Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Why Scum Rises to the Top in Politics

UKIP is the only political party I have ever been a member of. When I joined, about two years ago, I was overwhelmed by the transparent honesty, decency and dedication to the cause of getting us out of the EU shown by the ordinary branch members. They were without exception people I counted it an honour to know. I helped with the parish poll campaign against local post office closures and as a result ended up on the SWRC. This was much more a curate's egg. There were some excellent people dedicated to the cause, notably Trevor Colman and Alan Wood who I worked with on organising constituency wide polls on the Lisbon Treaty which quantified the huge opposition to the Lisbon Treaty in 10 constituencies spread over the UK and also in a sample poll that Alan and I ran in Gordon Brown's own Dunfermline constituency. I was very proud that using a postal sample of 500 voters we got a 20% response rate and a result showing 80% oppostion to the Treaty which was bang on the results of the much bigger polls conducted with our help by the Campaign for Democracy.

When I was asked to stand for the NEC, something I agreed to as there was no SW representaive then on the NEC, which was strange given the region had the biggest UKIP membership I came face to face with UKIP's ruling Cabal. I had in my youth been a civil servant and I well remember a Minister's PPS, one of our permanent politicians, telling me that the major pre-requiste inborn talent of political life was an ability to assess people very quickly within no more than 5 minutes of meeting them. I had it, and I never lost it. I quickly saw through Farage, Bannerman, Andreasen etc on the NEC and Malcolm Wood the SW RO and I did not like what I saw. I suspect Kinnock saw the same things in Andreasen that I saw. There were people, Del Young and David Abbott on the NEC who were patently 100% for the cause and there were others who clearly had different, more personal ambitions, at the top of their agendas.

There is now again no SW representative on the NEC as David Abbott and I were voted off by the Cabal and Del was so sickened by them he refused to stand again. David was flying back from the US at his own expense to attend these meetings and I well remember the October 2008 NEC being cancelled at short notice almost when David was in the air as the Cabal would not have been able to muster sufficient votes to push through their programme. So much for democracy at the top of UKIP.

Guido Fawkes, the celebrated blogger, gave a link today on his blog entitled , 'Why scum rises to the top in political parties" click here to see the original article which comes from the USA. I quote below from this article:

"Tyler Cowen and Arnold Kling correctly point out that professional politicians are likely to be individuals who place a high value on power and prestige. To such people, there is a lot at stake when they risk losing their positions. True, they won't starve. But they will lose the power they greatly value and have dedicated their lives to achieving. Yglesias notes that the same politicians who routinely sacrifice the public interest to preserve their positions wouldn't think of committing murder. That, however, is at least partially because in the US and other liberal democracies committing murder usually destroys a politician's career rather than bolsters it. In countries where killing people often does advance your political career, (think any of numerous Third World states where political leaders can get ahead by killing or repressing political opponents), the political class is indeed filled with murderers.

One might still ask why the power-seekers tend to predominate over those who place a higher value on the public good. The key explanation is selection effects. A politician willing to do anything to take and hold on to power will have a crucial edge over an opponent who imperils his chances of getting elected in order to advance the public interest. The former type is likely to prevail over the latter far more often than not. This is especially true in a political environment where most voters are often ignorant and irrational about government and public policy. Candidates have strong incentives to pander to this ignorance and exploit it in order to win elections. Those unwilling to exploit public ignorance because they place the public interest above political success are likely to be at a serious disadvantage relative to their less scrupulous opponents. Thus, politicianswho value power above other objectives are more likely to get into office and stay there. As economist Frank Knight wrote back in the 1930s, "[t]he probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tender-hearted person would get the job of whipping master in a slave plantation."

Tyler Cowen's comments are especially apposite re UKIP. Anyone who knows Cabal will recognise what he says.

"Many people -- especially those who become politicians -- really do want fame and power and it is amazing what they will talk themselves into to get there and to stay there. They don't even want fame in the sense of being recognized, in the longer run, for having done the right thing. They want more personal influence and power now."

Arnold Kling comments again from a US perspective that also links to our recent credit crunch experience,

"I would add that I would explain excessive risk-taking and high pay for CEO's on similar lines. Just substitute "CEO's" for "politicians" in Tyler's paragraph.

Both the corporate world and the political world are high-stakes status games, and we would expect the successful players to be the ones that are most highly skilled and motivated to play. As far as motivation is concerned, I think that the extremes tend to be in the male gender. The desire to dominate, to be the alpha male, has to be very powerful if you are going to get to the top in business or politics, because those are very popular status games. If you are willing to play a different status game--trying to be the best tiddly-winks player in your area or the leading expert on tribal customs on Bora-Bora--you don't have to be quite so driven and ruthless about it.

One of the points that I make in my forthcoming Unchecked and Unbalanced is that the growth in concentrated political power in this country leads to a system that selects for leaders with exaggerated senses of self-importance and a remarkable lack of perspective on their own foibles (think of Elliot Spitzer or Mark Sanford or John Edwards). One of the problems with large-scale politics and large-scale capitalism is that there is this tendency to select the most overconfident, driven, and aggressive men for leadership positions."

It is as Del Young often said, the ordinary UKIP members have no conception of the amoral, self seeking, people in the UKIP Cabal. The membership think the leadership are decent people like themselves who want the same things and conform to the same moral code as they do. They do not. No more than the leadership of the many failed banks conformed to the same standards as Capt Mainwaring or as the Nazi leadership conformed to the same standards as the mass of the German people. Rules are for other people. Only those of us who have been there know the truth.

The problem is that once these people are in control of a Bank, Country or Political Party nothing short of a war, bankruptcy or revolution can shift them. They control the information that is given to the foot soldiers and more crucially the mis-information and propaganda that is put out about the ruling groups legitimate critics. It's pure Big Brother in Orwell's book,1984. They exploit ordinary peoples loyalty to the Party, their Country or the Company board for their own aggrandisement and until we have a proper Athenian democracy, now made possible by the Internet, it will always be thus.

Look at the programme for the UKIP annual conference and reflect who are the speakers who will dare criticise the leadership? None! They saw what happened to me and David Abbott, Richard Suchorzewski and others before that. They want to keep their place on the EU gravy train so they will keep silent. Getting our country back takes second place to taking the EU's Euro.

1 comment:

Junius said...

UKIP now exists solely to serve the interests of Farage and his odious sycophants.

They have been elected to the EU Gravy Train for another five years where they will waste their time on useless EU committees, take part in stupid stunts, neglet the constituency branches, pat themselves on the back at the next UKIP Conference and hang around bars and clubs getting drunk or cheating on their wives.

A vote for UKIP is now a vote for corruption, dishonesty and lies.