Thursday, July 16, 2015

Democracy is Dead

Before returning to our usual business here of smutty films and the like, I think that we have to pause for a minute and mourn the death of democracy.  For that is what events in Greece amount to - in spite of electing a government on a clear anti-austerity programme and in spite of a referendum vote against draconian bail out terms, the rest of the Eurozone have still imposed humiliating terms on Greece in order to keep it afloat financially.  They have effectively usurped a democratically elected government of its economic sovereignty.  If this isn't a conclusive demonstration that the democratic process has been rendered irrelevant by the financial elites, then I don't know what is.  It pains me to admit it, but this is the sort of thing, (along with the UK election result where 36% of the vote gave the Tories a whacking great parliamentary majority, not to mention FIFA, where a president who has presided over unprecedented corruption keeps getting re-elected), which makes it seem as if Russell Brand has a point: voting doesn't change anything.

But you don't have to be in Greece to be witnessing, close up, the dying throes of democracy.  Just this week has witnessed our own government assaulting the BBC, trying to sneak fox hunting back in through the back door and announcing yet more restrictions on Trade Union activities.  These latter moves are particularly worrying as, whether you like it or note, Trade Unions are a vital part of any healthy democracy, allowing workers to 'level the playing field' when it comes to negotiating with employers and safeguarding workers' hard won rights in the workplace.   But that doesn't bother this government.  As if all the proposed thresholds on turnouts and percentages needed in strike ballots, not to mention the suggested restrictions on picketing weren't bad enough, they are also proposing to restrict Unions' use of social media during strikes, requiring all their tweets and posts to be  'approved'.  Really, this is the sort of thing you'd expect in extreme right-wing authoritarian regimes, oh wait, that's what we've got here in UK these days...

But seriously, both here in the UK and across Europe, our leaders are becoming ever more brazen in their contempt for the democratic process.  Sure, they play lip service to it, but have no intention of actually subjecting themselves to it.  If you still think that our democratic institutions are the only legitimate way to effect change, then you are deluded.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: revolution is clearly the only way to wrest back control.  Believe me, both our political elites and their puppet masters in the worlds of finance and banking are only going to start showing us some respect when we start putting them up against walls and shooting them.

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