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Friday, 5 October 2007

Listen Gordon; Democracy is The Opposition

I was struck by an assumption made by someone posting a reply on 'rare steak, about to get rarer?' on this blog. They assumed that I would not print their reply because they made a case (a very reasonable case) against what I had to say.

Underlying this assumption was an expectation that all politicians have a yearning to eradicate any opposition to their point of view. To create an Orwellian 1984 where opposition is either distorted to agreement, or wiped out completely. Where all that is left of democracy is a rather pathetic and unsubstantiated conviction, held by a systematically brainwashed population who are pelted with a shower of meaningless language, that they are living in one.

When I was at the Conservative Conference, I asked a journalist ( who was definitely NOT a Tory) what the Labour party conference was like. I was amazed at his reply.
" It was sinister". He said.
" For the first time I heard a politician say he wanted to annihilate the opposition completely." He was referring to Gordon Brown saying that he wanted to wipe out the Conservative Party once and for all.

That is much more significant than just saying you want to win an election and beat the others. That is not saying you think you are the best party to run the country. That is saying you want power above all else. That is saying that Power for the Labour Party is more important than democracy. By implication, that is tantamount to a dictatorship.

I do not think that power for any party is more important than democracy. Annoying as it might be for a candidate, I am pleased that I have opposition candidates to compete with, and in the interests of democracy, I would never wish to see any party (except those inciting prejudiced hatred) 'wiped out'.

But that is why Gordon Brown rearranged his visit to Iraq - to 'annihilate' all coverage of his opponents' party conference. That is also why he made announcements on the NHS early. To drown out the voice of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

At the end of his conference speech, Gordon Brown said ' I will not let you down'. Remember, at a Party Conference, the leader is not addressing the country, (s)he is addressing his party. Gordon Brown was not promising to serve his country, but promising his party that he would give them unopposed power.

That marks a fundamental shift in the aims of our Government.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You do realise that the Tories ran the country in 1984?

Charlotte Leslie said...

Point taken! Guess I'm just too literary for 'me own good! Blog clarified accordingly...