It would be nice to think there is a UK party that has not been taken over by such a group but look at Labour, Conservatives, LibDems and UKIP and you see the same type of people at the top and the same patterns of behaviour. You notice it more in smaller parties like UKIP as they have many fewer members and as they have no prospect of power or influence cannot attract some talented and able people like the larger parties. What small parties certainly do attract are those who did not make it in from the bigger parties for a variety of reasons but lack of ability is one of the main ones.
All of these parties have within the last few years had decent democratically elected and in most cases successful leaders undermined and eventually removed by self seeking cabals. Blair who had won three elections was undermined and toppled by the Brownites. Charlie Kennedy who had the priceless gift of being well liked by the British public and had delivered the LibDems their best election results since Llyod George was undermined and removed by a faction encouraged by the pompous Ashdown. IDS, democratically elected by the Tory faithful, was removed before he had a chance and replaced by the oleaginous Howard who then managed his sucession to install his favourite Cameron and his public school crowd. Finally, in UKIP, Roger Knapman who had delivered the stunningly successful 2004 European election was undermined by Farage. The subsequent leadership election was a byword for dirty tricks.
All of these deposed leaders had their failings, Blair with Iraq, Kennedy with booze, IDS at PMQs and Knapman's perceived lack of charisma. but they were all popular with the party faithful and were popular in the country generally. None had any real skeletons in their cupboard, treated people decently and appointed advisers on merit and talent.
Those who succeeded these leaders, Brown, Cameron, Farage and I must confess I know little of Clegg have surrounded themselves with mediocre, duplicitous and unscrupulous people whose only quality is loyalty to the leader who appointed them and who has promised them preferment. These people plot, bully, denigrate and like so many groups in the past eventually got power and position but had no idea what to do with it. They totally lack the morality, decency and belief which is needed to lead a political party. Their tribalism is nauseating. When you see people who from their private statements you know disagree with the leader standing up to defend the wrong policies and despicable actions for the sake of party unity you wonder what hope there is for our country.
As a scientist when you see different populations behaving in the same way you look for the common factor. In this case it is our political parliamentary system unchanged since the days of Cromwell that is to blame. I know the franchise has been dramatically widened but the way Parliament works has not changed. How can a political system that was introduced when few could read or write, when life expectancy was less than 40 years, before railways, cars, TV, telephone, computers, air travel were even thought of let alone invented be fit for the 21st century? We need a root and branch constitutional reform with a built in right for a referendum on any government action. An easy thing to do in the age of the Internet! Without that the cabals will rule us for ever.