Friday, February 22, 2013

No Mandate

Let's just revisit that whole gay marriage 'debate' the other week for a moment.  One of my abiding memories of the 'anti' camp's 'arguments' is of various right wing Tory backbenchers, rather than trying to advance any kind of moral objection to gay marriage, instead bleating on about how the government had no 'mandate' for introducing such a policy.  The fact that it hadn't been in the manifesto or the coalition agreement, the likes of Peter Bone contended, meant that the policy wasn't 'legitimate' and therefore they were perfectly justified in voting against their own government.  Which is a curious, if not hypocritical position for them to take.  After all, if a policy's legitimacy is dependent upon whether it is mandated through inclusion in a party manifesto, then why are Bone and his awful knee-jerk reactionary pals not opposing the government's programme of spending cuts, NHS privatisation and dismantling of the welfare state?  None of these things were in the Tory manifesto presented at the last general election.  Moreover, this government, arguably, has no mandate from the electorate.  Neither of its constituent parties could come close to gaining a majority of seats in parliament and the coalition agreement it was founded on wasn't voted on by the electorate.

So, the question arises, if it is OK for MPs to oppose policies put forward by their own government because they have no mandate for them, is it OK for us, as citizens, to defy policies implemented by a government that has no mandate?  If we were to take to the streets and, say, storm Parliament, would that be seen as a legitimate protest by these right-wingers?  I only ask because it seems increasingly likely to me that we'll be forced into such drastic action if we are to force change.  The Labour Party's abject failure to vigourously oppose many of this government's most damaging policies as a matter of principle, makes it clear to me that change won't come from above.  We will have no choice but to take matters into our own hands.  Indeed, some people already have.  The defeat of the government's attempts to force the unemployed into slave labour schemes was only dealt a blow in the courts as the result of legal actions mounted by individuals.  Individuals who appeared to be getting no support from Labour either during or after the case.  However, we will have to move fast, as avenues of legitimate protest are rapidly being suppressed in this country, if not directly by the government, then by their paymasters in big business.  Just look at the way corporations colluded with the church to get the 'Occupy' protest at St Paul's moved on.  Not that anyone seems to care - as ever, we're sleepwalking to slavery and oppression.   

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home