The illusion of democracy

Gore Vidal once said: “Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like the painkiller X and painkiller Y. But they’re both just aspirin.” I’m not sure if that’s always true but it is becoming an increasing reality in British politics.

These days I almost smile to myself when I read or hear debates between Tory and Labour MP’s or supporters. It resembles a cockfight, two beasts tearing into each other because the have been ordered to do so, because it’s all they know how to do. Yet when the fight is over there is no real winner, both sides are battered and tainted.

There is no difference between the two main parties anymore. There is no working class ethic in the Labour party and no middle class interests being guarded in the Tories. Ideology and true policy platforms went out the door when we started to imitate our friends across the Atlantic by allowing corporate donors, lobbyists and behind the scenes business interests to get their snouts in the trough. The EU is simply an extension of this platform.

Take for example the issue of ID cards. Whilst Labour have propagated the idea and  given the Tories the opportunity to deliver grandiose objections (and the Lib Dems the chance to pretend they are important by launching campaigns against the proposition) the reality is that both parties flout the same idea. The Tories support ID cards for foreigners, Labour for local citizens.

But the epitome of the sorry state of our democracy lies with David Blunkett. The former education secretary has been using his column in that bastion of truth known as ‘The Sun’ to promote the ID card system. Blunkett assures us “Any fears that cards can be forged and abused are totally unfounded”. What Blunkett doesn’t mention is that he has a very lucrative position with Entrust, a group that will be favourites to win a contract for implementing the ID card system.

That nobody seems to even notice, let alone care about this blatant conflict of interests tells us all we need to know. In an age where truth and reality lies with the media and whomever has power over it it, the only way to get a real platform of reform and change lies with a new party. That party needs to have a manifesto with genuinely new ideas and reform, not just rhetoric. They need to have ‘grass roots’ candidates who actually peak directly,a and don’t offer different equivocation to suit each audience. The party needs to face the truth and the mess the country is in, regardless of how much the truth annoys some people. For me, that party is the BNP.

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