From the Summer 2004 issue of Nobbut Torver (Just after the Blair/Howard General Election of that year. Blair won)
Democracy is, of course, merely an electoral device designed to mollify the moronic masses and maintain the existing hierarchy in high office. Yes, there are minor alterations in the seating plans from time to time and Number 10 has its wallpaper changed every five years or so, but having Tony Blair move out and Michael Howard move in is hardly an earth-shattering demonstration of the will of the people, is it? There may be a hundred or a thousand better men for the job but the next general election will still be a two-horse race decided not by an intelligent assessment of the merits of the candidates, but by a gentle drift of mass stupidity carried upon a carpet of sound-bites and political slogans. You see, it won’t be you with your strongly held political opinions who decides the future of the nation. It will be a creature called the ‘floating voter’, drifting to and fro on a tide of tabloid headlines and erotic scandals. The deciding factors, the thoughts which guide the vote, as always, will be either “It’s time for a change,” or “We don’t want that lot back in”. The Sun will assess the sexual attractions of the two contenders and the dress sense of their respective ‘partners’. Bah, humbug!
It has been said that any citizen of the United States can become President – as long as he is not fat, bald, short-sighted, black, female, Asian looking, buck-toothed, bandy-legged etc. etc. Even in this country the most important attribute of the successful candidate will not be his intelligence or his grasp of his brief, but his presentability before the cameras; how he comes across on the idiots lantern in the front room. Never mind if he is literate and numerate; who cares? What’s his policy on the Common Agricultural Policy? Couldn’t give a toss. Instead, he is given a voice coach and lessons in public deportment. Margaret Thatcher had her voice pitch lowered by experts and Tony Blair was taught how to stand at the lectern.
So, what is democracy anyway? It is an opportunity given once every five years to choose between Sir Reginald Pratt (Con – Industrialist), Les Trotsky (Lab – General Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Wheel Tappers and Spigot Adjusters) and Tarquin Bunnyhugger (LibDem – Social Worker, Director - Friends of the Earth, National Coordinator - Free Willy Campaign). Throw in a BNP moron, a bouncing religious fanatic and an Independent (Free Condoms for the Over Nineties) single issue self publicist and you, dear voter, have about as much chance of changing the world as Big Arnie has of playing Hamlet at the Old Vic.
And just to make sure once and for all that intelligence plays no part in the democratic process, we now have the wonders of Postal Voting. Democracy was once at least the preserve of those who have the energy and purpose to turn up. Now, the fat, drooling couch-potato with his face full of crisps who probably couldn’t find the polling booth even if you laid a hamburger trail from his front door will be able to scrawl his X on a ketchup stained ballot paper without shifting his bloated buttocks out of his comfy chair.
Is there an alternative? Haven’t the foggiest. But surely, the mere fact that I can confidently predict without fear of contradiction that either T. Blair or A. Howard will set our taxes after the next General Election makes the concept of “The Peoples Choice” a complete joke.