…..when first we practice to deceive.
Fraser Nelson, writing on the respective campaigns by both sides in the Scottish Referendum:
It [yes] has outmaneuvered, outsmarted and generally befuddled the three main Westminster parties who spent so long worrying about their positioning, relative to each other, that they forgot about voters.
So what, exactly, is new? Since when have politicians actually cared about those that elect them (except come election time), instead expending all their energy in ‘point scoring’ and attempting to outflank their opposite number(s) – both with the same objective, namely retaining power? Besides toeing the party line, politicians are fond of invoking Burke’s Law, voting as their conscience dictates but are not both examples forgetting about the wishes/views of their voters – assuming of course; they had taken the time and trouble to gauge said wishes/views ? Just where is the representation that politicians frequently state is the reason for their presence in the House of Commons?
A comment was seen today on twitter from the Scottish National Party Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire welcoming the 16 and 17 year-old first time voters and stating that they will do his nation proud. This begs the question that if Scottish adults do not fully understand – dare one use the word ‘intricacies’? – the ‘intricacies’ of ‘independence’ (nay, even democracy) – just what will wet-behind-the-ears teenagers understand? That the average member of the electorate appears not to understand said intricacies is evident from their comments reported in the media and those on twitter.
Politicians on both sides are equally guilty of being economical with the actualite, – ie being economical with the facts. On Salmond and his belief that EU membership for Scotland is a piece of cake, then an article by Bruno Waterfield today dispels that notion – unfortunately too late to have any impact on voter’s knowledge. The Troika (Cameron, Miliband & Clegg) have equally been guilty with their stated wish to devolve more power to Scotland – said devolution will be ‘carefully managed’ if one reads between the lines.
What I suppose amounts to an editorial in the Speccie makes some important observations. The No campaign was fronted by Labour (no doubt through collusion between the leaders of what are called the three main parties – although that is a personal belief), yet Labour has found itself just as reviled as the Conservatives. If my belief is correct, what price democracy (leaving to one side how democracy is ‘delivered’) when three people can decide on how a nation is to be saved – and completely bugger up the operation to the detriment of those being asked to make the final decision? When all politicians – and I repeat the word ‘all’ as I would hate any one politician to feel excluded – do not tell the truth and thereby lie purely to preserve their position and status, then is it any wonder the electorate is confused and thus may well decide on a course of action they might later live to regret?
The Speccie editorial to which I link mentions ‘rage’ that the electorate feel against the political class; that ‘rage’ having been created by a slow process of conditioning us not to think, to accept all that we read and hear in the media; and for those of younger years what they have been ‘taught’ at school – in other words we have been slowly brainwashed.
The thought occurred to me just how far must things progress before that ‘rage’ about which the Speccie writes makes people start to question that which they are told, that a ‘lightbulb moment’ comes whereby they suddenly decide to question that which they are told and begin the process of ‘finding out for themselves’?
One can but hope that the electorate of the United Kingdom ‘wake up’ to what is happening to them (not just ‘matters’ Scotland, but also ‘matters EU’ and ‘matters politics’) before they too resemble the captives of ISIS who desperately and forlornly say and do anything to negate what they know is their impending death – because if the people don’t, then their impending death (their power to reason, their power to live their lives as they wish) looms immediate.