Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Welcome to post-democratic Britain

We are living in a post-democratic society. Of course we still have elections, in the same way that we have had for a century or so. But the important fact is that those elections can't change anything - not anything that really matters anyway. Over the past 20 years or so - lets say since the demise of the Soviet Union - big business and its political allies and servants have been working on a giant stitch-up.

At the heart of the stitch-up is the European Union which we were always told was designed for our social and economic benefit. But more than anything else the EU is here to further the political and economic wishes of big business. As a result the EU has adopted a neoliberal economic agenda which benefits businesses and the rich at the expense of communities and working people. When I say 'economic agenda' this is really a right-wing free market political agenda. But the agenda is never pursued openly and is always disguised as 'reform'.

The agenda is bolstered in the EU by a series of directives which promote (nay require) privatisation of public services - why do you think you are losing your post office? But the point, as far as UK democracy is concerned, is that because this legislation has been adopted at an EU level - it cannot be undone at a UK level. This means that even if a UK government were elected with the objective of preserving post offices as a vital public service - it would be unable to do so.

Add to this the fact that all three main political parties have also succumbed to neoliberal economics and you have a situation which means that nothing can change - hence the end of democracy, other than a form of window dressing which helps to give a veneer of legitimacy to the ongoing stitch-up.

The point about these changes is that they have been brought about dishonestly. People in Europe have never been asked - 'Do you want privatisation of public services?' - that is because they would have answered with a resounding 'NO!'. Hence we are offered 'choice' instead. Ministers talk about the 'independent sector' in relation to the NHS because they dare not mention the words 'private sector'. This is all part of the culture of deception.

One day soon we are going to wake up and find that we are paying an awful lot more for services which deliver less for us. Those services will no longer be designed to help us. They will there to make profits for the big corporations that run them. We will be reduced to the status of mere customers rather than citizens entitled to receive medical treatment (for example).

If we want to stop this from happening we are going to have to start getting very bolshy about the what is happening, we are going to have to get politically active and we are going to have to re-capture or replace the Labour Party. The sooner the fightback starts the better because the going is getting tougher all the time. Get involved!

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