Reclaim power: Independent founder's bid to rescue politics from party elites
Tomorrow's unveiling of Democracy2015 aims to address growing voter mistrust in Westminster
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Tuesday 04 September 2012
A campaign to revolutionise British politics in time for the next general election will be launched tomorrow by The Independent's founding editor, Andreas Whittam Smith.
The ambitious project, called Democracy2015, is the first in Britain to explicitly encourage people successful in other walks of life to enter the political stage. To mark its beginning, Mr Whittam Smith today publishes a critique of the day-to-day operation of British democracy, highlighting nationwide disillusionment with the institutions and practices of Westminster.
The incompetence of government and betrayal of voter trust by career politicians has chipped away at the public's faith in politics, Mr Whittam Smith writes, undermining the authority of Parliament and alienating the people who really matter.
"A political class has gradually emerged in the last 25 years whose only interest is in winning elections and gaining power," he said. "They are dominated by party politics and are fundamentally incompetent.
"Even the politicians who form the Cabinet have absolutely no notion of how to manage the country; Cameron comes from public relations, the Chancellor from Tory research, the Foreign Secretary's background is full-time politics, and the Home Secretary was a full-time politician."
Operating under the banner "People Politics, Not Party Politics", the campaign will seek to reverse public apathy by offering the chance for members of the public to engage with current affairs beyond general elections.
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