I’ve just published this:
“There is a direct link between [the failure of representative democracy] and the degree to which plebiscitary democracy is seen as being an acceptable option. The popularity of referendums is a symptom more than it is the cause of our current problems.”
In this post, from 2007, I forecast that New Labour were in danger of begetting the current catastrophe. The article also predicted that the Lib-Dems would probably not go into coalition with Labour (and why), and readers may want to note the identity of the nightmare ‘back seat driver‘ that a mandated parliamentary party would be forced to take direction from….
If I could make a pitch to the whole of the centre-left on what I believe its future direction should be, this would be it.
I published this on Medium earlier today.
Very grim times for The Labour Party. Is this the endgame?
I’m re-posting a portion of an older, longer post here because it is important that we all understand how any attempt to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party will play out.
It isn’t very comfortable reading, I’m afraid. Sorry.
Here’s my latest, over on Medium.
I posted this over on Slugger O’Toole earlier.
Here’s a pull-quote:
When some of us, back in August, said “putting Corbyn in charge of the Labour Party is like filling an ‘unleaded’ car with diesel”, this is what we meant. It actually won’t work. We weren’t trying to talk those voters out of something sensible. We were saying “this is bound to end in tears.”
I posted this over on Medium earlier:
Here’s the pull-quote:
…in virtual politics, we are hurtling towards the kind of direct democracy in which philosophers will be forced to drink hemlock at the whim of the masses.
Sometimes short-term popularity isn’t a good thing.
… and the benefits of doing so are much bigger than a lot of commentators seem to realise.
When I say (in the previous post here) that a politician, or a political party can get away with backing a particular cause – my convictions on Trout Dipping, for example – as long as it enjoys ‘a reasonable level of support’, I mean that Trout Dipping needs to have enough of an attraction to allow a political party to include it their manifesto in a way that wouldn’t damage their chances of winning an election.
Sure, they can adopt one or two points of conviction. The public understand that, sometimes, politicians have to make ‘tough choices’ and that Neville Chamberlain’s popularity in 1938 provides us all with an object lesson. Continue reading