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Who cares about politics?

Posted By Sunny On 18th September, 2007 @ 4:35 am In Party politics | Comments Disabled

Blogger Jim Jay’s written [1] a brilliant article on Gordon Brown’s recent politicking.
The money quote:

But for Labour strategists it doesn’t matter how few votes Labour get, as long as the Tories get fewer. The long term problem for Labour is that if they need to shift their ground it will be impossible without experienced, grassroots members - and where are they? Cameron is also neglecting the traditional Tory support in the hope of winning back old friends - but the flow is sadly still the other way. Well, sadly for him.

It seems to me that this is a vision of government without mass parties. Why have parties with hundreds of thousands of members if they can get along with a hand full of votes and thirty rich donors? More to the point what does it mean for democracy if the majority of the population absent themselves from party politics?

The key for progressives, in my view, is to ensure that there is a real movement outside of these parties that can rock and tip the official boat and create some movement on these key issues independent of the mainstream parties.

For all his talk about wanting the rest of the country involved in politics, Gordon Brown doesn’t really seem to care does he? As long as the Tories are doing worse, he doesn’t need to. And the last paragraph is spot on. This is exactly what [2] Martin Bright alluded to last week. Organising and mobilising outside the parties is the only way forward now if we want them to listen.

Comments Disabled To "Who cares about politics?"

#1 Comment By Arif On 18th September, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

Even in the Liberal Democrats, Donnachadh McCarthy is expressing disgust with the way the party leadership can just ignore unfashionable conference votes (in the past downplaying environmentalism, but now because it is “in” playing it up).

And the Green Party is in danger of falling into the same media game by electing a leader so that personality and loyalty tests can take the place of policy discussion there too.

There may be real choices on offer behind the veils of spin, but if I don’t clearly perceive it, or if I don’t trust that what I perceive relates to reality, then I’m not really going to see the value of voting.

And all the parties can tell me that I have a duty to vote, people died for it, things will never improve if I disenfranchise myself and I have no right to complain if I don’t take part. But then these arguments stop making sense if the parties can’t persuade me they have any principles they won’t sell for the sake of extending their power, supporting their leader or looking good. I’ll affiliate with organisations with clear principles I agree with, who tend to be outside of political parties.

I guess if all the parties act so similarly, there is probably something structural that makes them tend to behave as they do. Media? Paymasters? Our own shallow fickleness as humans? The kind of personality type that can flourish in the kind of political system there is? The complexity of modern industrial society being beyond the grasp of most professional politicans, let alone voters who are more concerned about mortgages or dating or what their colleague said about them last Tuesday.

Hmmmm. Any answers? Soru usually comes up with a good explanation. Will you be my leader? Oh no, this is how it all starts….

#2 Comment By Rumbold On 18th September, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

“For all his talk about wanting the rest of the country involved in politics, Gordon Brown doesn’t really seem to care does he? As long as the Tories are doing worse, he doesn’t need to.”

Why not all vote Conservative then? Brown will be forced to listen to the public if he thinks that he is going to lose.

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URLs in this post:
[1] a brilliant article: http://jimjay.blogspot.com/2007/09/fisting-cameron.html
[2] Martin Bright: http://www.newstatesman.com/200709060010