Saturday, 27 February 2016
If we ever want democracy, we have to leave the EU
Europhiles and sceptics alike give me a headache. Europhiles insist the EU is a democracy because there are elections where we send the intellectually subnormal to go and press button to wave through technical regulations they could not possibly understand and haven't even read in any great detail.
Also they say that because a fraction of the council of ministers are elected and appointed by a Prime Minister we did not directly elect that this is somehow democracy and we have control over the things they do in our name - even when we are all too often structurally outnumbered.
Democracy means "people power". The word democracy stems from the Greek word, dēmokratía, comprising two parts: dêmos "people" and kratos "power". If the people do not hold the power, then there is no democracy. Simples.
But by the same token, Eurosceptics waffling about returning power to Westminster is equally inane. For the five years in between general elections, you have no say and very little power over how your MP votes. And though you can vote for someone else, that doesn't really make much of a difference, if any at all. For reasons that escape me, we're supposed to be satisfied with this arrangement.
There are some who argue that we should switch to proportional representation, but we are still only tinkering with voting mechanisms. Such a change still does not result in the people holding and wielding power in their own name.
Every five years you get to vote for one of these morons who is largely impervious to new information and sees the position of MP as one of authority, whereby they preach to us and make decisions for us - rather than doing as instructed. That model of "democracy" is merely the freedom to vote for your dictators, which isn't democracy at all.
In the Brexit debate, as yet undecided voters I talk to aren't convinced that we should leave the EU just because it is not a democracy because there's not much you could call democratic about our own system. They are right.
Our current system of government is known as "representative democracy". That phrase is a misuse of the word democracy. If people do not hold power: that system cannot by definition be a democracy. It represents democracy in the same way a stick man represents a person.
So by any estimation, to say we should simply leave the EU to restore democracy still isn't good enough. It still leaves the likes of John Redwood and Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall making decisions. Why should we be satisfied with that? Answer: we shouldn't.
What we need is an entirely new model of government that puts the people in control and downgrades the Westminster relic to a council for dealing with national emergencies and ceremonial events. We have the technology where we no longer need to delegate powers to idiots.
And though that might not mean more intelligent decisions, they could not possibly be worse than what happens when you put a rabble of Westminster bubble dwellers into one room, without the need to talk to voters for five years at a time. Moreover, if we devolve policy to levels as local as possible, the number of people affected by bad decisions is smaller and the decisions are more easily revisited when they fail.
I am, of course, talking about The Harrogate Agenda, with our demands listed below. Some say this is too ambitious - but why shouldn't it be? Why should we not want to make professional politics obsolete when we have the means at our disposal? Why should politics be about personalities when it could be about issues?
In this referendum debate there have been two Brexit debates going on. There's the debate among London hacks and politicians - and then there's the debate between citizens, which has been more thorough, more honest, more accurate and more up to date. Let's trust the people to sort it all out instead of these oxygen thieves. We don't need the former at all. It's a waste of our time and does not produce a legitimate result.
As this blog has said from the beginning, we don't want to "return power to Westminster" because these are the bastards who did this to us in the first place. Brexit is the first baby-step to democracy, but it doesn't end there and just because Westminster isn't a democracy is absolutely no excuse to remain in the EU.
IF you want democracy then we can't even begin to talk about it until we have left the EU and if you think the EU is in any way democratic by way of holding votes then really, you deserve everything that government inevitably does to you. This referendum is your chance. Don't blow it. Nevermind what the MPs, ministers, bosses, banks and celebs say. This is a referendum. This is about what YOU want - not their wants.