Friday, 30 March 2012

Smell the coffee

So alludes George Galloway, in what may be termed an explanatory (some may say self-congratulatory) article in CiF, at the end of which he writes:
"The media, especially the London media, should also smell the coffee. Something is happening in this country outside of the echo chamber. The council elections take place in May in many parts of the country: prepare for more shocks to come as people find their voices at the ballot box and in mass, democratic opposition to an elite that is failing them."
Yet again, a few questions:

  • How have people found their voices when a candidate conducts a cynical, opportunistic, campaign directed at one section of society, a section which comprises a majority?
  • How can people express their dissent in a mass democratic opposition to an elite that is failing them when the 'democratic system' that they are being asked to partake in is itself anything but democratic?
  • How can people express their dissent in a mass democratic opposition when parties that should be speaking for them, don't?
  • How can people express their dissent in a mass democratic opposition when they have been 'conditioned' not to think, but to accept that which they are told and consequently are 'uninformed'?
  • How can people express their dissent in a mass democratic opposition when that which they are asked to oppose has not been presented to them in an open, transparent manner, but in a 'selective' manner?
  • How can people express their dissent in a mass democratic opposition when those that they oppose care not one iota for the views of those they are meant to represent, but care only about their careers?
One day the people will discover the answers to those questions - and when they do, we will have our revolution!

Just saying......................


Martin said...

It is very difficult, and all the questions you pose are valid, but one idea is to seize the cnaces as they so rarely arise. One such is perhaps the London Mayorals.

The position of London Mayor could be used by an anti-EU, pro-democracy candidate of stature, to bring considerable change to our three party system and Westminster, because the post has no real "political" meaning.

Just a thought!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

M: First, thank you for your kind comment.

"The position of London Mayor could be used by an anti-EU, pro-democracy candidate of stature, to bring considerable change to our three party system and Westminster...."

And the candidate for the only anti-EU pro-democracy candidate is......?

Nuff said, especially regarding Ukip?

And if that candidate was not initially that well-known, with the right strategic campaign he soon would be!

Martin said...

I believe Robin Tilbrooke Chairman of the English Democrats will also be running. He has been attacking the Tory's selling off England's planning procedures for donations recently which seems good campaigning to me, see here:

Senior said...

People can express their dissent by voting for independent candidates who will represent their wards and constituencies instead of representing political parties. That is what I do.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

M: At the risk of annoying you, Tilbrooke is no different to Galloway - he is a one issue candidate.

S: True, and it may well be a course that I follow - providing the caveat above does not apply.

Goodnight Vienna said...

Lawrence Webb is the UKIP candidate for London Mayor. Has anyone heard of him, seen any press releases, tv appearances? Perhaps he should go on Big Brother or make an arse of himself in some other way, a la Galloway, in order to make the headlines.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

GV: Naughty step for you for highlighting yet more shortcomings of what could be the official opposition of our country!

Antisthenes said...

"How have people found their voices when a candidate conducts a cynical, opportunistic, campaign directed at one section of society, a section which comprises a majority?"

A contradiction me thinks. Is that not what democracy is all about having representatives that reflect the views of the majority?

TomTom said...

Trying to save the Odeon is top of the agenda for new Bradford West MP George Galloway.

Mr Galloway said that he would be writing to Bradford Council to get hold of the engineering report to see what could be done to save the building. He is also going to field Respect candidates in every seat up for grabs in the local May elections in Bradford with a rally tomorrow to garner support.

Also finding out why there have been no penalties inflicted on Westfield for not yet building on Broadway is also on the new Respect MP’s agenda.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus yesterday, Mr Galloway said he would be spending his weekends at his Manningham home and his weeks in Westminster.

He was scathing about the current Council, describing them as “incompetent”. “I think the Council is disastrous and we need a broom to sweep it clean,” he said.

“I am already suing at least one councillor for a very serious libel for £100,000.”

Mr Galloway, when asked why he emerged victorious, said: “I think there is a large well of discontent with local councillors here in Bradford.

“There has been a neglect of people and it is manifest for everyone to see.

