Saturday, 4 May 2013

Is this the UK's Biggest Threat?


I generally stay clear of political commentary, it’s not why I set up a Blog and it’s not core to my personal goals and objectives.  However the recent local elections here in the UK have given me cause for concern.
Accessing accurate data at this point is a challenge, so lets use what the good old British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, tells us;
An estimate from a BBC sample of key wards suggests that average turnout was 31%, down 10 points from the last local elections in 2009.
National share of the vote breaks down as follows:
·       Labour 29%
·       Conservatives 25%
·       UKIP 23%
·       Lib Dems 14%.
It is the combination of these that I find disturbing. Especially that 69% of the population are apparently disengaged from the process.  So lets investigate what this could potentially lead to,
Based on the 31% turnout, UKIP with 23% of that 31%, have heavily influenced the outcomes and gained huge levels of positive PR.  However the reality of this is that they have been supported by 23% of 31% of the potential voting population.  This I believe equates to just 7% of the potential voting population being able to influence outcomes by taking votes from the main parties, that’s fine that’s democracy at work.
However if all it takes is 7% to influence outcomes, due to the small number of people actually voting and more worryingly that the leading party with 29% of the 31%, or just 9% of the total potential vote supporting it, questions needs to be asked and risks assessed.
My concern is that the UK could be at risk from specific targeting, by charismatic individuals, working to a strategy.  Such an approach aimed at the 69% disaffected voters could quite easily bring about a significant and radical change in the political direction of the country.
For me the media are focusing on the wrong issues here, it is not the “significant achievement” of UKIP getting 7% of the potential total vote that should be their lead story.  What should be being investigated are the reasons why 69% of the voters are not engaging; the potential risk of a political vacuum, and what that could mean for the UK and us its residents.
It is easy to say this is a blip, a protest vote.  I am not convinced, we have seen increasingly lower turnouts, I am hearing more and more people say they feel our politicians of all parties are out of touch, not relevant and that their vote has no impact. 

The politicians need to better engage their customer base, or risk being overtaken by those who will see this as the opportunity it is; taking the UK by the scruff of the neck, but perhaps not in a direction where it would naturally go?  There is a danger in not valuing and using our votes; votes that those who have gone before us gave their lives to gain and retain. 
If you have a view on this please do leave it, that is what the Blog was created for; to stimulate conversation, thought and to get its readers thinking.