St Helens StarDemocracy is the best system of all (From St Helens Star)

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Democracy is the best system of all says Dave Watts MP

St Helens Star: Dave Watts MP Dave Watts MP

A RECENT letter suggested opting out of our democratic process was a virtue and to be encouraged.

I would like to point out the dangers and implications.

What would anyone hope to achieve by this and are such actions likely to improve our democratic and political process or political accountability?

I believe I have a duty in a democratic society to express my preference in all elections.

I have never agreed with every policy put forward by my own party, and I don’t expect ever to do so.

We all have individual political views and policies which we would like to see introduced. Some of us want more left or right wing policies and others more middle of the road. By accepting some level of political compromise I have been able to support a Labour Party which has allowed Britain to introduce more progressive policies and a fairer, more just society.

Without voters being willing to accept that we all have to compromise sometimes we would never have created the NHS or our Welfare State. No Tory or Liberal Democrat government would have introduced the Minimum Wage.

For Britain to create a progressive Labour majority and introduce such policies we need to be able to attract voters from left and right and the middle of the road.

It is impossible to put in place such a coalition unless voters are prepared to compromise their own political position to secure a democratic mandate.

I am often dismayed by some who seem to put their own left wing policies, views and principles ahead of the chance of securing a progressive government.

Such people are often not directly affected by a failure to secure a left of centre government and continue to eat the croissants while reading their Observer on Sunday, with the sure feeling that they have not compromised their own cherished principles.

I understand why so many people sometimes feel badly let down by the actions of a few politicians but in defence of most of my colleagues I would just remind people that most MPs are hard-working, dedicated members who try their best to represent their constituents. Democracy may have faults but it is a hundred times better than living in a country in which citizens’ views count for nothing and people are denied their basic right to vote.

Dave Watts MP

St Helens North

Comments (10)

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11:40pm Thu 8 May 14

anthonywilson says...

The problem Mr Watts is that the use of the term "progressive" in your narrative concerning the Labour Party. It was equally dismaying to read and I quote, " I am often dismayed by some who seem to put their own left wing policies, views and principles ahead of the chance of securing a progressive government."

The Labour Party of today bears little if not zero resemblance to that which developed the NHS and welfare state in the post war Atlee Government. Whilst many who post on these pages would not want to see a return to the negative Government and Trade Union relations of the 1970's (neither do I) it is the lack of progress for ordinary people in society which has caused so much disenfranchisement and disengagement within participation in elections and voting. How is it progressive for a million plus people to be killed in illegal wars in Iraq? How is it progressive when house prices and rents have risen so stratospherically that so many people are now virtually permanently excluded from buying a house because the cost is so prohibitive? (and a failure to control house rental rises too). How is it progressive that it takes two wages to buy a house and save for a deposit when years ago one wage was sufficient? How is it progressive that students now pay £9k a year to access University? (The University tuition fees were first introduced under a Labour Government and not a Conservative led Coalition either although it is the Coalition which have hiked them up!)
Whilst I would never advocate people not voting , people aren't stupid and increasingly all it seems is that the management team at the top changes every four or five years but the real big decisions and general direction of travel in terms of social policy remain exactly the same. Far too many politicians are in the pockets of big business and the financial institutions while others are so remote and removed from the ordinary lives of people its little wonder the level of disengagement in the political process.
The problem Mr Watts is that the use of the term "progressive" in your narrative concerning the Labour Party. It was equally dismaying to read and I quote, " I am often dismayed by some who seem to put their own left wing policies, views and principles ahead of the chance of securing a progressive government." The Labour Party of today bears little if not zero resemblance to that which developed the NHS and welfare state in the post war Atlee Government. Whilst many who post on these pages would not want to see a return to the negative Government and Trade Union relations of the 1970's (neither do I) it is the lack of progress for ordinary people in society which has caused so much disenfranchisement and disengagement within participation in elections and voting. How is it progressive for a million plus people to be killed in illegal wars in Iraq? How is it progressive when house prices and rents have risen so stratospherically that so many people are now virtually permanently excluded from buying a house because the cost is so prohibitive? (and a failure to control house rental rises too). How is it progressive that it takes two wages to buy a house and save for a deposit when years ago one wage was sufficient? How is it progressive that students now pay £9k a year to access University? (The University tuition fees were first introduced under a Labour Government and not a Conservative led Coalition either although it is the Coalition which have hiked them up!) Whilst I would never advocate people not voting , people aren't stupid and increasingly all it seems is that the management team at the top changes every four or five years but the real big decisions and general direction of travel in terms of social policy remain exactly the same. Far too many politicians are in the pockets of big business and the financial institutions while others are so remote and removed from the ordinary lives of people its little wonder the level of disengagement in the political process. anthonywilson
  • Score: 17

10:15am Sat 10 May 14

The Mon says...