“Voters can’t believe that this kind of political leadership is as good as it gets.

“Someone offered a different perspective and different ideas and people related to it in extraordinary numbers.

“Nobody predicted this result and I was the only person in Britain who thought I would win it.

“We got 85 per cent of the vote in the University Ward and are moving our national Respect HQ here from Manchester.

“We have one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the city of those aged 24 which has increased by 40 per cent since January, so if we put a fraction of that cash into youth services in Bradford that would help.”

Asked about his priorities, he said the Odeon was the most urgent.

“It is literally falling down,” he said.

“I am demanding access to the site and need to know whether it can be saved. I have some plans and think we should do everything we can to save it.

“The Westfield site is a much bigger scandal. I want to know who drew up the contract and why no effective penalty clause is in it. How is it possible for a foreign multinational company to take a premium piece of land and public money and not deliver and not be punished for it?”

Mr Galloway said he would make a difference in Parliament, despite being an independent MP. “I will be raising issues in the House of Commons and demanding that things are done,” he said. “Bradford needs a strong voice to speak up for the people and my voice is heard.

“I don’t want to scuffle with the Council, but I want to vote in better people in the local elections. Bradford is a beautiful place with wonderful people and a multicultural population.”

Does he think he can make a difference? “I hope so, certainly 56 per cent of people think so.”


TomTom said...

Who can register to vote? LOCAL ELECTIONS

You can register to vote if you are:

* 16 years old or over and a British citizen or an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK

If you are 16 or 17, you can only register if you will be 18 within the lifetime of the electoral register. You cannot vote until you are 18.

Below is a full list of Commonwealth and European Union countries. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, and resident in the UK, you are eligible to register to vote in UK elections. To qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to remain in the UK or not require such leave. The definition of a 'Commonwealth citizen' includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

Citizens of the European Union (who are not Commonwealth citizens or Citizens of the Republic of Ireland) can vote in European and local elections in the UK, but are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections or referendums.

European Union countries

Czech Republic

United Kingdom

Commonwealth countries

Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
Brunei Darussalam
Fiji Islands**
The Gambia

New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia

St Vincent & The Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Trinidad & Tobago
United Kingdom
United Republic of Tanzania

British Overseas Territories

British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands
Pitcairn Island

St Helena and dependencies (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Sovereign base areas on Cyprus
Turks and Caicos Islands

British Crown Dependencies

Isle of Man

The Channel Islands (including Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, Herm and the other inhabited Channel Islands).

*Although also EU member states, citizens of Cyprus and Malta are eligible to be registered to vote in respect of all elections held in the UK.

**Citizens of Fiji and Zimbabwe retain their voting rights despite the countries having been suspended from the Commonwealth.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

A: No contradiction at all. If a candidate ran for parliament and campaigned on behalf of the downtrodden white majority, how far do you think that would be allowed to run?

Agreed that appealing to a majority view is what democracy is about, but not in the manner in which Galloway did. As in 2005 he was careful to choose his constituency and fought both campaigns on racial issues.

TT: I did read all that you posted, likewise I have quoted from that same source on eligibility to vote elsewhere.

It should of course be borne in mind that the turnout was only just over 50% and that according to the BBC the white population amounts to 52.6%, the remainder being other ethnic groups. Being a by-election, it would seem a large number didn't bother to vote...... Pound to a penny, come 2015 Bradford West will revert to its labour roots?

TomTom said...

I am not certain it will. You see Labour is corrupt and Marsha Singh retired. They simply could not impose a Muslim. Singh was a Hindu.

The Constituency is 52% White but as Whites have fewer children a higher propertion of 52.6% can vote than of the 42% Muslims who are predominantly <18 years.

Galloway won 85% in University Ward - I cannot imagine students will warm to tuition fees in 2015 or to the state of the economy.

I can see Witney returning a Conservative MP, perhaps even David Cameron....but you really must know Bradford West before writing off the generational change that it taking place there - and of course do not forget that Philip Davies is losing his seat in Shipley and part of that will be merged into Bradford West