Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Taking Their Ball Home

Remind me again, who are the fascists exactly ? The Electoral Reform Society has decided that this whole 'election' thing is a bit of a drag, after all. The morons keep voting the wrong way so the ERS wants to play the voting system like a violin to ensure the right sort of people get in.

Needless to say, we're supposed to turn a blind eye to this sort of blatant manipulation of our democratic system because there's a Right-Wing Extremist bogeyman out there somewhere. Even from first principles the argument is garbage, relying as it does on the type of logic people used to assure us in 1997 that by today Marconi would be bigger than BP and M & S combined. Oops - turns out blind extrapolation doesn't work after all. Once you consider that the whole allure of the BNP is that they're hate figures to the self-satisfied political establishment then you realise nothing would sink them faster than actually getting elected and revealing to the world that what they're really an alternative to is evolution. Having them talk publicly about what they believe does not increase respect for them and besides, it's hard to be all radical and rebellious while you're chairman of the municipal drains committee [although the triopoly are doing their best to help them out by refusing to cooperate with them, thereby ensuring they get all the benefits of power with none of the responsibility].

Note too that while the ERS warns about the dangers of the BNP, they have a bad case of laringytis when talking about Sinn Fein in government, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Islamist groups, the far left or animal rights nuts. Maybe it isn't the violence they object to after all.

Here's the irony though: the BNP's appeal is to those voters who feel they've been left on the kerb by the professional parties. Their success is a symptom of a problem in British democracy, not a cause of it. People think of politicians as Eighteenth century aristocrats reborn: smug, elitist, amoral, corrupt, depraved and utterly untustworthy. Yet, here's the ERS answer: keep changing the mode of election until they find a way to keep the mainstream deadbeats in office until the Sun burns out. And they wonder why people don't trust the political establishment ?

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