Originally a Facebook Note, June 8th 2009, after the EU Elections….
The problem with democracy is that sometimes it allows people to vote for folks that you personally don’t want to gain any sort of power. Unfortunatley, that’s democracy for you. She can be a total bitch. FWIW, I voted for the Socialist Party inspired ‘No2EU – yes to democracy’.
There is an old latin saying – Ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est – the wrath of the gods may be great, but it is slow – that we can perhaps borrow and replace gods with people. To everyone saying how disgusted they are with their regions, their countrymen, stating people are idiots, etc. I ask them to think about the following.
From 2003 (beginning of the Iraq war) through to this weekend, the major parties in the UK have singularly managed to ignore or disregard the concerns and criticisms of voters. The Government has thundered on, ignoring calls for inquiries on numerous issues, ignoring the fears and concerns of voters on a number of issues, whilst keeping their “heads down in the pig bin, saying ‘Keep on digging'”, in the words of Pink Floyd. I’ve lost count of the number of people and groups who’ve asked the Government to reconsider their policies on things like immigration, ID cards and personal privacy, civil rights and freedom of expression in the UK. Phillip Pullman put it better than I can… http://www.joep.communityhost.org.uk/?p=71
We’ve recently had the financial debacle and then the site of MPs ignoring repeated requests for over 18 months to release details of their expenses.
And people wonder why voters voted the way they did? After the Government and major parties have acted with such hubris and contempt?
To be honest, we’re lucky this morning that we don’t have a handful of BNP and far-right groups holding seats all over Europe.
Voters used the only power left to them to get the attention of their leaders – the one thing that, as yet, New Labour haven’t removed from us. The power of the ballot. And when people used it they no doubt considered how they’d been ignored, taken for granted, treated as idiots and generally regarded as sheep who would quite happily vote for the famous ‘rosette on a dog’ representing the major parties.
Guess what – they didn’t. They said ‘Listen. We will not go this way again with you. You repeatedly ignore our concerns. You treat as as children and with contempt. Listen. We’re going to take the one course of action that will get your attention. We will vote for the parties that you and all those with a vested interest in the current system don’t want us to vote for’.
And that’s what they’ve done. Vox populi – the voise of the people. Keep on ignoring that voice – so apparently quiet in Westminster and Islington and the in inner circles of New Labour and the other major parties – and this will keep happening.
My final question – what are WE going to do about it? Many of you will know I’m a Libertarian – I believe in small government, and maximum involvement of the people in that governance. Wearing badges and shouting slogans and signing petitions is not enough. Wherever you live there are going to be issues in YOUR community that need tackling – social and political issues that left a mess for long enough will provide more grist to the mill of those on the extreme right and left who want to remove freedoms from us all.
Get out there and start fixing YOUR community and YOUR society. Listen to the people who’ve said ‘Enough’s enough.’ Work with them to address those issues that they’re concerned about and maybe, just maybe, we can collectively remind all politicians that they’re there because we give them the permission to be there.
If you need to blame anyone, need to feel ashamed or disgusted with anyone – just look to Westminster. Briefly – don’t dwell on it. Then look back to wherever you are and start fixing this mess.