The unattended electorate

My last post may have hinted at the state of the English and the threat that is on the horizon. I don't want to overplay this, so if you start to feel worried for my sanity, revisit this sentence!

Some in English Parliament campaign circles (though not the CEP) have said in the past that if the English are denied democracy they will suddenly explode and there will be no wrath like it known before. I think this is unlikely not least because I believe the English will be afforded pre-devolution democracy in the medium term even if it is the ridiculous farce of a 'solution' proposed by the Conservatives. It is, at least, better than the status quo.

So if it is not the lack of democratic institutions to represent the English, what links the last post with this? Why should we be concerned with an electorate made up of people who simmer below the surface? And why now especially?

I would suggest to you that this country is approaching European levels of non-representation. White van man, the plumber, the electrician, the supermarket manager, the bloke in the pub, Al Murray — people like these are entirely unrepresented.

The Conservatives have always been the party of the toffs, but in the past, and especially under Thatcher, those salt-of-the-Earth non-unionised people were the Conservative's dead cert voters. We could rely on their votes because we stopped their van from being broken into, we didn't tax them too much (more than any of us would like, but not as much as at present) and we were no-nonsense.

But that has changed. I did not expect, under Cameron, that we would return to the bad old days of homophobia and state interference and, I was right to some extent. But sadly the Party has 'learnt' lessons from Labour and has become as detached from the electorate as them. A party that commands the public's respect should be picking up 50%+ of the population, not marginally more than the other parties.

In Europe (or at least France and Germany) there is an elite who are the ones who run things. You cannot break into that elite without being born to the right family, being wealthy and intelligent enough to go to the Sorbonne or IEP and knowing the right people. The electorate came dangerously close to having a facist President at the last Presidential election in France. The disaster might still have been averted because of the run-off process that allows a second round of voting on the two most popular candidates, but there shouldn't need to be this safeguard.

Angela Merkel is warning the Germans today not to vote for the extreme left wing (they call it "right", but we know better). And in England, the BNP are taking larger proportions of the vote all across the country.

So are Europeans growing in their racist tendencies? Do they believe in the superiority of one race over another (the definition of racism in one dictionary I consulted)? No. As always, the English (at least) are as tolerant as you could want. The reason for the growth of the far left is nothing to do with their policies. The far left (BNP, Respect etc) are tapping into an underlying lack of respect for politicians that Blair started and Cameron will continue.

Without a right-wing party for the sensible to support, and without a left-wing party for the irrational to support, the BNP and Respect will gain votes from the Tories and Labour respectively. Friends who are not Tory members have been telling me in increasing numbers that UKIP is the solution for the right-wingers. Maybe.

But this is a call to Cameron: Sort out the ideology — make it clear what you and the Conservatives stand for, because at the moment the electorate feel like orphans. Without a choice, the people will make protest votes in ever larger numbers. The Tories may lose out to UKIP at the next election, but this wouldn't be as bad as the BNP making gains. A BNP MP would awaken the lazy racist voter who, until now, has not bothered.

If the Conservatives agree to increased state funding of political parties and don't change from their pinko-liberal namby-pambyness then we should all worry.

I would also ask that you read this knowing, as you do, that I am liberal. I believe in leaving people to get on with their own lives and I object to state interference and wasteful taxation. I am, I thought, the epitomy of modern, centrist Conservativism. I hope I was not wrong.

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