03 June 2009

When governments are gone

I came across a quotation this morning from Prof Lawrence Lessig, which I thought had a relevance to our current political climate - where basically all MPs (and especially those of the governing party) are damned and vilified. There is an assumption, spoken or implied, that if only we could get rid of the current crop of politicians, then all would be well. Lessig said:

“When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place.”

Clearly there is a need for reform and for change at the heart of our parliamentary system. But we should resist the simplistic and dangerous calls akin to "a plague on all their houses". If the mainstream parties and politicians are swept away, then the vacuum will be filled by others who are far more dangerous - others like the British National Party.

Our media and commentators should exercise a degree of responsibility in their dash to sell papers and grab ratings. There are more serious things at stake.

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