the world has also been reduced or expanded from absolutes so that everything is relative at least in appearance.this si due to a number of factors including changes from absolute rule,which is not the same as despotic or authoritarian rule,to the collapse of a single set of archaic ideas.this has ben replaced with an apparent diversity,and pluralism within a relativism which is philosophical as well as philosophised and at least partly explained by notions of ideology,combined and uneven development,permanent revolution,consciousness etc.
it is in that context that voting and democracy must be seen as themselves relativist notions within a so called developing democracy.so that voting in libya,as in south africa at the fall/destruction of apartheid is likely to have real importance and meaning which is not the same as the proposed tampering inn britain.
i do not think it is appropriate to berate the young and many others who have in various ways "dropped out" of "democracy" for dishonouring those in the past who fought,sometimes with their lives for the right to vote,for since then a variety of sections of the capaitalist system and the ruling classes and the states have eroded those previous historical gains,so that the anarchist election slogans now seemn to ring very true:-
whatever way you vote the government gets in.
if voting really changed anything it would be illegal.
and my favourite
vote guy fawkes-the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions(explanation-as he intended to blow it up)
as an aside i now wonder if displayiung the latter poster would invite arrest under terrorism and counter-terrorism legislation.
but things move on,sort of.
yesterday i recieved through the post the latest government propoganda about the forthcoming referendum vot on 05/05/2011 regarding whether british goverernment should introduce legislation as some point soon to vary the voting system.
this was a primary plank in the con-dem government co-alition agreement imposed by the lib.dems(lib dumbs?or social defectives)we are currently saddled with.my view is that this regime has no legitimacy here anyway.
i belive that lack of legitimacy is demonstrated in 3 ways-
firstly unlike on the few occassions in the past in whcih there have been british co-alition governments,this was not the avowed intent of any of the participants.secondly,their post election platform includes elements that either or neither put in their own manifestoes.thirdly,at a basic level they arre demonstrating that they are not competent to govern.this is not aparty-political point nor even a criticism aws a revolutionary socialist of a bourgeois government.the"simple facts"(ther are no such things as simple facts)deomstrate that on awhole range of policies they are thinking on the run and thsoe policies neither "fly"nor add up."independent economists qnd accountqants have calcuklated that their own policy on student and university funding simply does not,literally add up.
i also consider that in the increqasing urgency of government over the last 30 or so years to micro-manage us in detail,there is an increasingly if subrterranean current of anti-deomocratic processes.the thatcherite government ended the green paper consultation in the parliamentary process.although this was never widely democratic,the process of publishing a government bill in draft opnede a period in which at least organised sections of the community could express a considered opinion,which might and sometimes did impact on the bill when discussed in parliament.i myself too part in this on seevral occassions writing papre seither ditrectly or participating in preparing such submissions.its obvious limitation is that it never involved the majority nor the bulk of the working class.whilst i do not think the process has been abolished it is now even more hidden than in the past and it has never been replaced.
this means that any lobbying organisation has to plead to be heard.those groups either have to second guess the whole breadth of what might occur or are advantaged by their status as either professionallobbyists or as the public relations departments of centerprises which are othyerwise also likly to engage with government in other ways anyway.
the blair government went further,in develoing focus groups which are much more determined by the commissioning governing department qand can be reduced to how a policy appears to those focus groups or how they can be best preewsnted to them and the public.it also introduced a trialling procedure of imntroducing pilot schemes ,but soon such pilots had not ended or been assessed before whole national programme would be rolled out.there are of course other ares of policy and legislation which either sped up or avoided democracy entirely.
and the con-dems have marched yet onwards.as i write,they are taking a "natural nreak"in prewssing on with their latest national health service reform,again not in either election manifesto.that break is happenning under pressure from key participants,the gps/general poractitioners.the government again say they are listening-if we speake they ignore us.they only unbedrstand mass demonstrations,class activity and yes-force.
yet before the legislation is even in place,they are actively proceeding to go ahead with the policy as boards or campanies of gps are being established to "take control"of money and health service provision.whatever way they put it this places competion at the heart of the nhs and will destabilise the nhs already threatened by swingeing cuts.as someone myseklf with increasing health problems i am already experiencing the impact,as my abilty to obtain some services may not depend on the length of the queue but does depende on trationing,cuts,or revising management and throughput which also amounts to cuts.i am awre that there are others who will suffer far more seriously than me.what is common is that the imapct is now,it is detailed and serious.
