The original Athenian concept of democracy was the people were represented in a system of government by consent. People who had what the Americans would call ‘skin in the game’.
Today’s head count system would have been a complete anathema to an Ancient Greek.
The modern requirement for enfranchisement in a western democracy is age attainment & residential qualification. The consequence naturally is an electorate totally committed to self interest, usually manifested in a commitment to live at the expense of one’s neighbour, or indeed future generations.
Fair warning of this inevitable corruption was given by some of the great philosophers of the time.
Yet this malign mutation of a reasonably sound concept of government is a relatively recent.
In the UK the system has been corrupted to an extent that would astound even Plato.
How can it be that in a system where we all get a vote we never have a government which reflects the will of the electorate. The recent EU referendum has laid bare the great deception that we live in a democracy. Many people with not much interest in politics, most one might argue, are now stunned that the reality is they have no say in their government at all. It is a sham.
The State does what it likes, when it likes & how it likes. The Bill of Rights, parliamentary democracy, principles of English law, constitutional monarchy all vaporised in just one or two generations.
The Americans with their gift for phraseology came up with a label for our demise, Deep State.
America has the same problems as the UK but I do not wish to digress, I want to pinpoint the British problem.
How & where did it all go wrong?
What are the key factors in the breakdown of government by consent?
Not in any particular order of importance, the failure of governance is a compendium of malign phenomena, high on the list is a two party State. We vote red or blue. Already the choice has been drastically curtailed. Red or blues are run by professional politicians, drawn from a tiny sector of the electorate, not even a cross section. Membership of political parties is so small it is immeasurable as a percentage of the population. As politics & politicians fall lower every year in the estimation of ordinary people fewer & fewer are drawn to the ranks.
The government, therefore is not ‘of the people’.
State policy is formulated by powerful pressure groups which by definition work outside the democratic dynamic. Major charities are all politicised, the once apolitical civil service likewise.
Press & media are controlled by the State or are allied to one of the two main parties.
Bribery by the State manifests itself in bizarre ways, the honours system for those of the petit bourgeoise usually socially under confident desperate to impress head waiters who might otherwise sneer at their lack of comprehension when faced with a French wine list. Quango executive positions for impoverished life peers whose careers hitherto have been undistinguished.
Add to this mix, this conspiracy against the man on the Clapham omnibus, the concept of politically correct speech, now horrifically backed up by statute law so far removed from the principals of English Common Law as to beggar belief. A complete abandonment of government by consent.
Law now is a stick with which to beat the citizen rather than a shield with which to protect him.
The law is enforced by a politicised police force whose senior officers have been selected for their impressionability, groomed by secret societies of which the average citizen has never heard, Common Purpose? Senior civil servants, police, clergy, broadcasters all connected with this weird organisation.
The levers of government are not pulled by even our weak ineffectual elected politicians, but by bureaucrats unknown to the public. For the first time the cover is blown. Oliver Robbins is negotiating Brexit, a dedicate Europhile from his days at Oxford University, advising a cabinet crammed with europhiles from, yes, Oxford University. The university that supplied the British Empire with its administrators now supplies the State with the real governors, the modern day Alfred Milners & Henry Bartle Freres. The dream of empire is not gone, the European Union is now the vehicle for the frustrated dreams of their forefather empire builders.
Note the constant Brexit Remain rhetoric, ‘power’, ‘influence’, ‘seat at the top table’, the lust for days of yore for the Foreign Office mandarin accompanied by the personal aggrandisement he craves, the seeds of which I suspect were sown by his lack of achievement on the sports field or with the opposite sex.
The new governors are the bureaucrats, regulators, unelected Question Time guest chattering class, green campaigners, telly presenters & celebrities who live abroad.
How do we restore our democracy?
Ban the party system, no more free rides for rosette wearers, dismantle the civil service, cut pubic spending to 15% of GDP (it is currently 48%), abolish public service broadcasting, slash State remits, restore free speech, just a start, because the current system will end in tears.