Tuesday, 26 February 2013
In fear, trapped animals kick and lash out at the hand that brings aid. They bite and scratch and cry out for comfort and protection even against the benevolence that seeks to untangle them from the snare and set them free. In blind panic they will trap themselves deeper still and cause even more distress until, sometimes, they die directly from their ignorance. Even if freed they flee their rescuer with not a hint of gratitude or comprehension, ever more fearful and ever more wary. Even domesticated animals, habituated to benign human presence will revert to wild instinct when threatened.
I was reading this article by Melanie Phillips, regarding the first jury in the Vicky Pryce trial: She wrote, “...there have long been concerns that juries are not sophisticated enough to cope with highly complicated trials such as fraud cases. But the short trial of Vicky Pryce was hardly a complicated case.” and “In less enlightened times, the right to sit on a jury was restricted to the property-owning classes on the basis that the poor were considered too inadequate to sit in judgment...”
The Labour Party and its progenitors fought for the rights of individuals; the right to vote, the right to fair treatment, equality in the eyes of the law and the right to sit in judgement on transgressors. It fought for better education and social mobility, decent wages, housing and dignity. It was a decent fight and necessary, to raise aspirations and spread democracy. I truly applaud what they did in all these regards... all those years ago.
All those years ago... because that same party now does its supporters the grave injustice of assuming that it, alone, knows best what they need. It doesn't, but neither do they. Essential support for those down on their luck has mutated into a lifestyle choice for a multitude; basic healthcare for all has become abdication of individual responsibility for your own body. And universal suffrage is useless and irrelevant unless you understand, engage in and value what it offers you.
Because, whatever the rhetoric, we really are all in this together; there is only one pot to piss in or to empty out. Yet those who only ever take lack the basic understanding of how it all works and haven’t the means or the will to contribute. They have been enabled into their disability and given votes which, if they are deployed, can only make things worse. Just like the jurors, those whose opinion we should value may not repay the faith placed in them - they just don't know what they don't know. I don’t hate such people, much as I don’t blame children for their innate naivety and ignorance of the world. But I do believe that anybody who relies so utterly on a system should necessarily be disenfranchised from making decisions about it, for the good of everybody.
Incredible as it sounds, people will believe almost whatever you tell them - if you tell them what they want to hear often enough. The wounded animal that is Labour’s remaining support knows only how to cry out in pain and bite the hand that feeds it. Labour no longer speaks for the workers. In truth, since its early victories it has diminished in relevance for many years in succession, yet its core voters still blindly gather to worship.
When all the earners have quit and your parliament is stuffed to the gills with those with no allegiance to Britain and sleazy, conviction-spent fraudsters, don’t come running to me when the roads go un-mended, the power gets cut, the water runs dry and your policemen behave like the Afghan security forces reported this week on Panorama.
The real trouble is that whatever way you vote, you will get some form of Socialism, all three of the major parties afraid to cut the apron strings of state.
The country values your vote.
On Thursday there’s another cornered animal to free; I wonder which way instinct will make it jump. So, voters of Eastleigh, if you don’t know how to vote for the good of the country, then do the decent thing, admit it, stay calm and don’t vote at all. There. That should be the whole rotten LibLabCon-trick consigned to the scrap heap. But I’m not holding my breath