Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A couple of quickies

Listening to various "experts" pontificating over the election, a couple of things have struck me over the last couple of days.

First of all, I keep hearing them say that the "people" have "decided" that we want the parties to work together. I don't see how they can draw that conclusion - millions of people voted for the various parties wanting to see the party they voted for gain an overall majority. We didn't "choose" this situation - it just arose because the three main parties are unelectable in their own right.

That's not the same as saying we want them to work together - it's saying we think they are all rubbish.

The second thing that struck me was supposedly intelligent and knowledgeable people talking about "unelected" Prime Ministers.

In the sense that they mean, we have never ever had an elected Prime Minister. The PM is chosen by the governing party - not the people. The person chosen as PM is usually (but not always) a member of the House of Commons and, therefore, elected.

It's a fundamental part of our parliamentary system and the fact that so many people fail to understand this is ridiculous. In some ways I shouldn't be surprised as the failure of our schools to teach anything about Britain or British history other than how awful we were has been evident for some time - but most of the people making these stupid statements about "unelected" Prime Ministers were educated a long time before our education system was turned into a left wing indoctrination programme.

It makes me wonder if they are being disingenuous rather than inaccurate. If they are, then they are deliberately seeking to mislead the people as much as the government is. If they aren't then they really should not be given the prominence they receive on national television and radio to peddle their lack of knowledge.


Richard T said...

The use of the phrase 'unelected Prime Minister' is a little more to do with the noble journalistic art of axe grinding than it is to do with original thinking or indeed political reality. Bearing in mind the predeliction of many of its users to pontificate on the arcane nature of our constitution, you mind be forgiven for thinking it a traditional term but it only came into use when Mr Brown replaced Mr Blair; it was not used for Mr Major; for Mr Callaghan for Sir Alec Douglas-Home and so on.

Still axe grinding may be better than gherkin jerking for these gentry.

Stan said...

It would be easy to think that, but I honestly don't think so, Richard. Or rather, while that is true for some - particularly those who don't like Brown - I don't think it is the reason why most use the phrase.

I really do think it is simple ignorance. You make a valid point though as, by their measure, if Cameron takes up residence in 10 Downing Street then he will be an "unelected" PM - indeed, any future PM under a PR system is unlikely to have an overall majority and won't, therefore, be "elected".