IN today's Guardian there is a front page headline that suggests that there is a good chance of us having a 'No Overall Control' Westminster - a Hung Parliament.
Tells, purportedly, that David Cameron is preparing a special 'Hung Parliament' strategy team; which suggests that the possibility is real. Rumours I'm hearing also legitimises this slightly more - I've heard that a number of Tory controlled councils are seeking deals with minority parties because they fear they might struggle in local elections.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago, The Guardian's Marina Hyde submitted a piece to the Comment section of the paper. Ms Hyde is best known as an entertainments journalist who dips her toe into the world of sport every so often - a sort of more glamorous Lyn Truss.
I think what Hyde is stating, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way, is that perhaps this country is ready for compromise.
I'm actually quite ambivalent about a Hung Parliament. In many respects, the lot of an independent is to try and thrive in an atmosphere of perpetual disillusionment with a sitting government. Arguably having a Hung Parliament supplies the middle ground that non-affiliated independents operate in, so the impact of an independent could be lessened. Personally, I don't think national politics have that much affect on local issues - arguably councils with 'No Overall Control' operate more efficiently than council's controlled by the major parties and in many cases these particular councils have a small, yet often perfectly formed, independent groups, that manage to keep the others' more balanced than they would normally be.
I think it's obvious that slowly the people of Britain are changing their minds about the partisan nature of politics. I don't think the old mentality of 'My dad voted labour so I'm voting labour' applies any longer; besides the political parties of our fathers' days were vastly different than they are today - in modern politics you would, at times, be hard pressed to separate the parties by anything more than the thickness of a cigarette paper. The thing is, especially among the young middle aged voters, people are starting to grow so disillusioned with party politics, they are looking to viable alternatives and the best place to make that flourish is for independent thinking people to enter local politics and start making the changes from the grass roots up.
So, consider this. I've had an interest in politics since I was at school, but finally admitting that I could try and do things in local politics took me 30 years to achieve. I know lots of people in the town who have opinions and are hard working members of their local communities. If you want to change the world around you, you might have to stand up and be counted. How many of you could seriously consider standing against your local political party at the next council elections? Do you think your neighbours would vote for someone like them, who has their community at heart; or do you think they're still inflexible and will vote with tradition?
Have you got the bottle to find out?
This will tell you how to do it.