Democracy – #358-363

Democracy was first invented in Yorkshire, in 1954, after three blokes, on a lads’ night out in Pontefract, couldn’t decide whether to have mild or bitter with their giant Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy. Instead of settling their differences the old-fashioned way – with a black pudding fight to the death – as was custom round those parts; they decided on a new, and novel way, to solve their dilemma: They put it to a vote, and lo, democracy was borne. (2-1 to bitter, in case you were wondering.)

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes

Actually, democracy is attributed to Cleisthenes in Athens in about 500 B.C. (There is also some evidence that certain types of democracy existed in parts of India prior to this.)

There are loads of different types of democracy, but the two main types are: Direct Democracy358, whereby everybody who has a vote actively participates in governing. This is what Greek democracy was all about. It’s not too bad when you only have a limited number of people who can actually vote, i.e. Athenian citizens, so – no slaves, no women, no foreigners etc. It gets a bit tricky when you have 30 million potential citizens eligible to vote. That’s why Representational Democracy359 was invented, whereby we elect people to govern for us. (Sort of like we have now in the UK, except we have a Constitutional Monarchy, which isn’t a true democracy.)

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If it wasn’t for democracy, plebs like me wouldn’t have a vote. In fact, if the Tories had their way, I still wouldn’t. Which brings me on to the Labour Party360. If it wasn’t for Labour, we wouldn’t have a National Health Service to look after our citizens361 or a Welfare State362 to care for the poor and the vulnerable in society.

But… we don’t have real democracy in Britain. When you can obtain power by having less than 30% of the vote – that is not true democracy. Personally, I favour Proportional Representation363. Seems much fairer to me. Over 70% of the population didn’t vote for these nefarious Tory scoundrels. That should be testament enough.

The Tories are selling off the NHS. They’ve ostracized anyone on benefits and they’ve made a shambles of the economy by feeding the richest 1% rather than the 99% who would actually kick-start the economic recovery.

True, there are benefit fraudsters. Apparently, they cost us £1.9 billion pounds a year. How much do corporate tax fraudsters cost us? £32 billion is the answer. Go and arrest your mates, Mr. Osborne.

Here are the numbers IDS and Osborne would prefer you didn’t see:

Benefit fraud: £1.9 bn.

Unclaimed benefits: £12.3 bn.

Benefit fraud accounts for 0.7% of the total benefits budget.

Put this into context next to the £32 bn in tax evasion and avoidance.

The last time the Tories were in charge.

The last time the Tories were in charge.

The fact is, George Osborne has got the economy completely arseways. The best way to reinvigorate an economy is to make sure the people in the middle and at the bottom have some money to spend. In his wisdom, Osborne decided to give the money to the people who lost it in the first place and take it off those very people who could turn the country’s fortunes around.

That said, I’m just grumpy because I didn’t get my way. Which, I suppose, is what democracy is all about.

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9 Comments

Filed under community, Economy, Education, Ideas, Inspiration, Politics

9 responses to “Democracy – #358-363

  1. Those figures are horrendous. And my favourite three words in this post “nefarious Tory scoundrels” — such an apt description! Close second, are your last two sentences!

  2. Indigo Spider

    Sadly, welcome to the new world. It isn’t much different here in the US where we have, supposedly, a truer representational democracy. The rich still rule and their cronies are bought despite what they tell us, the voter. We also have officials in charge who were elected by the minority. The US really isn’t a democracy any longer, it has become an oligarchy with the window to correct that error closing quickly. That photo caption could easily read “The last time the Republicans were in charge,” to fit for the US. I like to think someday we will win but doubt it’ll be in my lifetime!

    • Thanks for your extremely erudite comment, much appreciated. The ‘oligarchic system’ is the same in the UK, where the rich don’t pay tax and have the politicians in their pockets to do their bidding.

      • Indigo Spider

        Quite welcome, thank you for a thought provoking post. Sadly, corporatism and its oligarchic system seems to be spreading around the world. I like to think it is history repeating, as we had the industrial revolution we went through upheavals and imbalances as well. Eventually they were corrected and, while never perfect, much good came out of it. Maybe while the bad parts of history repeat so will the good!

  3. love this brief history of democracy!! 🙂

  4. “Things to be grateful for” new post should include ‘arseways’. I will endeavour to use this word today. Thank you!

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