Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sick of politics? Take a tea break!

There was an election last week here in the UK. Bliar got back in with the support of an underwhelming 22% of the electorate (36% of votes cast, 60% turnout).

The environment barely got a mention in the debate.

I am sick of politicians, sick of the political system, including the journalistic caste. Paxman deploys his old Harrovian sneer, but for all his rudeness, he lacks incisive questions. Once more in this election, it was the ordinary person in the street who made Bliar sweat, with her question about GPs stopping people booking appointments in advance in order to meet his bloody targets.

Not only do we have duff leaders, but the electoral system is shot.

Why Vote shows that turnout is inversely proportional to the size of the majority in the constituencies.

In other words, not all voters are stupid. In safe seats, some don't turn out, realising that it is a foregone conclusion. So if politicians want to reverse falling tunouts and apathy, they should reform the voting system.

Things will only change if we take direct action. Remember the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the Orange Revolution - people out in the streets for days on end. Well - we cannot achieve that here. But we could start small.

During the Iraq war, a small group of us in our village gathered around the monument in the centre of the village at 9 am for a 15 minute protest. A token strike. It did not catch on, but in time, it might.

The value of a small, short strike is that it is barely distinguishable from a tea break or a stuck-in-traffic lateness. It is non-provocative, and not worth the boss causing trouble by disciplining us. Because of that, others may feel safe to join in. And so it can grow, as a provocation to Government - the seed of what they fear worst - a General Strike. If Bliar can kill 100,000 Iraqis in pursuit of democracy, surely we, the British people, can take an extra tea break to achieve the same end?

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