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Act first—think too late.
Act in haste, repent at leisure. A well known saying but so many people ignore this advice, they just rush into “must do something” mode before they have all the information needed, let alone a coherent plan of what to do and then what to do next. I know people who, even if presented with researched information, will not bother to even look at it while pressuring other people into the first action that comes into their head. The result, if bad, is always the fault of the person who actually did the work, never the person pressuring them into action or the person agreeing to the action.
Politicians are like this and the media are the ones who pressure them. The people, the general public, are those who have to pay the price, do the work, and take any blame. The tax payers always suffer from politicians' rush for a headline.
Every situation is enhanced by the media, pressured by those politicians who are not in government, and rushed into “must do something” activity by the government. No one seems to have the wit to stop and ask is this really a problem the government should be spending tax money on? No one asks what happens if we do nothing at all? No one sits down and thinks through all the possibilities and all the consequences of acting on those possibilities and then makes a plan. Then they should stop and think again what happens next, they should ask, is the cost going to bring worthwhile benefit to the people?
Politicians, in our modern era, only think very short term. That is the next 3 or 4 years or more accurately, until the next election. They do not consider the medium or long term effects of their decisions on the tax paying people, they only consider the effect on the next day's media headlines. This has to stop. It is causing bad government in every democracy. It is destroying democratic governance.
Both Britain and America have “upper” chambers to consider government proposals, these are supposed to be outside of party politics and to give impartial considered views based on experience. They are also supposed to be defenders of democracy, the place that ensures the will of the people is not ignored by the government of the day. They fail in these things because they are now just part of the party political apparatus. This also must change to protect democracy itself.
The upper houses need total reform, not just political manipulation. Membership to the upper house should be fluid in the sense that retired experts who swear an oath to be impartial and not swayed by political allegiance, or financial gain, should be drafted in to debate and consider those government proposals, that are within their field of expertise. There should not be any permanent members, all should be on standby for when they have actual experience to contribute to the considerations. On matters of security, retied senior members of armed services and intelligence services together with retied diplomats who had served overseas, could consider the proposals. On financial budgets, then those experienced in economics, poverty, welfare, and foreign exchange banking should do the considering, all debates must be in public. On agriculture, draft in, retired farmers, and those experienced in the marketing and processing of food. On education than those with hands on experience of teaching at various levels should be called together.
I am sure this proposal will be opposed and I accept there are potential problems with it but it is a move to get change, to force politicians to start thinking longer term. To make them start thinking about the effect, on the tax paying people, of their actions. The media need to understand that governments are not to be pushed into precipitous actions just to give the media a headline, not everything has an instant solution.