Thursday, 3 December 2015

Democracy - Used and Abused

"It’s been a busy week for parliamentary democracy as our politicians stepped up to debate the bombing of IS inside Syria. Apparently our meager contribution in terms of air-power will put our expertise at pin point targeting to use in the crowded city of Raqqa, capital of the new enemy."

The eyes of death! Corbyn burns a hole in the back of Benn's head.

Although this post isn’t intended to be a commentary on the effectiveness of - or judgement on the morality of this action, I have my doubts. “Cut off the snake’s head” someone told me the other day. Truth be told, the notion that we’re fighting a traditionally organised army is not only an obvious fallacy but it’s a lesson that we should have learned through experience with Al Qaeda since the turn of the millennium. There is no decapitation strategy because what we’re fighting here is an ideology that is seeded through the whisperings of a great number of people that may not be aligned to one another in a more conventional light. They have a common enemy, albeit that hatred is founded on a myriad of differing reasons, a common notion that God is on their side and the will to do harm to anyone who is perceived to stand between them and their holy mission. I also suspect that the cells in operation are self motivated rather than operating under a command structure that sits round a table in deepest Syria plotting western demise.

There’s more that could be done to disrupt IS. Working against the warped logic of the ideology and more importantly, attacking the source of funding and the supply of its weaponry. One simply doesn’t waltz in to Syria and Iraq and set up a caliphate. This takes planning, huge levels of funding and organisation. Astronomical levels in fact. When looked at with a long lens in the light of ‘the arab spring’ - you’ve got to really wonder what’s behind all the regional disruption. Was it really sporadic? I doubt it but who really knows.

What’s most important here is whether this action brings the increased peace and stability that ordinary people crave. Only time will tell, although if we look to the not too distant past we can see that none of our previous interventions have proven to be a panacea. We’re still knee deep in what appears to be an Orwellian never ending war.

The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.

It certainly feels like it.

Back to the HoC, where the elected recently stood at the dispatch box and made their views known. Watching parliamentary democracy in action is a wonderful thing - the debate so highly charged with so many impassioned pleas being made by the people we selected to represent us. As I understand it, the PM doesn’t actually need the consent of the house but it happens now on precedent and rightly so because there are few matters more serious than those of military action, owing to the huge consequences for all involved.

Yet two things stood out for me; one was a curiosity and the other an irritant.

Firstly, We know the EU are planning an army, no matter what that feckless europhile Nick Clegg has to say on the matter.  The EU will want this because it’s a natural step towards the EU transforming in to a country in its own right.

So what would this debate have looked like in the event that the EU had its own army?  Where would the debate have taken place? Who would have had the debate? Would we have a veto - or even a say? Surely an EU army must have its own authority without relying on case by case permissions being dished out via committee - and in all likeliness, the mechanisms for sending British nationals in to war would be far removed from what we have now.

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions but the thought sent shudders down my spine. It’s this kind of perspective that the people looking to vote ‘Remain’ have to consider. Remain doesn’t mean get what you have now. It means that you’re giving the green light to the EU and local Europhiles to further erase national sovereignty.

Then there was the second point. The thing that really irked me. Many of those in favour of bombing danced with glee when Hilary Benn spoke to the house and explained his reasons for supporting the bombing initiative. Twitter was full of people spasmodically erupting praise at his passionate and statesman like performance which left Corbyn looking like a toothless second rater. Benn has been in gentle opposition to Corbyn since inception and when the time comes, I think he’ll ‘reluctantly’ step in to bring the party back to the centre.

But when he spoke, Benn uttered the words “They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt.” - at which point I became apoplectic. Yes, he may well be right - because those bastards must loath a society which enshrines equal rights for men and women, allowing them to deny the existence of any God should they so wish whilst endowing them with the power to hire and fire the people who are in charge. But to cite defence of democracy as justification for your actions only works when you have proven that you truly believe in the power that it gives to the people.

What is a contemptuous abuse of public perception is to enshrine democracy on the one hand and then deflower it with the other. It’s vile a form of insidious hypocrisy and I’d condemn such actions.

So why is Benn a hypocrite (and likely Cameron and almost certainly Blair for that matter)? Because they are in support of an institution that has consistently, for the last forty years, removed democratic powers from member states and undermined the rights of people like us in the process. The EU is an un-democratic institution which has been on a multi decade power grab with the untouchable Commission spewing laws at us from a distance, increasingly dictating how we must live.  This doesn’t just happen though. The powers are transferred treaty by treaty with aiders and abetters from within our own ranks. The people you and I have elected have taken that privilege and abused it right under our noses.

If you support the EU, you support this ongoing process and are complicit in the deconstruction of democracy. Benn supports the EU. Cameron supports the EU - as did that most regretful of Prime Ministers Tony Blair. And for that matter, Gordon Brown is also an enemy of democracy for walking away from the Lisbon referendum promise on a technicality; a disgraceful con if ever I saw one. Hence to cry ‘democracy’ in order to get the bombing you want whilst actively supporting a process which moves power away from the people over to the unelected is a wicked and devious act of duplicity.

If we ever get out of this mess .... the one thing we must do is properly protect our right to democracy and clearly state its definition, so that we can never ever be manoeuvred in to this position by career politicians again. We need a new constitution to underpin this more than ever before.

For an interesting take on the true value of democracy and the necessity for a constitutional convention - I’d urge you to consider looking at ‘The Harrogate Agenda’

And naturally, vote to leave.

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