Monday, 11 May 2020

Lockdown Day 49 - Road to Recovery Part 5

This post is the fifth and final post in my essay looking at different aspects of how the recovery from Covid-19 should be done in order to tackle climate change, environmental destruction and help fix some of the inequalities in our society. 

Part 1 can be found here
Part 2 can be found here
Part 3 can be found here
Part 4 can be found here

In this part I look at I look at 
the political reforms needed to help make our governance fairer, less open to abuse and for the benefit of all, not just a privileged few.



In order to achieve many of the things I have talked about in the previous four sections, political will and political reform are urgently needed. 

In order to restore trust, transparency and ensure free and fair elections we should ensure publication as soon as possible into the Arcuri report, Russia report, Met Police Investigation into the referendum and fully reform our political and electoral systems. Proper proportional representation should be brought in, a semi or fully elected second chamber, more devolution to regions, and even within Parliament, electronic voting. It will also be interesting to see how the video-conferenced Parliament operates over the next few weeks. If you can make MP's time use more efficient then you will get greater scrutiny of legislation, more accountability, and better outcomes for constituents. Talking out of bills should be prohibited. Funding of political parties should be fully reformed, possibly curtailed and be open and transparent and the various "donations" that are made to MPs and groupings within Parliament should have more transparency and indeed limits set on these. Think tanks such as those operating from 55 Tufton Street - GWPF, Taxpayers Alliance etc should be forced to declare their funders and the revolving door that seems to exist between these places, the TV studios and advisors needs a thorough investigation and limits put on the influence such groups have on policy, especially when many have overseas "dark money" funding. "False equivalence" in debate on settled science needs to be dealt with as climate change denial is now an existential threat to getting the changes we need. DeSmog blog and many other individuals and independent media have covered a lot of these money trails and who influences what, and our MPs should be accountable to their constituents not engaged in a merry go round of lobbying, donations and directorships. Certain "Downing Street sources" and SPADs (Special Advisors) need urgent curbing if our democracy is not to be eroded further.

In our electoral processes, issues such as micro-targeted and politically paid for advertising on social media needs urgent attention, as do the bot/troll farms often used as part of political messaging. It is so obvious sometimes how either "praising" bots/trolls are used to support incumbent politicians tweets and "attack" bots/trolls used to aggressively and often offensively message the opposition (and not just political figures). We should listen to those who have called out all of the above things and thoroughly clean up our politics, Parliament and elections. Encouragement - either overtly or tacitly - of discrimination or hate against minorities or by social class or race or religion whether by those in public positions or in the media should be clamped down on and it should be the norm to call this out and marginalise such activities, not use it for political advantage.

We also urgently need to take responsibility and clean up the opaque nature of banking and taxation on our overseas territories. Business here should be taxed here and if as much effort was put in to retrieving the tax due here in this country as is spend chasing a relatively small number of benefit frauds we would be in a lot better place financially.

This above is a big ask especially when those in power currently in both the US and UK are symbiotically linked with a network of opaque and often offshore individuals, think tanks and other organisations that have  goals in mind such as deregulation of environmental regulations, deleting regulations that protect our societies and workplaces, privatisation and asset stripping of public services and avoiding scrutiny. 


In this essay, I hope I have been able to not just answer the questions posed at the start ( here ) but also show a vision of a better future that could be possible with the recovery from the Covid-19 virus, if the political, economic, social and personal will is there to make the changes necessary and achieve it. There are many who just want the status quo, indeed those who will actively fight against anything that stops them from raking in millions and avoiding taxation and scrutiny and responsibility. 
We have this one last chance - and I do mean one last chance - to stop the harm being done to our environment and all the species that live on this special planet otherwise the harm to come will dwarf the already devastating effects of this virus and indeed make more such diseases, viruses and detrimental health conditions from environmental factors such as pollution, more likely in the future. 

Please, use this essay as a guide, you will all have your own ideas, your own insights, your own experiences, contacts and social networks to be able to help put into effect positive change for your communities, your environment, your societies as a whole and indeed yourselves and your families. For some of you, please don't feel discouraged that you can only afford or be able to manage through practical reasons just one or two changes, that is still a contribution and if you have access to email, the internet or a pen and paper you can still make your voice heard through writing to those that have more opportunity to make changes or by joining campaigns to collectively highlight or lobby for positive change. 

You can also find lots more information about nature and growing your own food on the rest of my blog http://www.cashandcarrots.com

I am happy to receive feedback via the blog, and lots of new ideas for change. 

Wish very best wishes and good luck!
Michelle

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