Author: Ian Morgan
Read Time: 4-5 minutes, 735 words
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'In Defence of...' is a series of articles that attempt to make an argument for issues that may on the surface appear indefensible, abhorrent, outlandish, or downright stupid.
Democracy is the thick, velvet, stage curtain behind which hides the oligarchy. The fig leaf that hides the shrivelled up genitalia of multinational conglomerates. Elections are sold to the highest bidder and positions can be purchased by the biggest spender. This has never been more glaringly evident as it is now, as we live in an era where the leader of the free world is a gameshow host whose campaign cost over $1 Billion; not that the other side were any better. In fact, they spent even more on failure. Of course, both sides were largely funded by the same corporations, ensuring that regardless of who is in power, big business will be well served. This is nothing new.
Let's not pretend things are better here in Britain. Although election campaigns are meant to be financially restricted to stop rampant over spending of public funds (although, at the last election, the Tories overspent to the tune of £1.2 million on fucking Facebook ads, just to beat someone who they routinely mocked for his apparent inability to dress himself). Power can be bought in other ways. For as long as we continue to allow our politicians to be on the boards of Quangos and have business dealings with corporations, we will always be at the mercy of mankind's greed. Sold out by spineless snakes in suits. I for one would happily allow for the basic salaries of all MPs to be raised, if, as part of the deal they were exclusively allowed to work at serving the needs of their constituents, and not those of big business. All other business dealings would be suspended whilst they are in office, and any other work beyond charity dealings would be a criminal offence.
In ancient Greece, the birth place of Democracy, the thinking of the time was entirely against elections, as they saw this as a flawed system and one that was easily corrupted. Instead, they elected their officials by ballot. This is from where the much maligned modern day Jury Duty process has its roots. Would it be better if Jane Smith from Sunderland suddenly got a letter in the post stating she was the new Secretary of State for Health? Possibly not. However, I am sure her heart would be in the right place and she would certainly make a better fist of it than Jeremy Hunt's demolition job. In the end, what does Jeremy Hunt have in his past that suggests he should hold that position? This isn't an attack on him personally; although I have nothing good to say about the man. The same criticisms can be extended throughout government. We frequently allow people who aren't qualified in any way (other than, of course being educated at OxBridge) positions of extreme importance. Boris Johnson is the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Boris fucking Johnson. Would Paul Jones from Birmingham really do a worse job? Would he really be less of a national embarrassment?
Elections are flawed: People that go into politics are, for the most part, egocentric, power-hungry lunatics, happy to drop their pants at the first sign of power and money. Going back to Greece, I recently heard an interview with the former Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis (who inspired this article) talking about the riots in Greece after the greed and myopia of men had let the country slide to the brink. He spoke of a woman shouting at her elected official, screaming abuse at him, demanding answers. His response was, 'Who are you to ask this of me?' Her retort; 'Who do I need to be?' For me, that tiny slice of dialogue perfectly epitomises my point. These people, generally speaking, only care about you when they want your vote - then you are forgotten and cast aside. Who do you need to be, to be noticed by elected officials? I suspect you need to be someone who has something you can offer them, beyond your vote. Fuck elections. Democracy in its current guise does not work in Capitalist societies.
Jane Smith is just as qualified as Jeremy Hunt. Each lack the same essential criteria to hold such a distinguished position.
Ian Morgan is on Twitter: @IanMorganFBC