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Is British democracy (and democracy itself) under threat?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by stephen bennett, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Yep. There's no real scrutiny, won't be until people have more democratic control over media and communications.
    maxflinn likes this.
  2. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    It’s all the fault of the French.

    We’ve been a conquered people for the best part of a millennium and have been servile ever since. We were harried, ground down and only survived by becoming totally subjected and subservient. We have learned to assimilate and adopt the aspirations of our aristocratic overlords in order to appease their more bloody excesses and survive.

    Having adopted the mindset of our rulers, we choose to see events like Agincourt in nationalistic terms, as a glorious English victories against a rotten foreign foe, when in truth most wars of the early Middle Ages and beyond were a squabble for power between family members. And anyway, the rank and file of both armies were made up of ordinary soldiers from a whole variety of nations. Still, it suits our sense of history and self preservation to see things through patriotic tinted glasses

    The aristocracy are happy to perpetuate nationalistic myths as is confirms our compliance. We give our compliance because it makes life easier.

    A wonderful symbol of the extent to which we buy into nationalistic myths and hero worship, is the statue outside the Houses of Parliament shown on telly whenever we’re being told stories of our national greatness. That sculpture of Richard the Lionhearted with his finely sculpted muscles rippling improbably under chainmail represents English power, heroism, and the greatness of the State. Yet Richard was openly contemptuous of the English, he hated England, spent as little time here as possible, he said he would sell England if he could find a buyer. He spoke no English. He only visited England for long enough to get the money to go off and massacre a few more brown people once again.

    Yet this aristocrat who held us in such open contempt, who only saw us as a revenue to be exploited is the same man we worship and build statues to and use as a symbol of what we should be and aspire to.

    Much the same thing is happening now. We have such a huge, ingrained historical need to for a strong leader who is a class above us, to show us the way, to lead us to glory, that we swallow all the nationalistic myth making nonsense that glosses over so many layers of vested self interest, and adopt it as our own.

    If we are to have a functioning democracy, we have to first free ourselves of our tendency to doff our cap to our ‘betters’.

    If we do that, we might actually be in a position to take back control.

    And I think we should, because in the words of the great poet and philosopher L’Oreal de Paris, ‘we’re worth it’
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr and maxflinn like this.
  3. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    But that's what a great many rabid brexit voters believe they are doing. Sticking it to their "betters" per the instructions of a collection of shady investment banker ex public schoolboys.
    Brexit is the fight back against the establishment. Unfortunately it will prove to be completely self defeating and will do nothing to change the balance of power and wealth in the UK.

    Therefore I don't think the answer to Britain's malaise lies in class warfare because of the very questionable assumption that the lower classes will correctly identify their enemy.
  4. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    Top of my head:

    1. We need much clearer, and actually enforced, rules about not only party funding, but the whole family of organisations that self-identify as "think tanks"
    2. We need clearer and again enforced rules about truth or lack of it in campaigning. I get that this opens up a serious can of worms, but as exhibit A: that bus.

    I appreciate the desire to argue that your particular persuasion needs to triumph because it represents the "real" will of the people. The deeper point is that what's been lauded in the past as our unwritten constitution, and our least-worst-option FPP voting system are simply not hacking it.
  5. maxflinn

    maxflinn pfm Member

    Money needs to be removed from politics. This is vital, and can be done. It just takes the will.

    In party lobby groups need to be banned.

    Foreign lobby groups need to be banned.

    Think-tanks need to be banned.

    All of this will be much harder to achieve because mainstream media will be against it, as it serves the elites. This is another problem.

    Democracy needs to be transparent to work, and politicians need to represent the people, not oligarchs and corporations.

    Paid shills doing the bidding of the elites behind closed doors, and then being lauded by the media (unless they're left-wing!) is what we currently have.

    That's not democracy.
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  6. H20GNA

    H20GNA Active Member

    I kinda like this, unfortunately it's not limited to the above named, it applies to all MP's from both houses.

    Most of the Police, Judiciary ........

    We live in the most corrupt and corruptable country, easily outstripping the so called " Third World Countries".

    I'll stop rabbiting on for now.

  7. Frankiesays

    Frankiesays Rats is life.

    Strange that the op asked the question from the view point of a remainer. You'd have thought that having a referendum and then not implementing the result was the lack of democracy. But no he simply doesn't like the direction of travel in politics at the moment, I don't especially. I wish Cameron had never offered a referendum, but here we are. I do worry however about some of the rumblings from the Brexit party, like banning Channel 4 from its meetings and trying to get the police involved over that silly Jo Brand thing. If they get into power they have the potential to shut down debate like never before, and I don't think its supporters will have the clarity of thought to understand the importance of freedom of speech, even though they often claim that their freedom of speech is being curtailed. All this tit for tat identity politics of left and right, all this empty squabbling, as debate gets ever more degraded. In a nutshell, we are doomed. I think Italy is going to go under soon anyway, that'll finish off the Eurozone, 'too big to bail out'.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    drummerman likes this.
  8. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    There were at least a couple of problems with the referendum though e.g. the lies from the Brexit side and that lack of clarity of what Brexit actually meant and what it'd delivers. That's before we look at issues like making such a major change on a very slim vote margin (and a margin that's slimmer, in fact probably non existent, now). I'm pro Scottish independence but if there was a 52%/48% vote in favour I don't think that'd be enough for it to go ahead.
  9. drummerman

    drummerman pfm Member

    What a lovely, utopian world.

    Must visit for a holiday.
  10. drummerman

    drummerman pfm Member

    You must have been dealt a hard hand ... .
  11. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    It's weird that think tanks have been identified as a fundamental problem by both left and right wingers here. I think the problem isn't with the think tanks but with the lobbying system on the one hand and the media on the other: it's these that need to change - they need direct, meaningful oversight from something like citizen juries. Think tanks can then go about their business of coming up with ideas (which they can feed to the juries).

    It's a good time for left-wing think tanks: lots of interesting ideas coming out of IPPR, New Economics Foundation, Autonomy, Common Wealth. The right wing think tanks meanwhile are completely out of ideas and now function purely as corporate shills.
    maxflinn likes this.
  12. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    This is the company you keep if you are a Leaver, though.

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