Monday, 18 April 2011

Populism vs principle

The success of the True Finns party in Norway* is currently rocking the world. Apparently, they have populist left-wing economic policies and populist right-wing views on things like social liberties and immigration.

I've no idea why so-called "libertarians" from UKIP are congratulating them for their win. Left-wing economic policies and right-wing views on immigration sound horribly like the BNP to me.

But the truth of the matter is that every party has fallen prey to populism. Gordon Brown's "British jobs for British workers" would have caused a national upchuck from Labour members if Nick Griffin had said it. Ed Miliband is currently avoiding populism by bashing bankers. Cameron's NHS "reform" U-turn is as populist as anything. And even Farage's burqa banning bollocks was just a straightforward bit of populist playing to the gallery.

It may well be that in years gone by, political parties had a set of principles that they would strive to, occasionally lapsing as realpolitik necessitated uncomfortable compromises. But it seems to me that since Tony Blair arrived on the scene, politics has been completely restructured so that expediency is the sole objective.

David Cameron's team of half-wit fuckmongs are resuscitating policies that even the snot-munching cockwomble gave up on. The LibDems, who actually probably led the way in having populist expediency as a raison d'être but were just too irrelevant to matter before, have gaily indulged in faux "investment" cutting and loads of authoritarian bollocks, just like Labour did before them.

To a disinterested observer with no particular tie colour to endorse, the parties and their policies are indistinguishable. This is because their principles are indistinguishable:

  1. Get into power
  2. Stay in power for as long as possible
  3. Er....
  4. Thats' it!
I for one would actually welcome Labour returning to its nationalising, communistic ways, because it would mean that they had found some principles again. In the same way, I'd welcome a Tory party that actually believed in smaller government and tried to achieve it, or Lib Dems that actually believed in ... whatever the fuck it is that Lib Dems actually believe in.

This focus-group-driven crap where people indulge in showboating for votes really fucks me off.

But really, who can we blame? Voters don't think about politics any more. They don't vote or they vote tribally.

Politics is tired. Electoral reform may help some aspects of it, but the truth is, if you put a yellow background on Labour's manifesto, a Lib Dem tribal voter would vote for it. If you put a blue background on it, a Tory tribal voter would vote for it.

Anyone who is actually thinking about his or her vote has to choose between three parties that offer no difference in outcome. Some minor details may differ, but most people will not really notice anything.

The disconnect between voters and the government will not be addressed by AV, PR or abolishing the monarchy. Voters are being led by unprincipled, on-the-make fucks who think they know better than we do what is best for us. Does it matter who you vote for between Dave, Nick or Ed when you get no fucking difference who you elect? Does it matter if there's a coalition between the "left-wing" Lib Dems and the "right-wing" Tories if you can't tell the difference between that and the previous "left-wing" Labour government?

Does it matter whether you vote for one shyster huckster, or rank up to five of them?

Electoral reform is not the problem, a sea of completely unprincipled politicians is the problem.

People give me grief for my anarcho-capitalist views, but at least there are a coherent set of principles that underpin it. And they will not be compromised by political expediency if there is no political body to gain from that expediency.

*It's time to fess up, this was deliberate.


Simon Cooke said...

Some of us are lovely of course!

Hollando said...

In Norway?

I thought they were 'True Finns' from like, you know, Finland?

Anonymous said...

All I would want is someone to run the bits of the country that need to work on time and budget. I wish they would realise that I have enough brains to decide if i want to smoke in my own car, drive or cycle to work or recycle.A little gentle encouragement, not rafts of quangos and single issue politics being pandered to is the order of the day. Stop trying to change people and realise that the majority is right.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

So far I have 2. :o)

Mark Wadsworth said...

Voters are incredibly petty minded and stupid and greedy although they all say that politicians are liars, actually they believe most of what politicians say.

The likes of thee and me might well think that e.g. smoking ban is "them against us" but it's not, the smoking ban is actually supported by a majority of people. Or planning laws - you or I might liberalise them if we were in charge but remember 90% of voters are die hard NIMBYs and genuinely believe that if a single square inch of Hallowed Green Belt is used for more housing or roads etc that we will all starve to death.

Ditto replacing all taxes with LVT, that is a sensible thing to do and I only get grief for suggesting it.

