An election like the last one makes you ask a lot of questions; such as, what is the point of democracy in a ‘first-past-the-post’ system? How are you supposed to do the right thing in what is basically a popularity contest? You can put together a manifesto which you believe is badly needed but if enough people don’t recognise that it’s the right thing, you won’t be able to do it. But if you change the manifesto to include what those people want, you’ve abandoned all your principles. Either way you don’t get to do what you want. A friend recently pointed out that, good as the Labour Party’s Green New Deal was, it slipped down the agenda in the final week or two, presumably because voters weren’t buying it. Yet if anything is desperately needed right now, it’s a Green New Deal: the Tories have the worst record and the most dismal plans on the environment of any party besides the Brexit Party: ‘carry on as normal and plant some trees’ about sums it up. Nothing must interfere with business, no matter that the disaster we’re heading for will interfere with a good deal more than making money.
Yes, it’s a terrible system, but apart from embracing some form of PR we have yet to devise one that’s any better, so all we have is that one tick in one box every five years. But it’s not nothing: as Tony Benn used to say, there are four questions we should ask of anyone seeking power, and the most important is, ‘how do I get rid of you?’ If we don’t have the capacity to get rid of people then a leader is as good as a dictator. So many dictators have come to power through democratic means and we absolutely shouldn’t think that it couldn’t happen here. Already Johnson is making noises about changing boundaries and rules (voter ID, for one) decriminalising non-payment of the TV licence thus preparing the way to open up the BBC to market forces, and making strikes on transport services illegal. I don’t want to make facile comparisons with Hitler but he, too, started off being democratically elected and making changes not too dissimilar to these. As for a community being demonised, Johnson is already famously Islamophobic and is now aligning Britain more closely with Israel as no doubt his pal Donald Trump would like him to do.
And I haven’t even started on the NHS and public services. Dark days lie ahead; we all need to be strong and look out for one another as best we can in order to defeat the bully-boy tactics of Johnson and his crew. Perhaps if I go around saying ‘Get Brexit Undone’ all the time something will change… after all, the opposite mantra worked for Johnson. It sickens me that all he had to do to win the election was lie, fail to turn up for important interviews, hide in a fridge and just keep repeating those three little words. The father of the terror victim begged us not to vote for him; Michael Heseltine and John Major begged us not to vote for him; hell, even Hugh Grant begged us not to vote for him. We don’t even know what his Brexit deal involves and I am utterly disgusted with us as a nation for electing him. Utterly disgusted. There are no more words.