Russel Winder's Website

Democracy - The Opiate of the Masses

Tomorrow being the 90th anniversary of the British Legion Poppy Appeal, the UK having troops in Afghanistan, Afghanistan growing most of the world's poppies for the drug trade, one of which is opium, and having been exposed to the appalling sight of parliament in action yesterday, it struck me that the political classes really are putting one over on the electorate. Probably everywhere but certainly in the UK.

The pathetic posturing, ranting, and petty point scoring on both sides of this verbal sparring, were awful enough. I am guessing this is what 19th century school and university debating was like - preparing the boys of the rich and famous to take on the role of leadership and governance. What was really saddening though was that the two principles in yesterday's events were women. Instead of evolving politics so as to be more sane, these women have descended into the worst pit of puerile behaviour aimed at creating good television ratings that passes itself of as politics in this country.

So rather than bringing a new form of politics, the push to have more women in parliament (in and of itself a good thing, there should be 50% female and 50% male MPs) has reduced these female MPs to the same stereotype of a 19th century male MP as the men continue to adopt. An opportunity seriously missed.

I have no idea what can be tried next to bring a more constructive politics, our combative system is about destruction not about construction - going to war appears to be more important to our politicians than having an efficacious health system for all the people.

It has been said that democracy is a bad system, but it is better than all the others that have been tried. If what we in the UK have today is democracy, please offer me something new that hasn't been tried yet.

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