Posted by: John | June 14, 2009

It’s all about entitlement

There were two phrases that are going out of fashion that used to be much more prevalent when I was young: `Don’t know they’re born` and `think the World owes them a living`.

In some ways this is true of the Conservatives due to the FPTP system. They don’t seem to understand that one of the casualties of the expenses scandal is the way that the FPTP system has been devalued by the fact that safe seats tend to give the `occupier` a false sense of security and thus entitlement. Indeed, the whole system provides an easier ride for the Conservatives as they only have to campaign in particular places to `flip` a serious number of seats from one squirearchy to another. Put it this way, they see it as `buggins’ turn`.

Thus, 20% of the seats that are now nominally Labour `become` Conservative at the next GE and the merry-go round goes round again.

One of the most poignant interviews I saw was an interview with a man and his family sitting on one of those `picnic tables` outside a pub in some marginal constituency place as they were supping beer and cokes. He was someone who I imagined to be enlightened and had defaulted to Labour since 1997. `Now` he sighed `I suppose it’s not enough to just put a cross in a ballot box every four years`. `You have to really look at the issues`.

And that’s the change that the `quiet revolution` has brought about. Forget the Euro-elections that have become a bit of a vanity contest and think that Politics will never be the same again in that ordinary people won’t just `trust` everything to be alright and will be far more probing.

So there’s a sense abroad that the idea of `it’s time for a change` and just trusting the Conservatives to get on with it is not enough for many more people than in 1979 or 1997 for Labour. People realise the link between the electoral system and the way politicians have taken their intellects for granted and want politicians to EARN the right to their over-entitlement of seats in a FPTP system. If you want the rights show us you’re responsible.

That’s why Brown and Cameron are being given short shrift when they hide the economic and constitutional realities under the carpet. Vince Cable and latterly Nick Clegg have been instrumental in this. As Vince has shown his gravitas on Economic matters people are questioning the Tories `show us how you and Osborne are as good as Vince Cable`. They realise that unless the two largest parties show us a plan for the future the Liberal Democrats are held back from doing so properly as it’s never very attractive being the only bearer of bad news.

So come on you Conservatives – tell us what you really think! If you want the power show us the responsibility.



  1. Good post.

    There is a real sense of entitlement and I agree that the public seems to be coming round to the idea that it is not enough for “the other lot” to just get in by default. The expenses scandal has really started something that I hope will end up with proper constitutional change.

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