Their fear is growing, the establishment is circling the wagons

Russell Brand’s interview by Jeremy Paxman, and the subsequent furore about not voting, has evidently rattled the political class.  So much so, the columnists are still pouring out their implorings for people to trapse to the ballot box and continue doing what clearly has no effect whatsoever, and think tanks are now weighing in to spread their own brand of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

The latest examples are in the Independent today, where Jane Merrick reports (without any question or challenge) a tidy piece of scaremongering from the Labour party’s closest thinktank, the Institute of Public Policy Research.  And John Rentoul uses his space to argue that even a vote for Nick Clegg is better than not voting.  The IPPR piece stands out for its FUDmongering:

People who do not vote are more likely to face public spending cuts and reduction in household incomes, a leading think tank reports today.

Political parties are more likely to tilt their policies and economic decisions towards groups who turn out at the ballot box than those who do not, the IPPR says. As a result, it leads to a “vicious cycle of disaffection” because low turnout groups feel politicians are not listening to their concerns, and this makes them even less likely to vote.

There really is a worry among the political class that the increasing tendency of large chunks of the electorate to stay away from the polling stations, recognising that however they vote nothing will change and the will of the people will be ignored, will increase as a result of high profile personalities articulating the reality and encouraging more people to follow suit.  To help things along, this comment has been added to the article’s discussion…

13 Responses to “Their fear is growing, the establishment is circling the wagons”


  1. 1 paul vickers 10/11/2013 at 8:50 am

    Read the book by Douglas Carswell about the future of democracy – it’s on-line and based on e-referenda, with the people directing politicians what to do.

    An inversion of the current power pyramid which is outdated in the C21st as The Divine Right of Kings was in the C17th

  2. 2 Edward. 10/11/2013 at 9:16 am

    The EU is in its final days, the economics of reality are pressing in, even blue-eyed golden balls and Goldman Sachs alumnus Mario Draghi cannot maintain the bridge, between the mountains of German fiscal prudence and Franco-Latino spending profligacy, now turned manic retrenchment. These mountains are moving apart and Draghi cannot bestride the chasm opening much more, somewhere something will give, a bank goes bust and then the tide will break.

    British politicians, if they had any sense would do well to be disassociating themselves with and from the Brussels elite.

    But then, they will have to ask permission first.

    Out now before the calamity hits.

  3. 3 donwreford 10/11/2013 at 9:26 am

    Voting is similar to going to the ice cream parlor, having a choice of 64 flavors of ice cream and all of the ingredients are artificial flavoring, artificial ingredients and artificial coloring’s, they are all synthetic, and similar in mediocrity, choice becomes the illusive idea of freedom and freewill, whatever choice made is guaranteed to harm you, we have been sold a dream, and some have awoken.

  4. 4 Pogle's Woodsman 10/11/2013 at 9:57 am

    I think there’s rather more than just a little something in what you say here AM.

    Brand didn’t really say a great deal. However, across several interviews and articles he’s simply used a very large number of words to say not a great deal. To strip away the main parts of ranting about revolution and bankers, his main point was ‘let’s just be nicer to each other and maybe the world will be a better place for it’. Even I spotted that and I’m by no means a cheerleader for him. Yet I don’t think a single essayist among the columns were willing to highlight it.

    Variously around the bazaars, Chivers, Mount, Massie, Parris & Aaronovitch (both on TV interviews) and the others you’ve quoted valiantly invaded the ground that Russell Brand didn’t occupy and brutally defeated the arguments he wasn’t making. It’s rare you see so many lovingly-assembled Aunt Sallys, Red Herrings and Straw Men overcome with such accomplished skill.

    One or two isolated articles like that the day after might be interesting to peruse. But a concentrated and coordinated (certainly on appearances at least) collective spasm of indignation, each and all taking the same route of misdirection and manufactured postures would say to me that Brand has very definitely touched a nerve with the wrong people.

    And taking sides with Russell Brand is a difficult place in which to find myself.

  5. 5 wj (@wj557) 10/11/2013 at 10:20 am

    They are indeed circling the wagons:

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/11/five-times-that-voting-has-made-a-difference/

    There has been a concerted effort building for some time that is directed towards getting the general public to vote.

    I believe that this is more EU targeted than national – the self-serving political cabal are terrified, as you say, that voters are not going to vote or that they are going to vote UKIP in the EU elections.

    For all our criticism of Farage and UKIP they’ve certainly upset the political pig class.

    Incidentally, the Third Postal Directive and Norway’s “fax democracy” of telling them to stuff it is UKIP’s weak spot – Farage is a free marketeer and defending a nationalised Post Service would lose a few working class converts to UKIP.

    He was placed on the back foot when asked about re-nationalising water at his gig in Plymouth.

  6. 6 wj (@wj557) 10/11/2013 at 10:31 am

    I forgot to add that the IPPR are funded by the European Union.

  7. 7 cosmic 10/11/2013 at 1:59 pm

    wj (@wj557),

    “There has been a concerted effort building for some time that is directed towards getting the general public to vote.”

    There’s periodic hand-wringing about it, the loss of interest in party politics and voter apathy. Of course, the membership of political parties has been dropping, so we get to the stage where they are obviously not mass movements and obviously are private clubs for gaining control of the management, rather than leadership, of the country.

    A few years back there was talk of public funding for political parties (of the right sort). They already receive a lot of public money.

    There’s an acknowledgement that there’s a problem and they have decreasing legitimacy, but they want it solved entirely on their own terms. They want people taking sides in their contrived debates and enthusiastically voting and becoming members of their parties, but they are willing to change absolutely nothing of substance.

    The main parties have constructed a middle ground, which is entirely a Westminster and MSM artefact, and it’s greatly concerned with areas they feel comfortable squabbling about, such as an energy price freeze or a windfall tax, and it consciously avoids the fundamental reasons why we are seeing these price rises, which is legislation which has come from the EU and Westminster itself. There are all sorts of other examples where Westminster devotes great energy to mock fights and agrees to avoid the things people are interested in.

  8. 8 wj (@wj557) 10/11/2013 at 3:14 pm

    How I agree with you Cosmic – it’s a complete charade.

    The humble blog seems to be the foremost tool of democracy at present – and I’m certain that they are attacking that now.

  9. 9 1957chev 10/11/2013 at 4:47 pm

    Good for you! It is about time that the people took back their power!

  10. 10 TT 11/11/2013 at 10:55 am

    I notice as of typing this that you have 5 down votes on the Indy. It’s funny how telling the truth that so many people don’t want heard provokes such a strong response!

  11. 11 Autonomous Mind 11/11/2013 at 4:15 pm

    TT, I think the response is more telling of the kind of people who flock to the Independent.

  12. 12 libraues 12/11/2013 at 7:34 pm

    Excellent post and excellent comments here


  1. 1 “Circle the Wagons !” | UKIP Hillingdon Trackback on 10/11/2013 at 8:45 am
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