Mr Watts, The 'Minimum Wage' is the maximum an employer HAS to pay. New Labour has done nothing but help businessmen and ITSELF. Anyone who votes for this set of selfish TORIES needs to be clinically certified as insane and very, very STUPID!
Mr Watts, The 'Minimum Wage' is the maximum an employer HAS to pay. New Labour has done nothing but help businessmen and ITSELF. Anyone who votes for this set of selfish TORIES needs to be clinically certified as insane and very, very STUPID! The Mon
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Sat 10 May 14

The Mon says...

What's democratic about Whips bullying elected members into voting what the party wants and not what the electorate put him/ her there to do?
What's democratic about Whips bullying elected members into voting what the party wants and not what the electorate put him/ her there to do? The Mon
  • Score: 10

3:00pm Sat 10 May 14

Sankey says...

I am struggling to understand the context of the letter if someone has wriote in saying we would be better off without democracy then they are a nutter and not worth airtime or a long letter from Dave watts telling us the obvious

If the point of the letter has gone over my head would appreciate an explanation by those wiser than I
I am struggling to understand the context of the letter if someone has wriote in saying we would be better off without democracy then they are a nutter and not worth airtime or a long letter from Dave watts telling us the obvious If the point of the letter has gone over my head would appreciate an explanation by those wiser than I Sankey
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Sat 10 May 14

barrie timpson says...

Basically he's saying that Labour have no scruples , but we should understand that and vote them in so they can keep their cushy jobs.
Basically he's saying that Labour have no scruples , but we should understand that and vote them in so they can keep their cushy jobs. barrie timpson
  • Score: 12

6:27pm Sat 10 May 14

keepitreel says...

tye LABOUR party must be running scared,firstly we have this non news no story ramblings from a best described as a lack lustre MP but he also has a letter about an old story about pensions that is now headline news !!!! how come he only comes out at election times,he is like doom merchant telling us how this government is nasty well MR WATTS this town hardly prospered when your lot held the purse strings,the only money we seemed to get was from eu development grants for regeneration!!!!! NOT vast amounts of your governments help,you created the non jobs to look good and introduced the relaxing of the banks and approved the sub-prime lending sold the countries gold to bolster your plans,do the right thing MR WATTS tell the people of this town how sorry you are for the mess you got this town in,for the lack of your party's investment when it was needed,for the shear incompetence you ran the country BEFORE you start calling any other party,i will look under next weeks headline news banner for your reply.
tye LABOUR party must be running scared,firstly we have this non news no story ramblings from a best described as a lack lustre MP but he also has a letter about an old story about pensions that is now headline news !!!! how come he only comes out at election times,he is like doom merchant telling us how this government is nasty well MR WATTS this town hardly prospered when your lot held the purse strings,the only money we seemed to get was from eu development grants for regeneration!!!!! NOT vast amounts of your governments help,you created the non jobs to look good and introduced the relaxing of the banks and approved the sub-prime lending sold the countries gold to bolster your plans,do the right thing MR WATTS tell the people of this town how sorry you are for the mess you got this town in,for the lack of your party's investment when it was needed,for the shear incompetence you ran the country BEFORE you start calling any other party,i will look under next weeks headline news banner for your reply. keepitreel
  • Score: 8

7:53am Sun 11 May 14

Justice' Revenge says...

I was getting worried about the level of Liebour propaganda in this paper when this weeks edition didnt have a double spread of fluff and nonsense enveloping the regular paper. Thankfully Dave is here to save the day with a letter. Phew!
One thing that irks me on this site and their election material is how they'll stop energy cost rises. I may be wrong here but arent the energy companies private entities? Sure they are regulated, by paper tigers, but the government, regardless of party, cannot dictate to them what they charge.
I REALLY hope that this lot are ousted at this election. I like the idea of the protest votes to UKIP but they're not really the ones to sort the messes out. Hopefully the message will be received and encourage a clear out at the council offices.
I was getting worried about the level of Liebour propaganda in this paper when this weeks edition didnt have a double spread of fluff and nonsense enveloping the regular paper. Thankfully Dave is here to save the day with a letter. Phew! One thing that irks me on this site and their election material is how they'll stop energy cost rises. I may be wrong here but arent the energy companies private entities? Sure they are regulated, by paper tigers, but the government, regardless of party, cannot dictate to them what they charge. I REALLY hope that this lot are ousted at this election. I like the idea of the protest votes to UKIP but they're not really the ones to sort the messes out. Hopefully the message will be received and encourage a clear out at the council offices. Justice' Revenge
  • Score: 11

8:33am Sun 11 May 14

Sankey says...

