Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't veto the vote

Dictionary definition of democracy:
government by the people or their elected representatives;
control of any organisation by its members; a political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members;
the practice or spirit of social equality;
a social condition of classlessness and equality;
the common people esp as a political force.

The inescapable conclusion (for me anyway) is that putting a mark on a piece of paper every few years is a piss poor sorry and narrow interpretation of 'democracy'.

I've long been of the opinion that if voting changed anything, it would be made illegal.
But there are times when I think it's vital to exercise this minimal right to be heard.
The local and London elections on 1st May (oh the irony ...) are a case in point.

The British National Party are contesting seats in 23 councils.
If they achieve 5% of the vote, they will be awarded their first seat in the London Assembly.

Searchlight have launched a campaign, Hope Not Hate, advising people to vote for any of the other parties in order to minimise the fascist share of the vote.
Operation Black Vote are urging the same as are the Jewish community with their campaign Your Voice or Theirs.

Just in case you need any persuasion re what the BNP stand for, here's a selection of quotes.

Nick Griffin. BNP leader:
  • 'Yes, Adolf went a bit too far. His legacy is the biggest problem that the British nationalist movement has to deal with. It just creates a bad image.'
  • 'At 13, I read Mein Kampf, making notes in the margins ... The chapter I enjoyed most was the one on propaganda and organisation, there are some really useful ideas there.'
  • 'I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the Earth is flat ... I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and latter witch-hysteria ... It's well known that the chimneys from the gas chambers at Aushwitz are fake, built after the war ended.'
Richard Barnbrook, BNP candidate for mayor:
  • 'Immigration has caused this (his diagnosis with TB). I am angry that I have picked up this junk. This disease should not have come into this country.'
Nick Erickson, BNP London Regional Organiser (believed to be associated with Sir John Bull blog - no link for, obvious reasons - from which the following quote comes):
  • 'I've never really understood why so many men have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the feminazi myth machine into believing that rape is such a serious crime. Rape is simply sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape ... is a serious crime is like suggesting force feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence.'

If you want to vote but can't decide who for, this website might help you make up your mind.
(Thanks to Mr Bloggy for the email heads up.)


Steve Harmison said...

Cheers debi. The prospect of a BNP seat is infinitely more scary than mad Boris, and will be making me vote this time.

On democracy, my favourite quote yet is Douglas Adams':
On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards
and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

Anonymous said...

oh those people make me so very very sick!

Anonymous said...

Yes,I agree Debi, anything to keep them madmen out. I'd vote thirteen times if I could get away with it. The BNP are vile and horrible. But... isn't it wonderful that I can say that without fear? That I can slag the government off, call them insects, lizards, pigs, and on and on, and then go to bed and sleep soundly without a flicker of terror? That's why people chained themselves to railings, went to prison, suffered to get the vote. Because democracy may be imperfect, may be open to abuse, corruption and all the rest of it but.. the alternative is dictatorship. I've never lived under a dictatorship myself but I know a man who has and I've seen the scars. My own long held opinion is that voting changes everything. Everything. Voting is wonderful. Lets all do it.
All the best

Debi said...

Welcome, Steve. I'm still reeling from you having typed out that long extract. 'S a good 'un though.

Rivergirlie - sick indeed.

Joan - I love it when I draw you out and get you to comment! I agree that what we have here is far better than a dictatorship but don't think those are the only 2 options. Yes, we have to use our votes, given that this is the system we have. But I still believe it's a very far cry from true democracy.

Anonymous said...

Debi, I love being pulled in too. But, the other options are...? "True democracy" would be...? I can't picture it. Not in any form that would work. But you know.. er.. duh..

Debi said...

Joan - I could devote an entire blog to the other options. We'll put it on the agenda ...

Liane Spicer said...

Re "Rape is simply sex" etc. etc. I'd like to see him explain this to his daughter if she's raped. Or his mother or grandmother. Maybe lizards don't have those.

If voting stops people like that in their tracks I'm all for democracy.