My friend John Carter Wood, that salacious pudding of Tscherman persuasion, has this morning offered some interesting thoughts about the British general election. In his piece John refers to my having endorsed Nick Clegg and his band of orangy-yellow marauders…
“Francis offers some thoughtful and personal perspective the issue and urges, with the aim of electoral reform, a strong vote for the Lib Dems.”
Actually, I am not endorsing the Liberal Democrat party, either explicitly or implicitly, though I do hope it does well in this election and manages to break the Labour-Tory duopoly. What am I doing is urging those idle enough to bother listening to me to reject the spectacle of politics as a form of commodity fetishism.
We should avoid voting for leaders, parties, half-baked ideologies and meaningless shopping-list manifestos, and instead recognise that is is real men and women who make politics, and do so empirically as they go along. That being so, we should vote for those individuals we feel would best represent us and our communities in parliament, and who stand a chance of being elected.
Elect these people, and let them represent us as they see best, subject to the power of recall should particular individuals indulge in unacceptable levels of naughtiness and moral perfidy. Parliamentary and local government representation inevitably includes back-room deals and pacts between parties. This is how representative democracy works in practice already, whatever Labour and Tory leaders may say when insisting on quasi-one-party-rule without a plurality.
See also Ario Farin’s Tscherman commentary on the UK election.