Monday, 3 June 2013

"A Party That Reflects My Views"

UKIP is a populist party. It's anti 'other': Immigrants, 'Liberal Metropolitan Elites', Foreigners, cyclists. It attracts golf-club bores, and over-confident pub ranters, whose ideas bounce off a leadership intent on stroking their prejudices. The idiocy resonates in the echo-chamber and builds into a great crescendo of cant. The Green Party is a populist party for environmentalist and left-wing extremists. Their policy formation is identical to UKIPs, but starts with a different set of stupid ideas, but the idiocy and cant are the same. As for Green and UKIP, so too Respect, SWP, SSP and all the other minor parties in the system.

These parties, and the collapse of the main parties, is a symptom, not of the Failure of the democratic system, but it's success. The main parties have presided over a stunning prosperity over the past two or three centuries. The forms, if not yet the reality, of democracy are near-universal. The richest, happiest and most powerful nations are the ones, still, who have been democracies longest. The citizens of these countries are the richest, freest, safest, longest lived, healthiest and most productive people who have ever lived. The options open to the poorest Briton dwarf those of all but a tiny proportion of Congolese. The people of Britain have now, thanks to democracy, moved so far up Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they expect to be listened to too.

If there's one idea behind the rise of UKIP in particular, it's that the country has "gone to the dogs". It hasn't. Nor is it "run by Europe".  The Tory party is not "the same as the Labour party", and there isn't a grand conspiracy to do down the little guy by the "Liberal Metropolitan Elite". The conspiracy theories of all the other minor parties about big business, or the oil industry are likewise, bunkum. They're the result of pandering to the prejudices of self-entitled people who lack the self-discipline to accept that you cannot in reality expect to agree with everything concerning the government of seventy-million people. They don't like some aspect of Labour or Tory policy and claim to want "A Party that reflects my views".

The fact is the rise of minor parties reflects a self-centred 'me-me-me' culture, where people feel their ideas are valid, however un-thought-out or spontaneous. Looking at a major party of Government and thinking it insufficiently extreme, betrays a misunderstanding of what democracy is FOR. It is not to impose one group's ideal. It is not to conduct accurate head-counts. It's not even to do what 'the people' want. It's to temper the excesses of those who would seek to govern us, and vote the rotters out  if necessary. The British have traditionally preferred their coalitions WITHIN parties not between them. To imagine you could ever agree with the entire manifesto of such a party, is just stupid.

In order to get a radical change of policy enacted you must first persuade a major party of Government, which involves persuading a fairly conservative machine. Then you must persuade a sizeable chunk of the activists of that party, each wedded to his or her own personal idiocies. Then you must get supporters elected to offices of the party, selected for safe-seats, and then win an election. Then the policy must be rammed through by enthusiastic politicians against a conservative Whitehall machine. An idea has to pass a pretty big set of hurdles before it becomes enacted policy of the state. The length of time MPs can sit means ideas which were being implemented in the 60s still have adherents in the commons to this day. Change is HARD to effect. Only Atlee's coming in after the war, and Thatcher's managed to significantly alter the direction of travel.

This is no bad thing.

Democracy, and the two-party duopoly will get shaken up from time to time, but the Tory, Whig, Liberal, Labour stranglehold on power which they've enjoyed for three hundred years isn't all bad. Pick one. Try to persuade it. Attempt to drag the centre ground of politics your way. Because setting up a new party always ends up a vanity project for the likes of Nigel Farage or the Dictator-toadying George-Galloway, and makes everyone involved look like an twat. It also serves to ensure the splitting of your side of the see-saw, ensuring the centre-ground of policy moves farther away from you.


Because we are all idiots in our own way, our enthusiasms need tempering. Only the major parties have sufficiently high hurdles for ideas to prevent most of the most idiotic ideas becoming official policy. Joining UKIP or the Green Party rather than the Tories or Labour, is the action of an idiot, without the self-awareness to realise he is one. It's a reflection of the egotism of our society. And it's futile.



15 comments:

Ando78 said...

Your comments about little parties and a sense of individual "Me-me-me" are very valid, but I think you're being too generous to the 3 main parties. The impression they give to me (one who mixes with 'Metropolitan elite' types, and everyone else) is that it is a type of person who goes into politics from Oxbridge and regards ambition in itself as the greatest attribute of all. To see a supposedly 'conservative' politician putting homosexual marriage and overseas aid as high priorities, while allowing our defence and law and order capabilities to be degraded does not strike me as a huge change from New Labour. What UKIP have done, if nothing else, is at least allow people watching the news to realise that there is now an alternative.

Jackart said...

People find it surprising that politicians are disproportionately, but not entirely drawn from the best connected and best educated section of society.

Why are people surprised by this?

And the Commons is a lot more representative than say, the French or American legislatures.

Incurious People's impressions are of no interest to me at all. I'm only interested in the truth.

Anonymous said...

"I'm only interested in the truth."


Well bugger me Jackart, is that isn't the most pretentious thing you've ever come out with.


