Is the electoral process meant to be magic? [Insert country/province/region here] can do better than this?

Two quick quotes from today.

[Episode 12 from Season 2 of Scandal on More 4] Cyrus Beene (White House Chief of Staff) confronting crisis management guru (or “fixer”) Olivia Pope about her overwhelming guilt about agreeing to rig the presidential election and her desire to put things right:

You’re willing to bring down the whole Republic because you feel guilty? You know what our electoral process is? It’s magical. It’s like believing in Santa or the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Magical as long as they believe.

What you’re doing is telling the people that the shiny presents and the bulging stockings on Christmas morning are just Mum and Dad staying up to do the work. You’re telling them we’re Santa, we’re the Easter Bunny, we’re the Tooth Fairy.

You’re taking the magic away. You’re ruining Christmas morning and the whole Republic is going to come crumbling down because you’re not tough enough to do what needs to be done.

A large part of what drove me to blogging about politics was to dispel the magic, or at least open up the magic circle to a wider audience. Interviewing East Belfast politicians and election observing was an attempt to unlock the mystery and show the people and processes, good and bad.

Labour NI supporters will be glad that their glorious leader didn’t rub salt in their non-candidacy wounds by mentioning the phrase “One Nation” in his emailshot to supporters and nosey bloggers this evening. [Ed – I’m sure it slipped into his full conference speech somewhere; it’s really bad when even the NI Conservatives are supporting Labour NI’s desire to contest elections!]

But Ed Miliband did introduce a six word strapline …

We have to win in 2015 because of six simple words: Britain can do better than this.

… when three would have done:

We’ll do better.

Not very catchy – and it nearly failed to get applause when he delivered the line in front of conference – but one of the later sentences chimes with the sentiment expressed by all but 9.4% of those interviewed for the LucidTalk poll reported in last week’s Belfast Telegraph.

Our country deserves a better government. Britain can do better, but first we need a government that will fight for everyone.

Our [wee] country deserves a better government. [Northern Ireland] can do better, but first we need [MLAs, committees and an Executive] that will fight for everyone.

Perhaps the challenge to local politicians is to legislate with an eye on other people’s interests befor their own self-interest. Or is simply everything about the next election and hope should be abandoned?


  • Charles_Gould

    Brilliant speech by Ed.

    Theme “We can do better than this. “. #Inspiring.

    Definitely a great speaker. I have been to some of his speeches live and he has a really electrifying way of speaking. Great values.

  • Charles_Gould

    Good to see Labours Vernon Croaker sayng that is it *appalling* that so many folks in NI don’t meet someone from “the other side” until they go to University. It is appalling – and shows how much work is needed via progressive Labour politics in NI.

  • Zig70

    God that is awful leadership statement. Can do better? Sounds like my school report. Why not “will do better”, something inspirational?

  • Zig70

    Maybe it’s because we don’t encourage people we admire to get involved in politics. All those people who are making things better in the north and snearing at politics here. Is it just my urban folklore or were people encouraged to stand 50+ yrs ago?

  • Greenflag

    Never mind what they say or say they will do .Watch what they actually do and what they’ve done before . Past performance is no guarantee of future results but’s it’s the best predicter of future action.

    This applies to politicans of all parties just as much as it does to footballers or unit trusts /mutual funds .

    Nice mini speech by MIlliband -but I’d wait to see the ‘How ‘

    As for Britain can do better ? So can the USA so can Ireland so can Germany so can France etc . But will Milliband face down the City of London and/or will he tackle the massive tax evading off shore Crown Colonies and other refuges for the very wealthy who benefit from Britain’s advanced structure and educational standards but who make sure to keep their wealth off shore along with gangsters , mafiosi and drug cartels while the British people work longer and harder for less ?

  • Barnshee

    “Brilliant speech by Ed.”

    Only the and economically blind halt lame and illiterate would regard the rhetoric by Milliband as “brilliant”

    Energy is a world market with increasing pressure on fossil fuels for the East
    Exactly how will Milliband control prices?
    Subsidies? where will he get the money?
    Price control ? = no sale
    It has taken generations to get into this mess -it won

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Still stopped short of discussing the re-nationalisation of the energy cartels. As long as energy is a “private for profit” business we will have to pay the inflated wages of the teams of all important insiders who are “qualified” enough to command six figure salaries to keep them from being head-hunted for their talents.

    A friend of mine mentioned a sort of jumped up middle manager in a local energy concern on £750,000 a year. As she was the firm’s accountant I believed her. She is still trying to work out what he actually does. But he does have an uncle…….

    But I forgot, the real money’s going to pay those Russians who are holding us over a barrel, not into boardroom pockets.

  • Greenflag

    If Ed Milliband seriously wants to roll back the clock on the current trend to worldwide corporate fascism in the West then he’s going to have to delegitimise the off shore tax havens for criminals and multinationals in cooperation with other European countries and the USA and have a root and branch reform of British banking’s myriad interconnections with their offshore cousins in the Crown Colonies etc .

    Meanwhile the Tories are still concerned about the top banksters losing any of their bonuses due to EU directives .

    They are so sorry for the poor sods 🙁

  • FuturePhysicist

    If you lift the veil you can probably see that One Nation and The Big Society are simply petty nationalism, nothing more. Have they not abandoned the “settled” constitutional question in the UK, integrate the appalling class divide and segregated interests and instead focus on the important things like education, employment and the economy?