'Chumocracy'? Too Right!

I was fascinated to read the other day that Steve Hilton, former adviser to David Cameron, appears to have experienced an epiphany!

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Democracy Campaigning Law Lobbying Parliament

Whilst making the argument for a complete power transfer to grass roots, he considers that 'Democracy is in crisis'. This is just a sample of what he had to say:

"(Democracy) seems to serve the people no longer, but rather vested interests” If you are wealthy, "the more government pays attention to your concerns”

When I first read this, I had to check who was saying this and was tempted to use a popular phrase in which the obvious is accredited to ‘Sherlock'!

He is concerned about a 'ruling class' that 'perpetuate(s) it's privileges' through the social experience between 'Westminster, Whitehall and the City' wryly observing that irrespective of who is in office, 'the same people are in power’.

Owen Jones' analysis of this revelation lays bare the trough-like mentality of those we 'charge' with that power and cites how in the 21st Century they claim that power from us through the use of:

"Lobbyists, revolving doors, corporate funding of parties, newspapers as playthings of moguls - and a shared ideology that celebrates the concentration of wealth and power”.

In my work I have seen at first-hand how MP's fawn their way through the issues that matter to you and me. Industry has such a grip on those levers of power that it is difficult to penetrate its outer layer to bring forward a balance to an agenda created within the boardroom.

Campaigners like me are treated with distrust and sometimes with disdain. I have had some Senior Industry & Politicians justify their non-engagement with some campaigners with comments like:

"They are too extreme" or "Their agenda goes against the grain" or “They don’t understand that these things take time”; tell that to the Mother whose son died 30 years ago, or the Mother whose son’s death remains unresolved, or the Father ignored by a Corporation and all experiencing indifference from Authorities!

Consumer campaigners are generally people from Charities or those who are victims or survivors of some terrible wrong or event. The 'corporate/political' event wheels this collective out like some curiosity, with a few kind words and a cup of tea in the Strangers Dining Room and then dispatched whilst the 'corporate/political' body discuss in secret how to not to regulate for safety or to warn the public of the dangers of their products under the guise of 'light-touch' regulation or lack of it.

I recently came across a document created by the Corporate Europe Observatory entitled ‘A Toxic Affair’; within, you will find a clear chronology on how action was blocked to protect us from Hormone Disrupting Chemicals.

On Europe and of the failures and tactics in that report, my experience demonstrates that Consumer Campaigners can gain access to decision-makers in the Commission & Parliament. But, even if you think the European experience is bad, then multiply the report’s effect on Westminster; it’s easier to pass through the eye of the needle than to get through St Stephens Gate – if you don’t believe me, then read the words of Steve Hilton!

© Frank Brehany 2015 - All Rights Reserved (First Published 31/5/15)