Fifth Column – Issue 11

Whither Democracy?

I don’t know about you but I didn’t really expect to see so many politicians, particularly Labour MPs shrugging their shoulders at the current economic crises that have shaken the very foundation of what we might consider representative democracy.
When faced with the latest Corus issue, one leading Lord wasn’t leaping to the defence of democracy, he merely stated the supposedly unarguable and immutable fact that Corus is a private industry. You might say well yes, what is wrong with that, it is a fact. However, shouldn’t he be able to say that he and his colleagues in the Commons and Lords are striving to represent us in the struggle that sees so many victimised by such facts of life that  seemingly have no active debate in them.
Especially when you cannot but recall, however involuntarily, the mantra of the incumbents and those challenging for their tickets on the gravy train, that said, “We will protect jobs.”
These so-called representatives do not give us any credit for the least amount of continuity of thought. Also, this recent event illustrates a lack of logic in their ideas, if they actually have any.
The localised power-brokers become somewhat impotent in the slew of economically driven logic, not of the free-market, but of the underlying project of the private industries, namely profit and cost-cutting. Entrepreneurs they are called, I say it is callous opportunism that at best com-promises and at worst makes a sham of any representative democracy.
The talk of accountability is ratcheted up to cover the obvious fact that when it comes to change, the politicians wipe their hands of the real issue and effectively desert us as an elector-ate.
The change we constantly see and feel is merely capitalism finding new ways to sell itself and at the same time buy and sell us as an electorate. Another aspect of this change is one we should be equally averse to and that is the deprecation of any ethical basis to change.
The green and global issues are a less than funny ironic smokescreen to ob-scure the basis of the power that remains pretty much intact. Capitalism is selling us guilt in the absence of any authentic religious base, and at an ever increasing material price: it is the new Guilt market.
If we were in a fully fledged representative democracy we would be able to vote ideas out not merely career-based strategies to manage a single controlling idea without question.

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