Joseph Takagi said...

The main reason is that they're all chasing the same 1m floating voters. So, rather than saying "what works?" and letting policies fall out of that, they focus policies around the 1M voters, then throw in a few dog-whistle policies to keep "their side" voting for them.

The system does affect this a bit, because those on the far right/left keep voting just to keep "the other party" out. Which is why Cameron's shitting himself over AV.

Jon Pearson said...

I hope - though seriously doubt :( - electoral reform might encourage somebody other than the three normal lot to stand in my constituency.

Ditching the constituency system all together would be better, mind. It's not like any of our candidates give a monkeys about the area - not even sure the last LD/Lab candidates have ever even visited. *sigh*

Bodderick said...

Yes, voting is a complete fraud. They are all a bunch of cunts. Once upon a time I used to think that it would be good if we could vote in a Minarchist Government. The reality is that Government always grows, they can't help themselves, it's what they do.

Stefan Molyneux explains why voting is bollox -far better than me. Here you are.

JuliaM said...

"I've no idea why so-called "libertarians" from UKIP are congratulating them for their win. Left-wing economic policies and right-wing views on immigration sound horribly like the BNP to me."

Me too.

But it's more the case that someone is sticking it to the EU, and showing up all the other countries as horrible little suck-up bullies as a result.

Yes, Germany, I'm looking at you...

Michael Fowke said...

"David Cameron's team of half-wit fuckmongs ..."

Fine analysis. That's exactly what they are.

Chief_Sceptic said...

" True Finns party in Norway "

Err - no - it would be Finland !

I live in Norway, outside of the EU, yet governed by a continually changing hotch-potch coalition government

Thankfully, they are all so useless and always fail to reach any real consensus, so they can most definitely be classified as "Mostly Harmless" !

Obnoxio The Clown said...

That's three. ;o)

Lee said...

Jon Pearson; well at least it seems that I'm not alone in thinking that the constituency system is the main problem with the electoral process in Britain.

Mitch said...

There is something wrong with any form of government, it has to do with the people it attracts.
Surely it obvious (it is to me) that anyone who seeks power over others is a loon and needs locking up.

Just Woke Up said...

Maybe one or two True Finns live in Norway? Who knows? (I wouldn't score that as a complete 1?)

Nice to have you back Obo! More please. Solid, eloquent and concise sitrep.

Personally I want to see more proper rabble rousers from smaller parties in that building next to Big Ben down in that there London place thingy. It would introduce a bit of flavour to the currently bland proceedings. Who cares what party or politics they are from? That would help cut through the spin and deception and bullshit that passes for discussion these days. Anyway, with 80% of the never ending avalanche of new statutes (imposed EU Law-making designed to train us like good little puppies) coming from the EUSSR, Parliament's role is becoming more and more irrelevant and the day when Westminster becomes the UK's biggest carpet warehouse are getting closer. Where did it all go so badly wrong??? (deep deep sigh)

As a clown who is interested in things other than just garish makeup and falling over, could you give your thoughts on an idea I'm working on which I think is guaranteed to rekindle interest in politics among the X-Factor zombie hordes? MPs should be issued two cream pies at the start of each sitting! Votes should be counted as the number of direct hits on appropriate targets. There's AV in action! If your preference is FPTP make it one cream pie each. Bonus points obviously for distance, accuracy, spray pattern and velocity. Large targets are obviously a disadvantage so it would also have the benefit of discouraging lard-arses from entering politics. I can't see a fail or downside to this cunning scheme but obviously I will defer to your professional expertise in this area, your clownship.

Richard Calhoun said...

so what sort of political party do you want?

You make a lot of noise but what is your solution?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Richard, I don't want *any* political parties. I want this.

Ed Butt said...

If the True Finns are opposed to the single European, Middle Easter and North African superstate they can't be all bad.

One query though Obo:
But it seems to me that since Tony Blair arrived on the scene, politics has been completely restructured so that expediency is the sole objective.

Wasn't it Maggie T who said "There are no principles, only expedients." Not that that let's Blair off the hook of course, he was a total shit.

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Sackerson said...

Think you're right, Obnoxio. Maybe we're democratic enough to get what we deserve.