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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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HomeDemocracy in DecayDemocracy in Decay: Can Sun King Nigel save our country?

Democracy in Decay: Can Sun King Nigel save our country?

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NIGEL Farage’s surprise return to the fray as both leader of Reform UK and Parliamentary candidate for Clacton has galvanised and remoralised much of the conservative base. It remains to be seen whether he can attain what has eluded him on seven previous occasions and be returned as an MP. The Westminster elite rightly fear that his election would let the fox into the henhouse and hugely threaten the ossified, grey elite consensus. They will throw everything at him, just as they did in South Thanet in 2015.

For those of us who believe passionately in democracy, everything hangs on how well Reform UK do and the extent to which they can reduce the number of Tory seats. Parliament remains as degenerate as ever, with both Tory and Labour parties accused of the profoundly anti-democratic process of parachuting favoured sons and daughters – often Special Advisers (Spads) with no real-life experience – into safe seats. This top-down subversion of democracy has of course been going on for years and is a major reason why the Tories have proved so ineffectual and unwilling in implementing the will of the people in government. If Reform fail to gain seats and the Tories manage to hold more than 100 of theirs, the woke, green-obsessed and globalist ‘One Nation’ faction will be even more dominant and the much-longed-for realignment of the right will prove impossible. After five years of Labour, rapid demographic change and the further gerrymandering of the voting system will mean that reversing our current malign trends will be even harder than it is today, and if a strong National Conservative movement has failed to emerge by that time our country may be lost for ever.

That said, those of us who cheer Farage’s return to the fray must acknowledge the deep irony, indeed hypocrisy, of the situation: Reform UK has no branch structure nor internal democracy at all, with Farage and Tice just agreeing to swap positions internally and the previous candidate in Clacton brushed aside. Our hopes for reclaiming our democracy nonetheless lie, as they did with Brexit, on a ‘Sun King’ leader with a notorious reputation for brooking no rivals.

Perhaps Reform will rectify its weaknesses with time, but it currently looks best placed to act as a battering ram to prise open the system rather than as a holistic solution to our current travails. That solution must entail the building of a much more broad-based conservative political movement, as those such as Matt Goodwin have argued. However, that movement should be built from scratch and not, as unfortunately a great many still think, include the decayed, polluting corpse of the Tory Party: even if you believe the highly dubious case that the parliamentary wing of the party was ever more than a private club that existed for the social betterment of its members, it is surely too far gone to revivify now, and in any case we need a new movement better suited to the societal structures of the digital age.  It would also ‘send a message’, to use gangster argot, of what political parties can expect if they insult their voters once too often

In the meantime, for those of us who believe that the representative model of democracy is dead and buried, the outlook should Reform gain traction is quietly encouraging. Both Richard Tice and especially Nigel Farage have spoken in favour of Swiss-style Direct Democracy that would completely transform the political landscape. If Reform gain seats in Parliament they can use their platform to raise the salience of this argument substantially. More broadly, constitutional reform, of which Direct Democracy must be a major part, should be high on the agenda of a new National Conservative movement if liberal elite power is ever to be checked. It follows that any new National Conservative movement must be structured to sit happily with not just the Representative but the Direct Democratic models of governance, and therefore be much more sophisticated than a traditional political party.

So, after many years of disappointment and despair, we finally have considerable reasons to cheer. Of course a huge amount remains to be done, but for now let us now seize the day by giving Reform UK, Farage and Tice the backing they deserve as the – at least for now – last best hope for our country.

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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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