|London's Pitiful Choice||The line up for Mayor's job, says John Tyndall, shows the degeneracy of democracy in modern times|
WHAT is democracy supposed to mean? A definition that would satisfy most folk is that it means government by consent of the people and which functions in accordance with the people's will. Let us take this yardstick and then see to what extent democracy is working in the coming elections for Mayor of London.
A firm majority of Londoners, like people in other parts of Britain, strongly oppose the abolition of Clause 28, which forbids the teaching of homosexuality in schools. As for the idea that queers should be allowed to parade their perversions in public, most Londoners would react to such a proposition with horror.
Yet it is virtually certain that London is going to get a mayor who backs the repeal of Clause 28 and favours the right of homos to engage in "cruising," the fashionable term for touting for same-sex partners in public places, for instance parks and toilets.
Just how is this paradox explained? Simple. To the same majority of Londoners who want to keep Clause 28 and to consign sexual perversion to the closet, if not to its former status of illegality, this mayoral election is one gigantic turn-off. A low poll is likely where they are concerned.
On the other hand, the nation's capital is estimated to have an electoral register containing at least half a million "gay" people. These people are, on average, much more politically motivated and consequently much more likely to vote. Along with those of the ethnic minorities, their votes will probably decide the result of the election.
Simple arithmetic - quite aside from personal convictions, which in the case of all main candidates are weak - dictates that anyone wanting to be mayor must grovel to both groups and offer them everything they are accustomed to agitating for, and a bit more besides.
The London mayoral election is in fact going to be little more than an auction in which the coveted prize goes to the highest bidder in the way of bribes and goodies for ethnics and homos. As for the millions of white heterosexual Londoners whose city it is, what they think or want will receive scant consideration.
With the Liberal Democrat candidate, Susan Kramer, almost invisible, the three front runners in the mayoral race are the officially chosen Labour man, Frank Dobson, the Tory Steven Norris and the independent "Red Ken" Livingstone. Dobson, as everyone knows, was disastrous almost to the point of embarrassment as Minister of Health. In any other world but that of Labour politics he would be a total nonentity. My chief memory of him is of when he was participating in a TV discussion programme and came out with a tale about BNP members going around his constituency attacking Asian women with kids in prams. He was promptly written to by the party and asked to provide details of this in order that an investigation might be carried out and the "members" duly expelled. Not entirely to our surprise, he failed to reply and we drew the obvious conclusion that he just made up the story on the spot to impress his audience. Blair & Co. chose him to be the Labour candidate, against the clear wishes of the rank and file of the party in London, because they were frightened that Livingstone, with his record as a militant leftist, would jeopardise the party's efforts to retain its "moderate" image. That they couldn't find anyone better than Dobson for such a role is testimony to the dire poverty of people of stature and ability in their ranks.
Norris, in his turn, got the Tory nomination also because someone else couldn't have it. As everyone knows, the original first choice was Geoffrey Archer - a piece of almost unbelievable folly in view of his known background as adulterer, business wideboy and public liar. With Archer's final political ruin by way of his exposure for trying to pervert the course of justice in the Ted Francis case, what did the Tories do? They chose Norris, a millionaire second-hand car dealer whose record of adultery probably exceeds even Archer's. It opens up the old question: can a man who cannot be faithful to his own wife be expected faithfully to serve his constituents?
The Livingstone record
Finally, there's Red Ken himself. Present form suggests that, even without party backing, Livingstone is favourite to win. A great many people are sore at Labour for rigging the party's vote to stop him becoming their candidate, and are likely to give him a big sympathy vote. He is a high-profile, colourful character who, set beside his depressingly boring rivals, seems almost charismatic by comparison. Unlike Dobson and Norris, he is a genuine Londoner born and bred, with a cockney accent which he exploits for all he's worth in a political climate where education and polish are viewed with suspicion. A lot of Londoners will probably support Ken for no better reason than that they find him amusing - not so very surprising in an age in which politics has been reduced to a branch of the entertainment industry.
