This time next week all the citizens of the UK will know the results of their General Election and it is most probably that we will know who will be Her Majesty's Government and who will be the Loyal Opposition. I find it all a bit of a farce. For me, healthy politics consists in two parties with considerably different views and with considerably different interest groups slogging it out every 4 years for government. Each have a roughly equal chance of getting in and they do so roughly alternately. No party is ever in long enough to do any damage or believe in its right to rule. Ideology is kept to a minimum and pragmatism wins the day. Sadly this doesn't exist. On the national level, we are effectively a one party state and it simply isn't healthy. That the overriding ideology of this nation is essentially Whiggish depresses me no end. As an old fashioned Tory, I find it a loathsome politics.
It is also abhorrent from a Catholic point of view. Subsidiarity and all the Catholic Social Justice ideals that spring from it are the only ways to ensure the dignity of the citizens of the land. There is no "best fit" with these ideals within the current political climate to any of the political parties. People need to be making things, growing things and rearing things, inventing and designing things. People need a closer relationship to the land, the seasons, their locality and each other if it is ever going to be more than a nice idea. I find it a bit of an irony that the closest any society ever got to the ideals of subsidiarity were the Zemstovs in the Russia of Tzar Alexander II. It grew out of a feudal structure not a democratic political process. And yes it was very faulted; attempting to remove usury was a good and Christian thing but the ill treatment of those who provided credit was not excusable. However, there was more than a spark of something good, and that is why it had so many enemies.
So I have very little faith in the political process. When married I'd vote the way my husband was voting. All processes start with strong united households and I remember the petty squabbles my parents would have around election time with their opposing political views, it was all very childish. Next Thursday, I'll probably just enter the booth and my repulsion to all things Whiggish and the candidate with the blue rosette is very much that way, will be so great I'll end up voting Labour. It is however all pointless. If my yard brush had a blue rosette on it and stood for election in this area, it would win. And I am more than happy to vote for the Conservatives in local elections....
I was dining out the other night with a former pupil and successful Physics graduate who has gone into the world of finance and is capable of making serious amounts of money. We spent a lot of the evening talking politics from a non-party political standpoint. The tables were rather too close and I'm sure our conversation carried. We were having fun. I think we we curdled the food of the other diners. We were talking about the fact the NHS isn't viable, that the welfare state isn't viable, that comprehensive education doesn't work, that university should only be for at most 20% of the population, that Trump isn't stupid and is actually quite refreshing in his approach, that Obama was dreadful, that free speech is under threat, that the France-Germany European vision is stale and going nowhere ...... Not the sort of conversation to be enjoyed by liberal North Oxford types.
My former pupil insisted on paying and tipped in cash at 30%. I was perplexed. The reply was interesting: these people have dreadful jobs, there is no dignity in what they do, I couldn't do what they do, if I can give them some dignity, I will..... I was humbled.