Democratic principles and the people be damned

Let us begin with Peter Hitchens’ reflections on the democratic principle as seen by the people the people elect:

Democracy is very well-defended against public opinion. Political parties, especially, are immune to almost everything that the majority actually desires, and are much less interested in mass tastes than shopkeepers, broadcasters, or industrial corporations. Modern politicians employ battalions of professional deceivers and manipulators, whose main job is to persuade the electorate to want what they are already being given, or what they are going to get. Our democratic leaders much prefer this to giving the people what they actually want.

So it is quite funny to watch men and women who are publicly dedicated to government for, by, and of the people, getting angry and exasperated when the people actually speak.

Events in Britain over the last few days have reminded me strongly of Berthold Brecht’s embittered sneer at his East German Communist comrades who, faced with a revolt by the workers they claimed to represent, ordered those workers to do penance for this outrage.

As Brecht sarcastically enquired, “Wouldn’t it be simpler if the Government just dissolved the people and elected another?”

And what has brought on these reflections on politicians and democratic principles?

Here, the very large vote for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a fourth party which incoherently but emphatically defies the consensus, has been treated by politicians and their media toadies as a problem with the voters which has somehow to be contained.

The idea that all these voters have broken the loyalties of a lifetime for good reason, and that leaving the European Union and restoring control of the national borders are good ideas (which they are), is never considered for a second. Instead, having been dismissed as ignorant bigots for the past six weeks, the insurgent voters are now the object of a campaign to bamboozle them with fake sympathy, combined with an utter refusal to do what they want.

Quite unaware of how this sounds, my country’s political and media elite simply cannot stop themselves treating legitimate discontent as some sort of pathology. They, the governing class, cannot possibly be the problem. It must the voters who are mistaken, misguided, or in some way mentally ill.

Our elites wish for world government while people like myself wish to preserve those tiny enclaves of sanity in the midst of a quite mad world. It won’t happen and so 2114 will be as unimaginably different from 2014 as this year is from the world a century ago. But a one-world horror with an international elite is the aim right now amongst our progressives irrespective of what anyone might wish for and desire. I remember border crossings and national money and much else about which I wish we could turn back the clock. So I am with Peter Hitchens on this and much else besides.