It seems not to matter to these boobies that Ken has in fact been effective mayor of London before - only then his title was leader of the Greater London Council. In that role he became notorious for a series of nutty stunts of which the most memorable was his meeting with Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison - seen as an exceptionable gesture at the time, although now regarded as routine even by the Prime Minister himself. Par for the same course was his attempt to persuade the Labour Party to donate £53,000 to the pro-IRA "Troops Out" movement. Name an anti-British cause anywhere and it is odds on you will find Ken Livingstone cheering for it.
Livingstone, when GLC leader, was always busy promoting politically correct projects: ratepayers'money was lavished on a new ethnic minorities centre (£750,000); the GLC's Ethnic Minorities Unit (£300,000); a new Lesbian and Gay centre at Smithfield (£300,000); the London Gay Teenage Group (£21,000); Babies Against the Bomb (£1,600); a Charter for Lesbian and Gay Rights (£44,000); monitoring of the police (£400,000) and many other schemes similarly irrelevant to the welfare of ordinary London people. Altogether, the GLC under Livingstone's control ran up an annual bill of £50 million for "community groups," which included the English Collective of Prostitutes, the Union of Turkish Workers, the feminist magazine Spare Rib, the Gay Bereavement Project and the Twin Trading Third World Network. No, these are not imaginary names from a right-wing satire column; they actually did exist!
Livingstone courted public popularity by granting free travel for pensioners on British Rail and a drastic lowering of fares on buses and the Underground. All this had to be paid for somewhere, by someone. The consequence was, in fact, huge rate increases. Under the Tories rates had been 21p in the pound. Under Livingstone they rose to 39.7p in the pound. No doubt Ken, not as big a fool as many of his schemes indicate, had it all carefully worked out in terms of votes: gains through the "freebie" policies would outweigh losses incurred by rate rises - with the greatest anger coming from people who would never vote Labour anyway. Beside all these considerations, the prudent government of London scarcely commanded a thought.
The big question now is: is public memory of Red Ken's disastrous GLC reign in the 1980s great enough to stop him winning a second go at being London boss? No doubt both the Tory and Labour press will do their best, for their own separate reasons, to jog that memory. But such is the infantile level at which politics in Britain today are conducted, all this could be entirely irrelevant. Livingstone's colourful persona, combined with the crushing mediocrity of the competition, could well carry the day for him, and London become victim to yet more disasters.
Message behind the farce
At this point it behoves us to retreat a little from the picture of the London mayoral election itself and take in the much broader panorama of contemporary British politics of which it is merely a close-up illustration.
We have seen how the supposed first principles of "democracy" - that government be by the people's consent and that it carry out the people's will - are reduced to farce in the real circumstances in which the system operates. With various parties and candidates competing, with not a lot to choose between them, organised minorities, whether defined by race or sexual orientation, become hugely important factors in determining the result of any election. Not only is this so in a place like London but much the same rule applies in any other major population area where these minorities are strongly represented.
Furthermore, and for these very reasons, it applies at the level of national politics where general elections are held. The minorities hold the balance of power by their ability to dictate who wins. Thus are these first principles of "democracy," admirable though many may think they are in theory, turned completely upside down in practice. Government is not by the consent, nor does it carry out the will, of "the people" as commonly thought. The whole business is a racket and a fraud.
Theoretically of course, parties and candidates resolved to represent the real silent majority of British people and govern according to the will of those people could be electorally successful by the simple act of identifying themselves with the wishes of this majority and campaigning with determination for the causes in which it believes: national freedom and identity; the upholding of family values; opposition to perversion; no truck with terrorists or their supporters; firm action against criminals in general; better moral standards, and so on. Again theoretically, such parties and candidates, by appealing to the majority, should be able to win elections in a country in which that majority still commands far more votes than the minorities.
But all this supposes that the issues over which such elections are fought are presented to the people by honest mass media which report the facts as they are and give a fair hearing to all parties and candidates on an equitable basis.
