Friday, 5 February 2010

Welcome to the Slowburn Revolution

I am convinced of the need for Britain’s (in fact Europe’s) polity to change radically. Not for some kind of Blairite “constitutional reform” – tinkering with the voting system, setting up processes and systems of control, burbling on about transparency or accountability. This is a nonsense – it does not change a thing and merely acts to reinforce the current oligarchic arrangements. And radical change is not, surely, about replacing one set of oligarchs with a different set- however much I may prefer the cut of the new lot’s gib.

It’s OK you can sit down, folks, I’m not about to decamp, to head off into the strange world of minority politics. That’s not going to work – it’s not going to provide the revolution. However much people in such little revolutionary groups may wish for it, the world around them is not suddenly going to get up from its armchair, turn off the telly, pick up its pitchfork and overthrow the evil government. However much you shout and swear, it’s not going to happen that way.

So – given I’m not heading off into the wilderness, embittered and muttering about badness or cursing about the evils of politicians – what’s the deal? How does the revolution happen? And will it be televised (presumably with Iain Dale and Paul Staines giving the blogger perspective as it unfolds before us)?

This is a slowburn revolution not a forest fire. By this I mean that the conditions needed for radical change will come about because people become gradually less tolerant of the behaviour their lords and masters (or indeed ladies and mistresses) display. Today’s expenses reports are another hairline crack in the edifice – members of our ruling oligarchy appearing before the courts with the prospect of a time inside.

Other cracks in that edifice are creeping in – the public has long doubted the climate change story - rather seeing it as a means for Government to nanny them, lecture them and tax them. I happen to think that man does contribute to climate change but not many of the ordinary people I represent share that view. The wealth-creating section of the population (for my Liberal Democrat and Labour friends I would say that this does exist despite your best efforts – it’s just you never meet any of them) is royally fed up with being taxed, nannyed and annoyed by better paid, better pensioned, more job secure and more sanctimonious public sector workers. A word of advice to those public sector workers – you’re not liked you know.

The biggest crack is the good idiots (who the oligarchy like to call – completely mistakenly – “apathetic”). There will not be any increase in turnout at the coming general election – unless labour decides its only chance is to stuff the ballot boxes. People are fed up – people of a left wing persuasion just as much as people on the right. People who care about politics will sit at home, stick two-fingers up at the leaders’ debate and say; “not voting for any of you, you’re all a shower” (or something choicer for some folk I suspect).

Those non-voters – of all shapes, sizes and persuasions – will grow in number. Those good idiots will start (as they already are with the endless lectures on smoking, drinking and eating) to ignore what the oligarchy says. They will carry on driving, flying, eating stuff flown in from New Zealand or Chile in refrigerated air freight containers, using the wrong sort of light bulbs, smacking their children, telling slightly dodgy jokes to mates down the pub (assuming the health fascists haven’t closed it down), giving their kids a bottle or two or lager or a glass of wine and generally living the ordinary decent lives they want to lead. And they’ll start to insist that their politicians share those views, that they stop hectoring, that they take their hands from out of the till and that they start to give attention to the things that matter – including allowing people to get on with their unhealthy, early-death-inducing lifestyles unmolested by a bunch of overpaid busybodies.

That’s the slowburn revolution – and I’m blowing on the fuse. Care to join me?

1 comment:

manwiddicombe said...

I've argued a few times that the way to begin change is to persuade the non-voters to get out and actively not vote rather than staying at home. The message that the majority are fed up with the current political arrangements might just get through if enough people engaged in the system rather than shunning it completely.

IMO this isn't a time for red vs blue politics but a time for people vs politicians politics.