Thursday, 28 February 2013

None of the Above - Stump at the Pump

As I write, the candidates will be counting the minutes to when the polls close in the Eastleigh by-election in Hampshire, UK.  In just a few hours time one of them will be named the Member of Parliament.  They will all be relieved it's over as its been a bloody battle - the campaigning, positioning and mud-slinging has been less than edifying.   Meanwhile, the voter, as so often before, has been left looking on in dismay at the choices before them.   It's felt like a farcical private dance between the politicos,  with the community left as something that exists outside the in-crowd manoeuvring.

The constituents would no doubt be chewing the cud over the shocking quality of today's politics over a pint of beer or a glass of wine in their local pub, if it hadn't probably closed.  Where do people go now to put the world to rights, now they don't talk about stuff in The Snug.  Online of course is where they are, in their bedrooms and in front of the telly - compounding loneliness and allowing anonymity.  This is certainly not a substitute for the warmth of human interaction and the heat of real live debate.  

I think its sad so many of our pubs have closed in the UK, research from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) puts the number at 18 a week - which is shocking for such an iconic feature of British culture

So what about this for a solution - to return politics to the people and custom to the pumps.    
  • Let's start a political party called the 'Z - None of the Above' party, which will ensure it is listed at the bottom of the voting slip.  
  • One struggling pub in every constituency will sponsor a parliamentary candidate covering the £500 deposit.  (They'll get this back many times through increased trade)
  • Anyone can apply with each pub's customers choosing the candidate with local hustings in the bar.  
  • Our party will be entitled to the electoral benefits such as the free postage of a leaflet to every elector broadcast airtime etc.  
What a great way to claw back politics for the people and away from the political closed shop and get people talking properly again, bolstering a local community venue and promoting a local business.    

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