Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Sketch of the Return of Democracy

Angels are constitutionalist in the sense of believing that any attempt at righting things by violent action will fail in the short term, any long term action would be long term destructive and, most importantly of all, the idea of violent action is a dampener on real and immediate action now - it is the 'I will do such things' syndrome.

We are wading thigh deep through the shards of our constitution, partly reduced to fragments by deliberate action - the implementation of the Regime's 'terrorism' agenda, partly collapsed by unseen consequences of clumsy and historically and politically ignorant 'reform' - the 'regionalisation' of the UK agenda resulting in the ruling Party actually undermining a large part of its own power base, as well as risking losing control over a healthy proportion of UK resources.

Unfortunately people really, really don't want to acknowledge this: being interested in the organisation of the state, its relations to the government and the governed, and how power is accessed and allocated is hardly a mainstream divertimento; what the pragmatics and cognition people call a'folk' understanding of these things prevails - ie:

democratically formed and run parties put up a manifesto and candidates, every few years we vote for the candidates who will put the manifesto into effect, often choosing the worst of two evils with a lot of grumbling, and then we leave them to it till next time and reward or punish them accordingly. Most of our lives are our private business anyway for us to get on with as we choose.

Except the government has identified itself with the state and, in Elby's memorable phrase, is all over us like a rash.

What is to be done? Make propaganda. Argue every toss, every lie and misrepresentation - for example consider the grotesque misrepresentation of what is going to happen to the English Opel/Vauxhall workers. Vote whenever an opportunity to vote cannot be suppressed. Engage in movements that want change in key points of the state system some of which can get quite charged; particularly over schooling; or some care quite a lot that there should be an end to the monarchy and the pretence that it has a purely ceremonial role as head of state. After all, who wants a purely ceremonial head of state? And who wants the head of government enveloping the non-ceremonial roles of head of state? At the same time be local, not local government so much as clubs, teams, churches, societies - be cultural, not overtly political; anything overtly political has long been subverted and you won't be getting the emails to the 'focus' groups and caucusing that precede any 'public' consultation. Argue all the time about poor service provision - not to the provider, pointless and now even illegal, but go to their professional body, to a solicitor, to the local paper, to the blogs, and with names and place of work and keep a note of everything said and done. Poke your nose into anything that is taking tax payer funding, which now includes many charitable front organisations. Don't confront, but seek redress for non performance. And try for targets you think you can hit, not a scattergun approach. After all, it's our money.

A horrid waste of life and time? Certainly. But that is how authoritarian realised socialism was brought down from within. From without of course the enormous pressures of economic failure, mass poverty next to obvious well being, and the support from outside of advanced capitalist democratic countries did as much. I wonder if the Regime's desperate pressure to deliver England into the EU might backfire quite badly; for the EU is not the left leaning authoritarian system they have produced so faithfully in England in readiness for joined up post democracy and permanent elites, but a centre right Union with much more powerful member states reinforced by their Lisbon-response updated constitutions. The EU relies on its member states to provide democracy within the loose federation of Europe, which is indeed an administrative organisation.

That England is suffering from such a devastating democratic deficit damages this over all structure of democratic member states operating a federalised administration, as well as weakening any influence England might have in federal forums. Either we will provide ourselves again with a proper balance of powers, a rule of law, protected civil liberties, and all the other normal institutions of a capitalist democratic state, or the EU's institutions, reflecting the kinds of democracy embodied in its member states, will fill the vacuum and provide them for us, red lines or no. And we will have a one size fits all kind of democracy instead of the elegance of our bespoke and subtly nuanced democratic dress so wantonly torn to pieces.


Nick Drew said...

thanks; shall ponder

Caronte said...

I knew angels had feathered wings and blew trumpets. I did not know they had such strong muscles as well, and could blow as subversively and effectively as well as you can.

hatfield girl said...

Trumpets? Nah - Grade 5 Piano, me.

Nick Drew said...

HG is too modest to blow a trumpet, it is for us to do that on her behalf

*fanfare* - John Stanley's Voluntary, I fancy

HG, your prescription is certainly grass-roots in its character; maybe it is happening even now, spontaneously, as part of an inevitable dialectic ...

or maybe we have to suffer the worst before the tide can turn in quite that way

is it really how authoritarian socialism was brought down ? Honeker was on the point of hosing down the demonstrators with machineguns until nearly the end - was it not all a bit more dramatic and knife-edged than that ?

forgive those of us who are more impatient

hatfield girl said...

Intra personal violence is pretty grass roots too, particularly in a civil context. There can be no gibbetting of Brown and Sarah, upside down with Sarah's skirt roped modestly to her thighs on the gantry of a petrol station. That sort of thing comes with civil war and major incursions by foreign state forces. Nor can we send in the planes, the ground troops, shock and awe the Labour regime, and hang them later, as the Labour Blair/Brown Junta did in Iraq.

It's got to be an anglicised version of the velvet revolutions, the citizens facing the forces of the state as they did in Prague, in Leipzig. Even with the threat of being hosed down by just about everything from tear gas to, as you so correctly point out, machineguns.

Best to try that way first, try again to have Blair and his government indicted for war crimes, try to ensure that there is indeed a general election as soon as possible not wait till next May. Try to evince some firm commitments to German-style reassertion of our nation state and its autonomy. Positive goals, not waiting for yet another catastrophe to engulf us and hoping that this time it will be enough to drive the Regime over the edge.

Perhaps I had better go and write another post on Gordon's latest idiocies and faux pas.

Sackerson said...

We've all (me too) become vocal on what ought to happen. We need to focus on what we think WILL happen, and then make our plans accordingly. I don't see a Boots and Saddles rescue coming.

Raedwald said...

Excellent post HG, and very sound advice

(WV nonsot - they can't mean me, shurely?)