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Monday, May 27, 2024
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HomeDemocracy in DecayDemocracy in Decay: Are the elites going too far?

Democracy in Decay: Are the elites going too far?

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IT’S VERY easy to be deeply pessimistic at present: wherever you look, freedom and democracy are in full retreat. Perhaps it would be better to say that freedom is in full retreat – a natural consequence of us not living in functioning democracies for a considerable time now.

Top of the list must be the outrageous power grab by the European Court of Human Rights to mandate climate policy in Switzerland, followed closely by the deeply sinister attempt to ban the National Conservative conference in Brussels by its Mayor on Monday. Meanwhile in the UK MPs voted for the nannying smoking ban at the same time as moving to decriminalise abortion: what both decisions have in common is a deep aversion by the political elite for individuals to be free but held responsible for the consequences of their actions. It won’t stop there, of course: alcohol is very firmly next in their puritan sights. It’s all part of the broader anti-freedom, anti-democratic trend: the mooted agenda of an incoming Labour government is to complete the Blairite revolution, essentially to strangle what little remains of British democracy by handing yet more power to technocratic institutions and further gerrymandering the voting system.

Abroad, the situation gets ever darker as hostile actors move the world closer to global conflict. Are those hostile actors also at home? Of course, countries like China, Russia and Iran constitute major threats to Western interests, but a profoundly worrying feature is the growing narrative amongst the elites in Western countries that global conflict is becoming inevitable. Do they know something we don’t, or is this a perhaps a subconscious desire on their part? After all, nothing justifies increased state control over our lives more than a major war, as George Orwell so presciently noted in 1984, and covid taught us how the elites are happy to hysterically amplify threats in order to maintain and extend their power.

In some cases the globalists aren’t even bothering to hide their agenda now. As Dan Hannan notes in the Telegraph, one of the lawyers who acted on behalf of the Swiss residents who brought the action in the European Court against their government was the notorious Brexit-hating Jessica Simor. In response to the ruling, she said: ‘In Switzerland it’s particularly problematic because they have referendums.’ Note that she didn’t feel the need to say the same about the representative model of democracy, because the technocratic elites, quite correctly, no longer regard that discredited model as a serious threat to their interests.

Thankfully, the same can increasingly be said of the rest of us: during this month alone there have been calls for referendum on a whole range of subjects such as immigration, Net Zero, trans ideology and membership of the European Convention of Human Rights.  With the exception of the ECHR membership, note that all the issues mentioned above are domestic policy rather constitutional issues: that commentators from both left and right no longer see the representative model as fit for purpose is a huge and very welcome psychological shift.

Although the outlook in the short term can seem very threatening, the recent actions of the elites will perhaps be seen in time as yet another massive overreach: following on from their entirely self-inflicted defeats at the hands of Direct Democracy in Australia and in Ireland, they continue to plough forward, motivated by a mixture of hubris and fear. The Swiss ECHR ruling has predictably brought about a powerful reaction in Switzerland – wouldn’t it be such sweet, poetic justice if the Swiss reversed this decision but means of a referendum?

Dan Hannan put it beautifully: ‘Direct democracy has a powerful defender, namely itself.’

Indeed – and that is why it is the future.

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Andrew Cadman
Andrew Cadman
IT Consultant who works and lives in the UK. He is @Andrewccadman on Parler.

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