We used to tease them at school. Fans of Manchester United for no reason beyond “they are currently winning” were branded as glory-hunters, in it for the win before switching to Chelsea next week. They had the luxury of gloating in the schoolyard every Monday that “their” team had smashed some lower-league team, whose supporters got to bask in no such glory.
Like my father, and his father before him, I have lived the sustained misery of being a staunch West Ham fan, receiving little football related glory in my life. Branding the winning fans as “glory-hunters” was the only respite we had.
Now in adult life, we are seeing the same glory-hunting approach being taken by politicians. Supporting a cause because it is (apparently) popular, rather than supporting it because it benefits the country.
In the by-election debate I asked a simple question, whether or not candidates thought the £175 million cost to justice devolution was worth it, or if the money was better put to police to stop crime. The answer from ohprkl? Essentially: ‘Yes, because polling shows support’. This is no answer at all.
Polling in Essex showed support for Conservatives before the general election, but perhaps I missed ohprkl’s official endorsement of me in my constituency.
Make no mistake, this populist attitude is dangerous to the fundamentals of our democracy. Politicians are meant to have stances and principles that people then vote on in an informed manner. A politician who has no stance other than what they interpret to be popular, is one that will break their so-called promises.
Being popular for popularity’s sake is forgivable if one is a modal, actor or TV presenter, all industries I’m sure ohprkl would thrive in, but I do not believe it has a place in politics, certainly not in a liberal western democracy.
I very much doubt ohprkl is the only offender, indeed representatives from the PPUK have been unable to say why they support more devolution beyond “we support it because it is party policy” – I sense some glory hunting at bay.
These politicians are simply in it for themselves, their own glory and the attached pay-packet. Winning is all that matters and they’ll switch sides to ensure it happens. Perhaps they would have begun singing Deutschlandlied at the 1966 world cup final when Germany went 1 – 0 up on England – victory celebrations are always fun I suppose.
Their actions come with consequences. For every pay-packet they claim and pension pot they tuck away from the proposed new political positions, that’s one less for a local Welsh police officer. Not to mention that for every bureaucracy they set up, that’s millions of pounds less to upgrade Welsh hospitals, £175 million less in the case of justice and policing devolution.
Pollsters seem doubtful that the No campaign, currently spearheaded by ‘Wales Says NO’ (WSNO), will be successful. While we are certainly outgunned by professional politicians and starting on the back foot, I shall fight on the side of principle, not popularity; regardless of how it will affect my political career.
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