Monday, 14 January 2013

NOTA - an English Option?

I was chatting on line with friends and acquaintances in England - as you do, unless you are Alistair Darling in which case you are not allowed to because you are not 'British' anymore. So let's say I was talking to 'disadvantaged Scots so as not to upset the Abominable Noman's latest daft idea. In general they were bemoaning their electoral choice between red or blue Tories and the other fringe parties of which only the Greens cut any sort of mustard but were considered a bit 'geeky', 'Veggie', and 'left wing' for some tastes.

As usual there were wistful comments about it being OK for Scots at least we had the SNP option astride the left of centre political compass - poor wee English electors, they had no such political beast on offer. There was much hand wringing about what they could do.

It seemed obvious to me the answer lay in adopting the core starting point of the 'Yes' campaign, an organisation growing speedily from zero in July of 2012. The clear answer is to mobilise all those other's in the English Electorate who are feeling disenfranchised and the 'yes campaign have a pretty decent model for them to utilise.

The problem is what do they call themselves as anything with Labour or Liberal would be the death of them. The average Englishman appears to consider the word 'socialist' conjures up Citizen Smith and the Tooting Front and social democrat just does not appear on their political radar. The English electorate would appear to prefer things as near to black or white as possible. The light bulb came on and I thought: why not register a political party with the Electoral Commission called 'None of the Above' (NOTA). The more I thought about potential objections by the Red and Blue Tories to such a party name, the more I could only see huge chunks of free publicity for the new party. Just how could there be any major opposition to such a name? It is distinctive, it does not cause electoral confusion as it is a distinctive description of the party and it explains clearly what it is not in the way the Red and Blue Tory Parties fail to achieve.

Imagine the ballot paper in say Bristol South:
  • Conservatives
  • Greens
  • Labour
  • Liberal Democrats
  • Monster Raving Looney Party
  • None of the Above
  • UKIP
There is a distinct sense of logic and precision with maybe a potential objection by UKIP as to their position on the ballot paper for logical grounds. It is an interesting conjecture as to just how many seats, in what many hope will be the first elections to England and Wales new sovereign parliament, in 2015 could be won by 'None of the Above' simply by default.

Imagine if 'None of the Above' developed a social democratic manifesto seeking to create a written English constitution based around Iceland 'crowd source' method, came up with a policy to reverse the privatisation on NHS England to bring it in to line with NHS Scotland and Wales, kicked out university tuition fees, institute a living wage so most of the benefits to working folk could be ditched, rather than business providing minimum wages being subsidised by the tax payer. They could lift the SNP's forward thinking Homelessness Bill and cancel Trident to save billions of pounds. Best of all they could look at shifting Government investment and subsidy from London and out to the regions where the investment would help create a more balanced economy for England rather than all the eggs being stuck in the City of London basket case. Finally they could point out to the 'City' banks they would be getting no more hand outs from tax payers through QE, they are private companies and the risk has to be carried by their shareholders -  at the same time they could give Boris and London full fiscal autonomy and leave them to sort out the 900% of UK GDP equivalent debt the City of London's casino banks are sitting on.

There must be a few English men and women with the stomach to take this idea on - modern day Watt Tyler's and Emily Pankhurst's. Equally I am certain there are many English men and women a bed who will put their hands in their pockets to make such a modern day peaceful revolution happen. Westminster in the thrall of the Red and Blue Tories is not going to reform itself and is why the English electorate need the  'None of the Above' Party as an option, now more than ever.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea very much although its a novel one.I doubt it would take off but where there is a voice there is always some hope.England does need to break free from the Westminster Mafia,we in Scotland have this chance to do so now.We do have some problems of course with the biased media,but we are slowly overcoming this handicap.