indeed,it seems the nhs is and has long remaimned the flagship,key compriomise of welfare reform concensus established at the end of world war ii and in which any radical change and realignment is perilous.dare i suggest that any revolutionary socialist in wishing to rightly smash the capitalist state and organise eithetr its own or noen at all will be faced with real problems in strengthening and frebuilding an nhs,because it is an achievement despite its undoubted limitations,and it si also a vast and sprawling set of institutioins which is both the largest employer in europe and deals with our lives from almost cradle to grave.i personallhy acknowledge that the nhs has served at least 3 generations of my own family in a way in which it is clear that had wqe lived under private medicine we would have either been bankrupted or dead a lot earlier.
nevertheless i know that any nhs controlled by the working class that actually make its sucess would be better still.so in any review of any service of the welfae state concensus we should not just demand its defence against cuts but fight for services worth defending and which irons out proportionally the real problems not simply use policy hammers to "crack nots" which would undermine and destabilise it.
that brings me back to the referendum.aftear years of all governments telling us that such events were not the british tradition they have all swallowed it wholesale because it is their interest to do so.this will cost public money which that same public might see better spent on services not the whim of the government.only something like 2 years after they revealed themselves to be corrupt by their attitude to their own expenses,they not only whine about the new approach to expenses they themselves put in place,but rather than deal as brutally and throughly with that corruptiion they want to change the system.
i dont trust any of them at any time about anything.alternative voiting might well enablethem to increase their corruption with less accountabiity and to make governements even less accountable.this for me is another tommy cooper solution(a now decased comedian and magician)i suspect they will not only make up the rules but will make up the answers.few peopl understand av/alernative voting which effectively gives voters who chose to vot for minority parties/interests to havwe their votes redistributed to increasing 2nd best choices until someone gets over 50% of the total votes cast.Not only do i think this gives some voters multiple choices but it simply moves the unfairness of 1st past the post voting to some where else in the voting arrangements like moving a ruck or hump in the carpet.it is said that it makes decisivenss even less likely inn government and is moving the uk in a contrary direction to the rest of europe said to be returniung from the mistakes of other voting systems.
i also think that in reality this is gerry mandering and that all candidates might just as well be spelt gerry mandering,because what the booklet does not explain is that alongswide tha actual voting change proposed is a removal of 50 mps/members of parliament.this willl benefit the currently ruling parties bt frankly what is more importajnt it takes the issue outside the normaladaptation of boundaries by the election commission.this is gerrymandering.
i have more radical and uncompromising proposals only half tongue in cheek:-
*.that if less than 50% plus 1 of those eligible to vote do so then we should have no mp/government.
*the voting issue should determine the age range of participants,so in a vote on the nhs everyone born should get a vote.
*.in the current system,those withj pwer of wealth or ownership or control should be stripoped of their votes as they are buying power.
*.delegates,not mps or representatives should be paid minimum wages or the averga ewage of the working people they represent,and should be instantly recallable.no esxpenses should be paid beyond those commesurate with those workimng peoolle who elect them,and whicxh should be administered bhy that electorate where not paid by their employers.
*.employers will see it as a puublic duty to iover the reasonable expenditure of their delegates.
*.geogrqaphical constituencies should be based on confederateions of workers bodies agreing to work together
while we are at it,i suggest we negotiqate with the russiian confederation to acquire the most inhospitable place in a siberian gulag in which to place the most notorious dynsaty of social sedcurity fraudsters,the windsors alias mountbatten aka battenburg aka saxe-coburg gotha on the lwoest level of ebenfit as determined by giovernement inn the 1930s.
it occurs to me that whilst this dynasty(and they are nasty)have ruled over us they have never been naturalised or become british citizens-i suggest this is a rule we keep just to keep them out.if we cann ot deport them tosiberia themn perhaps we can provide thje quality of transport they historically supplied to slaves or seamen or those who have been people trafficked or sent to australia in.
-and in view of the public expenditure crisis lets make sure that family get the bill for that wedding and the fiancial loss of them giing the rest of us that day off.i suggest workiung people send their bills for expenditure that day to that family at one of that family's addresses littered around the uk.we should invite the benefits fraud investigation department to investiaget their income from public funds,especially as none of them are registered or entitled to benefits.
in short to hell with the lot of them!