Monday, 11 April 2011

The face of Clegg forever


At the beginning of last month I wrote about our forthcoming referendum on the Alternative Vote (Rotten Alternative). To recap quickly, it’s about changing our present first past the post, constituency based, electoral system in favour of something ‘fairer’, something that supposedly will give an equal weight to all voters and, by happy chance, a greater weight to some parties, most notably the insufferable Liberal Democrats, the party that brought us the European ‘ideal’…and Nick Clegg.

I’m drawn back to the subject by a recent article in the Spectator by Andrew Roberts, one of my favourite contemporary historians, who always manages to speak with a fresh and stimulating voice on whatever subject he chooses to tackle, latterly the Second World War. The article contains some interesting points on Winston Churchill’s views of AV and the mediocrity such a system of voting would induce.

I’ll come on to this in a moment, but first a word about the celebrities who have been corralled into the yes campaign. Celebrity endorsements are virtually guaranteed to put me off a product, but just look at the slebs in Camp Clegg. They include Eddie Izzard, an insufferable prat who passes as a comic. It gets worse; the yes men also include Jonathan Ross, the biggest oik in British broadcasting, bad dresser, worse accent, who enjoys making abusive phone calls to old men. Izzard and Toss, sorry, Ross, is there any better reason for voting no?

Probably not, but there is Sir Winston’s view to add to the mix. As Roberts says, he described AV as ‘the child of folly’ which would become the ‘parent of fraud’, that it was the worst of all possible plans, the ‘stupidest, the least scientific and the most unreal of all voting systems’. It would mean that our elections would be determined ‘by the most worthless votes given to the most worthless candidates.’

Most serious of all, Churchill was of the view that such a system of voting would lower the prestige of Parliament and the parliamentary process and, as Roberts points out, he was speaking at a time when respect for our parliamentary system was far higher than it is now, still languishing in the doldrums of the expenses scandal.

Look how pathetic Nick Clegg is, look how he crumbles under pressure, this bland and hopeless man. Look, then, at the future of British politics, with him and his successors forever the kingmakers, the Limp Dumbs in command no matter the popular vote, in the same way that the Free Democrats were so long in command in Germany. The will of the people will no longer matter, just the will of the politicians and the parties, the third placed most of all.

Nobody I know cares much about this vote. At best some express a watery opinion in favour of ‘fairness’. The British are a fair-minded people who will generally go for the ‘fair’ solution. It worries me that we are sleep-walking as a nation onto this Clegg-de-sac, worries me that we will adopt AV on a low turnout, with most people not having the first clue as to what they are voting for. Well, what they are voting for is mediocrity, no quick decisions but unseemly horse-trading, no strong government but an apostolic succession of coalitions, yea, to the very crack of doom. It’s politics without politics; it’s mediocrity in command; it’s the face of Clegg forever.

15 comments:

  1. Can't really see it would make much difference, after the destructive legislation of the past century that destroyed the independence of the upper house, and ceded sovereignty to Brussels. How much parliamentary 'strength' does a rubber stamp need?

    If there is to be a change of mood that places Britain on a new course, it will come from the People, not the place-holders currently living on Westminster welfare. A rage hot enough to restore British parliamentary form and national independence will be quite hot enough to incinerate any cosy political deals made by this generation of pathetic parasites.

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  2. I have no idea if AV will improve things but I am confident of one thing. The Law of Unintended Circumstances and Sod's Law will apply. It will not work out how Clegg and the rest think it will. We need to change things and this may be the crack in the system. Plus it is another referendum and the more there are the better, till one day we get one on the EU. I might also point out that we have just enjoyed 13 years of "strong" government. I would think that Blair/Brown have proved that FPTP was total crap!

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  3. Michael, a fair point with regard to BB! Still, with the bad comes the good. No FPTP, no Margaret Thatcher. The only referendum I want to see is on Europe, that awful Continental tyranny that is destroying our liberty bit by bit.

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  4. Nicely put AF-B. The AV referendum is an example of the power the Lib/Lab/Con have over us as, if the electoral system requires changing, surely all available options should be placed before the electorate - not have a choice benefiting them imposed on us.

    Calvin's point regarding change is well made - at the moment the 'rage' is bubbling nicely and it will not take much longer for it to surface, I believe.

    Unfortunately I also feel that the only way the present political class will change will be by a people's rebellion/revolution, one that may well be bloody.

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  5. Even the Lib-Dems have dropped the face of Nick Clegg from their new election leaflets, so that tells its own story, as for voting against AV, surely even with a low turnout the British public will know to vote against this nonsense.

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  6. The only reason we have a coalition government is because the general public had no faith in any of the main parties at the last election. It had nothing to do with the voting system only the lack of confidence in the idiots who were standing and who had no clear manifestos. The sooner politicians realize this the better things might be for the future, although where they are concerned I doubt it, they will always find something other than the truth to blame.

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  7. WfW, something has to give, that's for sure.

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  8. Donald, I hope people have the sense to vote against this but, as I say, a great many have no clear idea what AV is all about other than some loose notion of 'fairness.'

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  9. "It is not good to have all one wants."

    Blaise Pascal.


    Neither will it be good for Great Britain if Nick Clegg gets his way with this dog's breakfast of a voting system. Still, I can see how such a system appeals to the feeble minded.

    Hello Ana.

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  10. A blog about British politics finally. As you say I do not have the first clue who I am voting for and so if I vote it is usually with an uneducated guess! It is coming up for the 5th of may and as I'm reading this I have gone to grab my poll card.

    It says on it..Referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections. Now I have had 1 leaflet through the post and a letter both from the Lib Dems and the main thing I got from these is that the Conservative council didn't also Asda to build in town and the Lib Dems were in favour of this and would be of such things in the future. Now I'm slightly confused because what has this got to do with Referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections? o.O

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  11. Claza, I can understand the confusion, AV and local authority elections on the same day! ASDA is clearly a local issue. :-)

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  12. "Izzard and Toss, sorry, Ross, is there any better reason for voting no?"

    I know that this quote is not written entirely seriously, but attacking the system because of who supports it is pretty weak. The No2AV camp have been so desperate to link Clegg to AV, it is almost as if they don't want people to consider the real choice.

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  13. Nick, believe it or not that was a simple spelling error. I was about to change it when I thought, no, I’ll just leave it as it is and complete the sentence. Unlike you I think it quite legitimate to attack those who support it. Who wheeled in Ross, I wonder, and what were the motives? To attract the yoof vote, I suppose. Can you really imagine a man like Jonathan ‘join me after the noos’ Ross having an intelligent opinion about anything, let alone AV?

    But my objection to AV is not targeted solely on the facile and absurd public figures who support it. I’ve made it quite clear that I consider it to be a disaster for my country, both here and on my Rotten Alternative blog.

    I would have thought my fundamental objection was patently obvious, but I will repeat it once more: never again would we have firm and decisive government. If people want to concentrate on the issues rather than the personalities I suggest that they look at how this ghastly system operates elsewhere in the world.

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