There are a number of articles in today’s papers on the subject of Farage vs Clegg and ‘Europe’. We have Janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph; Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer; David Davis in the Sunday Mail; Matthew d’Ancona in the Telegraph – and from yesterday Mark Littlewood in the Daily Mail, coupled with an article by David Green in the Telegraph.
Daley writes about the fact that she sees the political class mired in delusion and suffering from self-deception while also maintaining that the Farage/Clegg debate raised the question of who actually speaks for the people of Britain. She also believes the political class exist in an incestuous, self-referring universe of Westminster professionals. There are some who consider Farage to be apart from the politcal class; a man of the people, one of us and therefore a good chap – however as Rawnsley points out in his article Farage is also a professional politician.
Davis writes about the need to withdraw from the European Union, but has no exit strategy; d’Ancona produces his usual weekend drivel, so the least said about him the better. Littlewood writes about the personal standing of Clegg within the Liberal Democrat Party following his perceived drubbing by Farage, in the process mentioning the Brexit competition that the Institute of Economic Affairs – of which Littlewood is Director General – are holding; the result of which will see the winner of that competition being announced on Tuesday this week. Littlewood maintains that the question isn’t whether we should trade with Europe or not, it’s whether the deal we want with Europe is as part of a free-trade area or the much more intense relationship of a single market – and digressing slightly, this confirms the suspicion that the winning entry of the IEA Brexit competition will be one based solely on economic arguments.
David Green, on the other hand, has what may be considered a thoughtful article in that he mentions the one word that is missing from all the other articles to which I link – namely ‘democracy’. Unfortunately Green misses the point where he writes that the EU is bad for democracy because it is a power grab that seeks to take control away from nations and that accountability under a liberal constitution has successfully contained the abuse of power in Britain. While Green is undoubtedly correct in his first assertion, he most definitely is not with his second, especially when we have witnessed instances of personal venality by politicians coupled with the passing of restrictive laws on which the electorate have had no voice. Writing that the liberal constitution (as he sees it) has been unashamedly individualistic, that the freedom sought by individuals was not merely to be released from constraints but the ability to take responsibility for our own lives, he appears to fail to notice that it is not just the EU that has made a power grab – so have our politicians by their refusal to let us lead our own lives.
Whether this country remains a member of the EU or leaves to become what is laughingly termed a self-governing country, one practicing representative democracy, it will never provide the people with day-to-day control of their political class. For people to reclaim the ability to take control of their own lives then a complete revolution is required with the system of democracy under which we live.
While it would be illogical to expect any political party (and that includes Ukip) to question our current system of democracy; one under which they, the political class, have and dispense the power – and which places them above us; is it asking too much of those that practice the art of political punditry to recognise and confront a subject that is right under their nose?
As one gets older, progress in matters of science, electronics, technology and the like becomes baffling and one fondly thinks back to the days when life was ‘simpler’ and thus uncomplicated. Yes, there is a price to be paid for progress and progress does affect how our lives are lived, but should progress affect and/or alter a country’s society, traditions and nationalism?
When, both economically and socially, considering the ‘progress’ inflicted upon us by the political class, who actually voted for any of it? No matter where one looks, be it immigration, energy provision, waste disposal methods, war and the subsequent loss of lives in the armed forces, utility provision or levels of taxation; who actually voted for the measures that have been taken?
It must be obvious that we are on the wrong road to make any progress in righting the wrongs that have been imposed on us and on our country. We all want progress but progress means getting to the point where we want to be – and where we are at the moment most definitely is not where we want to be. Terrible things have been done to our country by decisions that have been made by our political class on the basis that progress demanded them. Progress did not demand them, the political class demanded them based on certain ideologies that held sway at that particular time.
There can never be true democracy when people’s lives are directed by a chosen few over whom the people have no day-to-day control. There can never be true democracy when people and their country are directed down a road along which they do not wish to proceed – but are forced so to do.