A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Democracy? Did we ever have it?

I'm of the opinion that democracy doesn't really exist in the so-called "western countries". Free speech is a far greater asset and one which the authorities allow and support. But they are woefully scared of true democracy. Witness the antics of the EU hierachy, all hellbent on getting YES votes in referendums, the very polls they fought hard deny most voters in the 27 countries. Witness also the ridiculous way in which a candidate in the USA has to get vast numbers of voters to support his/her candidature just to get ballot access. All manner of hoops and hurdles are placed in the way of parties which dissent from the agreed two-party arrangement.

I think it was summed up for me when something remarkable happened in East Devon in 1989. Stuart Hughes, now a Conservative councillor, although a maverick one, was a candidate for his Raving Loony Green Giant Party. Having fallen out with David Sutch of the OMLRP, he ploughed his own furrow. He stood against a matriarchal Conservative and beat her. She waspishly queried the result, saying "What have they done?" and then rounded on Mr.Hughes by stating he better not lark around in the council chamber. She took defeat very badly. Many have done so in the past and no doubt will in the future.

Democracy is not that welcome in the corridors of power. Free speech doesn't bother them. I'm entitled, allowed, or whatever, to sound off on this blog. That's not going to twitch an eyebrow. But if I mobilised an army of voters to unseat MPs, then I would be in trouble. It's a form of poking my nose in where I'm not welcome.

Daniel Hannan has a good line in his blog entry yesterday. He says -

"It’s not chiefly about Europe – it’s about democracy. Regular readers will know that I have always seen the repatriation of jurisdiction from Brussels as a means to an end. Having got the powers back, we should pass them down to local authorities or, better yet, to individual citizens. I want decisions to be decentralised, diffused, democratised. I want open primaries, popular initiative procedures, elected sheriffs, self-financing councils, an end to quangos, recall mechanisms and, yes, referendums – lots and lots of referendums."

An end to quangos? I seem to remember a lot of us campaigned hard for that when Margaret Thatcher came to office. Democracy is yet to be accomplished in full, but it will be achieved because of the free speech of people like Daniel Hannan.


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