It was a case of whether Theresa May could weather the storm, or whether she couldn’t. The outcome always being in the hands of the British electorate, who, like the Pink Floyd song, cling on in quiet desperation trembling in fear of change, any change. The austerity we as a population have had to endure ensures the weak exist whilst the rich live. The same conceit was perpetrated on us by Mrs Thatcher when she told us people that we had to tighten our belts. We in the UK have had a lifetime of tightening our belts to such a degree the belt now resembles a tourniquet. Austerity is nothing less than a political poker hand, a sham, a fraud, one that deals the good hand to those whose jewelled fingers remain firmly around our collective jugular or, as Orwell said, a boot constantly treading on the heads of the workers.
Theresa May’s ill-judged calling of a snap election has proven one thing and one thing only – there is a groundswell of dissatisfaction not only with the powerful rich, but with the political elites with whom they do business. Hence Brexit, hence UKIP, hence Donald Trump. The only winner in the carnival of another election has been Jeremy Corbyn, and even then his small victory is too small.
What we have is a hung parliament, a horror much feared by those who fear much, and yet Denmark, the nation universally acclaimed as being the epitome of democracy, haven’t had a single political party govern them in sixty years. This begs the question – if they can do it why can’t we?
“The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties can be represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament.”
That sounds pretty much how I envisage a true democracy should function. Not the first past-the-post party, but a representative selection of parties all of whom would act on behalf of those who voted for them, giving voters, a a louder voice than any other country enjoys. It is the ultimate way a truly representative government should operate.
Denmark has six parties who form the Folketinget. That is the Danish parliament. The Folketinget comprises 179 members. 175 of those are elected in Denmark, 2 in Greenland and 2 in the Faroe Isles.
The Danes practise what is generally known as a consensus democracy. This is when the decision-making process involves as broad a spectrum of political opinions as possible; a completely different way to how politics are managed either in the UK or the USA. The UK would claim to be the oldest and best democracy whilst the USA would argue they are by far the better. The truth is rather different from the perspective we are given by the media cartel of The Dialy Mail, The Sun, The Express, The Star and The Telegraph.
In many ways, this multi-party system is but a form of grassroots democracy. This from Wikipedia – “Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organisation’s lowest geographic or social level of organisation.” Once this shift has taken place, and with the various parties forming an administration are in power, that power is held by the people.
Yet Britain fears, (as they fear so much), a hung parliament. What is it about a hung parliament they so mistrust. Already we have had The Democratic Unionist Party say they could in no way work with a Jeremy Corbyn government. Why not? Caroline Lucas of the UK Greens stated quite categorically that the Greens would not work with The Tories. Again, why not?
Without dialogue, democracy dies. Communication is the fuel that feeds debate, debate empowers democracy. No doubt Socrates was right, Democracy can only succeed if the electorate is educated, well informed. For that, you need good education and a free press. Intelligence without compassion is merely knowledge. Knowledge without compassion is moderation without morals. What point is having moderation managed by the immoderate? Morals matter. Without morals, humankind ceases to be human. We are constantly reminded to be pragmatic but pragmatism when unprincipled is impractical. The P in politics should not be forever connected to the P of pragmatism but rather the Ps of progress and of principle.