Well Dave judging by the St. Helens star poll we will be exercising that right and voting UKIP
Well Dave judging by the St. Helens star poll we will be exercising that right and voting UKIP Sankey
  • Score: 6

9:11am Sun 11 May 14

mikeashworth says...

if their were a democracy we would not have the whip system, it is always "party first" regardless of what spin they put on it.

They only really seem interested in engaging with the ordinary citizens of st helens when they want their votes.

their used to be regular public forums across the town where public could question, scrutinse councillors etc. that no longer exists, they tell you that they were poorly attended, but perhaps they didnt go to same lengths to market those events as they do to get your votes. instead they implemented the "councillor improvement fund" which pretty much nobody in st helens knows about.

if their were a democracy we'd have a "none of the above" options on ballot papers to tell the politicans that we have chosen to exercise our right to vote however none of them deserve it.
if their were a democracy we would not have the whip system, it is always "party first" regardless of what spin they put on it. They only really seem interested in engaging with the ordinary citizens of st helens when they want their votes. their used to be regular public forums across the town where public could question, scrutinse councillors etc. that no longer exists, they tell you that they were poorly attended, but perhaps they didnt go to same lengths to market those events as they do to get your votes. instead they implemented the "councillor improvement fund" which pretty much nobody in st helens knows about. if their were a democracy we'd have a "none of the above" options on ballot papers to tell the politicans that we have chosen to exercise our right to vote however none of them deserve it. mikeashworth
  • Score: 16

3:05pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Bill Bradbury says...

keepitreel your comment about the money we get is from the EU development grant, judging by some of the UKIP supporters on this site over the last few weeks and the many who voted for them and intend to do in the future i.e Sankey, then when the vote is to come out of Europe happens, then that sort of funding will be gone. That will also apply to the farmers whose subsidies will also disappear, as they will be -out of farming. I wonder from where the next funding stream will come?

In the usual attempts to belittle or misrepresent what Dave Watts says it is that democracy just means that,-- people can vote for whom they wish. I have no problem with that. Some comments also touch on some of what I have been writing about over the power of big business. At least that point appears to be getting home to some.
Mikeashworth will then be voting for nobody or be setting up the "None of the above party". The only time I have done that was over the Police Commissioner which is still a waste of money and I wonder on what benefits have accrued.

Dave's letter just confirms that Politicians are on a hiding to nothing all bent and self serving according to some and no better than Estate Agents and double glazing sales people.

As to the clear out of the Council etc. perhaps many of the above would like to stand under whatever banner. There appears to be a wealth of well tapped knowledge out there who would restore St. Helens and the town centre.
Anthony harking on about the past and mistakes may be good for a point to make but the past is past, mistakes and all but it is now and the future we should be looking at. The Iraq war was a mistake but those of us who remember WW2 I recall Churchill was accused of being a "Warmonger" and one possible reason why a Tory Government was not elected after the war.
keepitreel your comment about the money we get is from the EU development grant, judging by some of the UKIP supporters on this site over the last few weeks and the many who voted for them and intend to do in the future i.e Sankey, then when the vote is to come out of Europe happens, then that sort of funding will be gone. That will also apply to the farmers whose subsidies will also disappear, as they will be -out of farming. I wonder from where the next funding stream will come? In the usual attempts to belittle or misrepresent what Dave Watts says it is that democracy just means that,-- people can vote for whom they wish. I have no problem with that. Some comments also touch on some of what I have been writing about over the power of big business. At least that point appears to be getting home to some. Mikeashworth will then be voting for nobody or be setting up the "None of the above party". The only time I have done that was over the Police Commissioner which is still a waste of money and I wonder on what benefits have accrued. Dave's letter just confirms that Politicians are on a hiding to nothing all bent and self serving according to some and no better than Estate Agents and double glazing sales people. As to the clear out of the Council etc. perhaps many of the above would like to stand under whatever banner. There appears to be a wealth of well tapped knowledge out there who would restore St. Helens and the town centre. Anthony harking on about the past and mistakes may be good for a point to make but the past is past, mistakes and all but it is now and the future we should be looking at. The Iraq war was a mistake but those of us who remember WW2 I recall Churchill was accused of being a "Warmonger" and one possible reason why a Tory Government was not elected after the war. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

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