Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I may just have changed my mind (but only a little)


It's not often you get to read something that not only makes you think but also changes the way you think. This, from The American Spectator does just that - here's an early quote from a fairly long article:

When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences "undecided," "none of the above," or "tea party," these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate -- most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class's prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans -- a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents -- lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

It seems to me that we have long ago passed this point in the UK, that the electorate are not represented well by their governors and that my Party is competing to be a party of the social democrat elite instead of reaching out to those people who aren't in the ruling class. There are moments of epiphany but these are quickly swamped by decisions to let criminals wander about freely, to ban, control and restrict our pleasures in the name of "public health" and to employ a vast army to count, check and corral us as we go about our daily lives.

When we spoke the language of the ordinary bloke - the ex-miner, the lorry driver, the accounts clerk and the bank teller - we broke through, raised hopes and brought a glimmer of a smile to the nannied, brow-beaten and hectored man and woman in the street. People want their government to help them when they're down not lecture them about their diet. People want their government to care for them when they're ill not wag (carefully scrubbed) fingers at us for the dread crime of having a fag and a pint. And people want a government that provides schools that teach kids to read, write and add up not schools that weigh and measure the children or police the contents of lunch boxes.

Go and read that article - it might just change how you think too?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The rhetoric of the final paragraph is hugely seductive. But unfortunately, for example, people also want their government not to waste too much money on putting right the ills that citizens have brought upon themselves by drinking and smoking, nor to store up future costs by having hordes of obese children growing up into expensively unhealthy adults because their lunch boxes were not sufficiently scrutinised.

As ever, reality is more complex than ideological purity, whether yours or mine! :)