The Suffragettes got the vote when they weren’t allowed to vote. They did not get the vote by voting.
The more glorious parts of English/British history – you know, those eras when we were on the road to that liberal democracy we’re now about to lose – had 0% to do with voting.
The destruction of the Divine Right of Kings was achieved by a Parliamentary rebellion and Civil War.
The 1832 Reform Act was passed by the Duke of Wellington’s government under extreme duress from protesters besieging the Palace of Wesminster.
The Safe Shipping Act produced the Plimsoll Line on ships because Mr Plimsoll threw an epi in the House of Commons.
The Labour Party got off the ground because of a series of constituency deals between the ILP and the Liberals in the 1890s.
The 1910 Parliament Act producing near total male suffrage became Law because George V created enough new Peers to force it through. The electorate were not involved.
Women got the Vote by chucking themselves under horses, going on hunger strike and tying themselves to railings. Votes had nothing to do with them getting the vote.
During the recent disastrous General Election for the Left, I was angered by the attempt by them to blackmail abstainers into voting on the basis of us somehow “owing our right to Vote” to those who engaged in voting for change in the past. This involved much hypocritical use of the Suffragette Movement. That analysis and its equally silly conclusion is yet more rearrangement of historical facts to suit the ideologues.
My grandmother Melissa Mountain was an activist Suffragette and exponent of Free Love. Last Thursday, she would’ve abstained in disgust at the near-total lack of real choice for those of us of a radical not-Right-not-Left bent. The Suffragette movement was about socio-gender justice – not the engagement with a deaf elite using a fixed electoral system.
Social Justice: that’s what the next five years in the UK should be about….not Left v Right.
I’m for decency, liberty, personal responsibility, strong community, functional family and lots of other things ending in y.
I am not Right or Left because I believe the terms to be a curse upon the decent majority.
I am not a Socialist and never have been, because its ideas are 0% correlated with social anthropology.
I will never be a neoliberal, because its ideas are opposed to everything I stand for – see “I’m for” above. It is insane, indefensible, and an excuse for the greedy to behave badly.
I have been anti-globalist for forty years this year. The first agency I co-founded (Aspect) openly rejected the Saatchi claptrap in favour of locally marketed products. We rejected all multinational clients on principle. I wrote regularly and vociferously in the comms trade mags about why Ted Levitt was a fanciful twat.
I’m a communitarian mutualist, and the problem with that is it sounds so tree-huggy/Swampy/Mediaeval. But a good 60% of my career was entrepreneurial…and that continues. I think I’m a grounded company officer who can read the balance sheet and use common sense. But if me making money doesn’t bring benefit to the wider community, then it’s inhuman. The daftest of endlessly daft things gushed by Friedman the Real-Life Failure was “The only responsibility any company has is to the shareholders”.
I reject that idea completely: who educates the company’s workforce? Who keeps them healthy? Who protects them from asset-strippers? Answer: the social weal.
But here’s the problem as I see it – expressed again in The Slog’s “Why Labour lost” piece last weekend: the Left will not engage with anyone who answers “No” to the question “Are you a socialist?”
This was always nuts, but the arrival of the SNP and UKIP in Britain now means Labour must do the maths or die. Within five years we are going to be England – or Engwales or whatever. That England will be neoliberal forever unless Labour COMPLETELY returns to what it should be: the protector of the wage citizen from the multinational banking bourse and capital juggernaut.
The future for radicals like me is not a political one: it is as a campaigner for the Citizens – their rights, their fulfilment, their communities and their families. It is in pursuit of a Constitution backed up by the Rule of Law, Equality before that Law – and a depoliticised civil police force devoid of pc careerism. And finally from now on, as someone dedicated to spearing all those who seek to undermine liberal democracy through monied or otherwise corrupt influence for the pig roast.
Starve the Beast – I’ve been advocating this now for five years. If that involves illegality and violence, I don’t want to know.
But there are a dozen ways to get the munneeeee taken out of politics…if only the agitprop tendency would listen, rather than just transmit. If only it would engage, rather than spit insults at those unable to accept their petrified Catechism.
The neoliberal Conservative Establishment see this sort of action as a serious threat to their goals. Hence the invention of the ludicrous Orwellian double-think term, ‘Non-violent Extremist’.
Those in favour of rabble-riots who want to go down in pointlessly glorious flames – carry on as you are. Those who want to slay the dragon, join me in forming a movement above voting for clones – an apolitical movement aiming to take Mammon out of politics, and replace it with the Benthamite social good. Drag the blind legislators back to the Constitution and the Rule of Law by making life profoundly uncomfortable for those who donate to that nightmare future.
Encourage, enthuse, enable….but above all, engage.