem to have a limp grasp on the entire idea of Honour in the first place. Let us take it fully back to where it belongs - the Royal family.

If the system were to be run completely and soley by the palace, with no intrusion from the government, then they system could be designed to truly honour those which society wishes to recognise.

However, to really clean up the system we need to change the way political parties are funded and run. The demands on a polical party's purse has become astronomilcal with most of the budget going to mass marketing technicues of one sort or the other. Not only has this proved very expensive but it has put a tangeable barrier, the marketing specialist, between the party and the voter.

If there was a draconian limit on spend, then the party's would be forced to make greater use of traditional techniques, like meeting people more often. Or simply talking to camera rather than spending thousands on pointless images (I know they are pointless - I do this for a living).Either way, if power corrupts then the currency of power is the same as anything else - cash. Remove large amounts of cash from the system and you remove some of the tools of corruption. It is not a cure, but it is a start.