If your point of view represents the truth, why are the grass roots conservatives leaving in their droves?


I could now insult you, as you've insulted the 20% of people who stated their support of UKIP in the last poll, but I think I'll rise above your level of debate...


Just how do you think the Tories can ever achieve an election victory again if you're an indication of their thinking?

liberal engineering said...

I would generally agree with most of your view points, its why I read the blog.

Its a bit pious however to talk about politicians being 'drawn of the best'. As Mr Mercer has just so aptly demonstrated, he is also a greedy, me me me scum bag, just like most politicians of the last decade.

I would take a guess that the majority of the country, and in particular the 20% of the electorate that want to vote UKIP feel that the Commons does not in fact represent them, at all.

The problem is not the electorate, its the politicians. Democracy is means to freedom, but I don't see much 'freedom' or 'conservatism' being brought about by so called Conservatives. That is the problem that needs addressing in the next 18 months.

But for fucks sake get on with it, because I hear your warnings and have nightmares about the mere thought of Chancellor Balls.....

Jackart said...

"but I don't see much 'freedom' or 'conservatism' being brought about by so called Conservatives"

That's becaause you're listening to the UKIP echo-chamber. Or you're thick. One of the two.

"If your point of view represents the truth, why are the grass roots conservatives leaving in their droves" My view does represent the truth, and grassroots conservatives are leaving in droves because they're cunts. Probably.

Let's face it. There is a kind of fussbucket who's like REALLY anti-gay and immigrant who's been tolerated at the local association. These people have been PREVENTING electoral success. Good riddance. Perhaps the Tories can, once they're gone, build a representative, one-nation party which isn't chock full of pompous arseholes.

I am simply uninterested in the opinions of the "grass-roots conservative". It's a creature which exists mainly in the fevered imagination of UKIP and the media. Every "grass-roots conservative" I know is perfectly happy with the leadership.

Simon Jester said...

... and now you've nuked the fridge. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

The only idiot is you.

The EC is intent on removing civil liberties and destroying the UK's economic competitive advantages.

I hope you enjoy a future on ever dwindling benefits while racist immigrants rape your wife and children and steal your possessions.

Perhaps the main problem with the UK is people like you.

Jackart said...

Anon. Either you're my brother winding me up, or you're quite the most magnificent fuckwit I've ever had the pleasure of reading on my blog. Your comment has distilled the idiocy into a kernel of near haiku pithiness. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Ever thought of joining the liberals? Your arrogant stupidity and love of burying your head in the sand would fit in well there...

subwus said...

This blog-piece must be a wind-up, or the author must be confused, or a fake libertarian.
To see that this blog piece could be fisked until it hurt for inconsistency, one has only to compare the tone here pleading for the status quo,then compare with the tone of the introductory blurb about the contributors.
If you are satisfied with the overall efforts of the established political parties, good for you with cherries on top.
So, in your efforts for a more libertarian country, what party have you joined to change it from the inside?
Tory?
Labour?
Lib-Dems?
FFS, a supposed libertarian effectively endorsing Tory, Labour and the LDs.
It would be fun as a fly on the wall, watching you trying that one on at a meeting with other libertarians and seeing them rip your arguments apart.

Anonymous said...

So yet another "anyone who doesn't vote the way I do is an idiot" post.

Yawn.

This is pretty much the same thing you say every time in relation to someone not voting tory (or anyone disagreeing with your cycling posts).

Why bother, you must have enough intelligent to understand such posts will convert no-one to your view.



Jackart said...

Actually, it's about my contempt for UKIP and the dribbling morons who're taken in by them. I understand why someone would vote Labour, or even Lib-Dem. I simply cannot understand why an intelligent person would vote for UKIP, a party of and for the thick, simplistic and angry.

Jackart said...

Subwus. You missed the point of the piece. Not everyone is a libertarian. Those who aren't, those misguided souls who think the state is your friend, should vote Labour.

I have never claimed for the Tories to be any more than the 'shit that stinks least'. I certainly don't think they're a libertarian party.

UKIP is absolutely not a libertarian party, and anyone who thinks it is, is a dribbling window-licking fuckwit with shit for brains. Either that, or they have no idea what Libertarianism is about.

Anonymous said...

*Actually, it's about my contempt for UKIP and the dribbling morons who're taken in by them.*

Bull.

Yawn.

Really you blog has gone down hill, you only want to speak to the converted.

Every-time someone disagrees with you, it's all "your a thick window-licker" etc.

I only bother because I like a good troll, but even that is starting to lack.

subwus said...

You said I missed the point of your piece. I think you missed your own point.
You said this:
"Because we are all idiots in our own way, our enthusiasms need tempering.
Only the major parties have sufficiently high hurdles for ideas to prevent most of the most idiotic ideas becoming official policy."

Do you think libertarianism is one of those 'most idiotic ideas' they prevent from becoming official policy?
Now then, who are you going to accuse of being a thick window-licker?

There was an error in this gadget