In addition, it supposes that those parties and candidates which represent the true majority are prepared to take the long view to stick by their guns in defending what is right and opposing what is wrong, quite regardless of momentary electoral advantage. In this way, the British majority could, with time, be mobilised into a mighty political force resolute in the defence of its interests and able to carry all before it in the struggle for power.
Unfortunately, in an environment of party politics and of biased and dishonest mass media, things are not nearly so simple.
Party politics as they are inevitably breed attitudes of short-termism. The result of the election in immediate prospect outweighs in importance everything else. The need to get the better of the main opposing party in the rush for votes becomes the prime consideration. Currying (no pun intended) the favour of minorities who presently hold real power is a more instantly rewarding exercise than working over a period of many years to rally and mobilise the decent and healthy elements of the majority, great numbers of whom are still heavily bogged down in the mindset of party politics, with their petty rivalries of class and sectional interest.
These party politics indeed very conveniently divide the majority, which if unified politically could be irresistible. A large portion habitually votes Labour, while another large portion habitually votes Conservative and a smaller portion habitually favours the Liberal Democrats. In Scotland and Wales the confusion and division are compounded further by the presence of local "nationalist" parties, which in reality are not nationalist at all but manage to delude a fair number of electors that they are. In the meantime, the media, with their partisan aligments with this party or that, perpetuate the division by focusing the anger of one group of party adherents upon the iniquities (real or imaginary) of the opposing party or parties. Thus is Britain's majority kept perpetually fragmented, and thus prevented from combining to defend and assert its interests against those who threaten them.
The conspiracy theorist might at this point suggest that such a division is deliberately contrived - the sinister machination of dark, subterranean forces which are willing the destruction of Britain by means of a strategy of divide and conquer. Such a theory falls outside the scope of this article but we might just say that, whether one wishes to believe in it or not, the way party politics operate in this country achieves an identical result.
Parade of the dung beetles
The nature of the system largely determines the type of personnel recruited to its service. A place on top of the dungheap that British politics have become is attractive only to life's congenital dung beetles - in this case the human variety. This is why Londoners have a choice between Messrs. Livingstone, Dobson and Norris. People possessed by nobler ideals of public service are mostly repelled by the strench that pervades the whole scene and are loath to descend to the degrading practices necessary for success upon it. It takes a particular type to run around brown-nosing among the dirty raincoat brigade in a bid for votes - a type utterly devoid of honour, pride, self-respect and common decency. A headline in the Daily Mail of March 6th said it all: - "Let gays 'cruise for sex'" say Norris and Dobson. The report following stated that...
The report did not say what Ken Livingstone's position on this matter was, but his record as a champion of London's shirtlifters suggests that he would not dissent. Mr. Livingstone, according to the report, was also at the rally.
Further comment is superfluous.
The way out of the swamp
The only way out of this swamp of slime and filth, inhabited as it is by the dregs of public life, lies in the formula stated previously: the political mobilisation of the great silent majority of ordinary British people. No established party on the current scene can accomplish this, for all are too corrupted by the system to be capable of any such undertaking. That is why the success of the British National Party is the great imperative to which our lives must be committed.
The BNP faces formidable obstacles, the most formidable of which is the short-termism of which I have spoken earlier. It needs to convince voters that the result of the election immediately on the horizon is of much less importance than the longer-range goal of the British people organising themselves to repossess their country from the mafia that have taken occupation of it. It also faces the obstacle of a news media that is under almost complete control of the occupation powers. Here, however, there is some cause for optimism. Rebellion by some elements within the media is becoming visible, while the growth in influence of the Internet offers new and hitherto undreamt of possibilities for communication to mass audiences.
But some way along the way, those who work for the salvation of Britain are going to have to confront a question that makes some people feel uncomfortable: that of whether the ideal of democracy - that is government which acts in accordance with the truest instincts of the people of this country - can actually be achieved by means of the current institutions and procedures to which we are accustomed to attaching the "democratic" label.
For in this regard current experience is not encouraging.