Soon the Party Ciphers will appear in a high-street near you (or: "Where you are" as the juvenile BBC likes to say) and behind them, will be a phalanx of Cipherlings, clutching placards and (oh joy) balloons in the party colour.
In Newbury, they will find that I am in the high-street ALREADY - almost a fixture. MY only companion will be a stick with a confused rosette (mix of colours) stuck on top. My question to the voters will be simple: do they vote for the rosette or the rosette-stand?
Neither flower nor stalk swears any allegiance to the constituency. The 'rosette-stand' (your MP, or their wannabe rival) sweeps up to you, grinning, shakes your hand, 'fields' your question - into the long grass - and sweeps on. The 'stand' wants your vote - just your vote. Meanwhile the mute rosette does its best to invest the rosette-stand, with party aura.
What do you know of the rosette stand, standing briefly before you? Only one thing is certain, and outside the expensive party funded hype: this person is not standing INDEPENDENTLY to represent YOU. They have been PRESELECTED by a party that, in turn, is signed up to the Westminster Charade. This implies COMPLIANCE in your rosette-stand.
In truth most people vote 'rosette' i.e. for a party. Remove the rosette from the rosette-stand and the stand has little hope of being returned UNLESS WE REMOVE THE PARTY SYSTEM.
Such is the power of the Westminster ethos, and the might of party-advertising, most people vote for the rosette, regardless of the qualities of the stand. Thus, under the current system, if a party-MP turns maverick, in the interests of his constituents (but against party diktat) they may be deselected, and the voters deprived. Should that individual stand as an independent, against the rosette they previously wore, and its party-machine, their chances are slim. The proof of this poisonous pudding is 'parachuting' where a pre-selected anybody, from very elsewhere, assumes the rosette-stand position, dons the rosette - and is voted in.
Ask yourself: WHAT SORT OF PERSON IS A WILLING ROSETTE STAND? Is that the sort of person you want as your MP?