Thursday 5 May 2016

Local elections: Meh, whatever

I don't ever recall giving less of a toss about an election night. In order to have a participatory democracy you first need a public who understands what it is. Today I have seen some remarkably fatuous tweets about people being proud to vote as though that were the living embodiment of democracy. Every few years you get to vote for some or other moron who makes all your decisions for you and in between doesn't care what you think in the slightest. Meanwhile you go back into you undisturbed slumber thinking you've done your bit.

That is supposedly democracy and that is what the social construct is now - the idea that we pay politicians to do politics for us and we complain when they cock it up. Meanwhile, because the morons we elect do cock it up without having any public supervision, the technocrats conspire to make government more "efficient". What they mean by efficient is more convenient for them - and cheaper where necessary. And though you might wish for cheaper government it's no good if it means worse services and the savings are passed on to their cronies rather than the taxpayer.

This is why I can't get excited about local elections or voting. We are managed like cattle and ripped off but most people seem happy to go along with it. They say they want things to change but they don't. They always vote for the status quo. And so the hypocrisy is as much theirs as the politicians. How can you expect honest politicians when the public themselves are not honest and don't wish to do their bit beyond walking into a booth and scribbling a cross next to the name of some self-regarding mouthbreather who thinks his dismal little clan is less moronic than the next.

That is actually why we will end up staying in the EU. Because we don't have a participatory democracy, there is an understandable view that it's better if the officials are left in charge and the politicians sidelined to perpetuate the illusion of democracy. On the evidence in front of us, it's actually the least worst arrangement. For sure the corporates are making their own regulation without any democratic oversight but at least it's motivated by a useful social function. Trade.

But the problem with that view is that it's a total abandonment of democracy or even the prospect of it. That may work in the short to mid term, but when all the power is in the hands of the few and beyond the reach of the people, we will, one way or another, live to regret waiving the one chance we had to turn it around. This is why I am so fixated with the EU referendum. It's the last time in a long time where my vote will mean anything. After that, people will have to learn the hard way why we needed to leave the EU - and the price they will pay to get democracy will be far higher than whatever Brexit may cost.

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