Monday, May 27, 2024
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Democracy in Decay: The lost boys, girls, men and women


ANOTHER depressing article on the state of our youth: Britain has a boy problem, according to the Telegraph, as male educational attainment lags well behind female. And not just a boy problem, either. The same article states that since covid, men have been working fewer hours and have been dropping out of the workforce, whereas women are putting in slightly more hours. Meanwhile, as Matt Goodwin warned us at the National Conservative conference last year, deaths from despair or ‘slow suicide’ by alcoholism amongst working-class men have soared in recent years.

Apart from the obvious tragedy of these now deeply entrenched phenomena, the deeper tragedy still is that you could have written the same article ten, 20 or even 30 years ago. And to add to the scandal many did so: as far back as the 1990s renowned columnists such as Kathy Gyngell, now editor of TCW, Melanie Phillips and Barbara Amiel repeatedly warned, Cassandra-like, about the long-term malevolent effects that militant feminism was having on men and more broadly of the rejection of masculinity by society in general. Books such as Why Men Don’t Iron and Men On Strike were published and widely discussed. More recently since it came on the scene TCW has been at the forefront of this same battle.

However, virtually nothing was done by politicians. As with so many other issues our system of ‘Unrepresentative Shamocracy’ proved totally and utterly unresponsive. Instead, the politicians doubled down, pursuing a one-sided agenda in business, social policy and education which greatly favoured women and minorities. Probably worst of all was the refusal, a tepid offering of David Cameron’s aside, to accept the importance of marriage to combat the rise in mass fatherlessness.

Men have suffered badly. Not all women benefited from this new dispensation, however. You had to be the right kind of woman – an upper middle-class woman, in fact. Working- and lower-middle-class women not so much. Men and women are designed to be interdependent after all, so the decline of one ultimately must affect the other. As male alienation increased and marriage rates cratered in the bottom strata of society, working-class women increasingly grew up without fathers to protect them and were therefore left both emotionally and physically highly vulnerable. The results have been too hideous for society fully to come to terms with: working-class girls groomed and raped in their thousands by adherents of evil imported misogynistic subcultures; their future prospects bleak as a dearth of suitable men means that for a great many a cycle of single motherhood and poverty beckons.

Why was so little done? The reasons are simple. In a purely representative ‘democratic’ system inevitably based on the short-term electoral cycle, there is no incentive for elected politicians to pursue policies such as the promotion of marriage which bring long-term gains measured in decades. Another big factor was the complete capture by the middle classes of politics in general, with a greatly diminished presence for those of working-class backgrounds in Parliament. However, most perversely and significantly of all, politicians learnt that not all votes were equal – both main parties invested in micro-targeting systems which meant policies were increasingly tailored to niche demographics. In practice, this meant that because the middle class tend to vote more often than the working class, and women vote more than men and are more likely to be floating voters, the capturing of the middle-class female vote became the holy grail for the professional politician, whereas the vote for working-class men mattered least of all.

Such tactics could not fail to be socially divisive in the longer term, and in recent years the chickens have come home to roost: our social capital has been exhausted; we are now a society running on empty.  However, despite the ever-mounting evidence, politicians refuse to change course and the same policies remain in place – witness Jeremy Hunt’s cynical extra provision for child care in the last Budget, a policy designed deliberately to appeal to middle-class women in the leafy Blue Wall constituencies where the loathsome Tories are under threat from the Liberal Democrats. As announced by Rachel Reeves this week, Labour has every intention of extending this policy further. 

In short, our so-called representative model of democracy is unrepresentative, cynical, divisive and short-termist: Parliament has become an engine of social destruction. Brexit – a working-class revolt that slightly more men than women voted for – should have been a major wake-up call, as so many such as Professor Matt Goodwin have observed. Instead, Parliament crossed a psychological Rubicon by trying to thwart the democratic decision of the people, in my view thereby sealing its long-term fate.

After decade upon decade of total failure, it’s high time to change this rotten system where, to paraphrase Orwell, all voters are equal, but some more equal than others. Only Swiss-style Direct Democracy can do that.

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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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