Monday, 26 April 2010

Pat Condell: Vote small, think big

Through The Last Ditch, I discovered the latest video by Pat Condell: "Vote small, think big".

His politically incorrect "Godless Comedy" has attracted some frightening feedback from UK Muslims, but this video is about politics.

Many people I know would dismiss Condell as a right-wing "nutter" (to use Nick Clegg's surprisingly un-PC term), but is it really insane to want, as he does, "to see the laws in this country made in this country, by people who live here and who are accountable".

He continues:
Whoever you decide to vote for, you should know that this is the most important election we've ever had in Britain, because this is the last chance we ever will have to reclaim our power of self determination from the criminals who have stolen it. So much of our autonomy has been handed to the European Union, where 75% of our laws now come from, that at this rate come the next election in 5 years time, our government will no longer be a government worth the name, and this country will have ceased to exist as an independent nation.
It will be interesting to see how close we come to this nightmare scenario, but what amazes me is how few people are concerned about it.
Time and again in Europe, we've seen that the people's voice, the only voice that should count in a democracy, is the only voice that doesn't count, as every popular vote that's inconvenient to the ruling class, is either ignored, or overturned.
Many people seem to have forgotten about the European Constitution, which was approved by 18 governments, including Germany, Italy, and Finland, before it was defeated by referenda in France and the Netherlands.

The Eurocrats were undeterred, and promptly rebranded the European Constitution as the Lisbon Treaty. This time our wise leaders weren't taking any chances. Of all the member states, only the Irish were given a referendum. On 12 June 2008, they rejected the treaty. That was clearly the wrong answer, so they were asked again, on 2 October 2009. This time, no doubt unsettled by the financial crisis, the Irish succumbed to the will of the Eurocrats.

Here in the UK, Labour and the Liberal Democrats conspired to ensure that the British weren't given an opportunity to vote incorrectly. Without even waiting for the result of the first Irish referendum, the House of Commons approved the treaty on 11 March 2008. The House of Lords approved it six days after the Irish 'no' vote, on 18 June 2008. The Queen, to her eternal shame, approved the treaty the following day. It finally came into force in February of this year.

With his views on Europe, you'll be unsurprised to hear that Condell will be voting UKIP, but his point is broader. With the Big Three parties so disturbingly similar, the only way to vote for real change is to choose one of the smaller parties:
Wherever you stand in the political spectrum, whether it's left or right or green or in between, you'll find a small party or an independent candidate who actually believes in what they're standing for, and who will match your own views as well as any of these political corporations.

Of course they'll try to persuade you that a vote for a small party is a wasted vote, that your vote won't count, yet when you consider that the leaders of the Conservative and the Labour parties are both proven barefaced liars, why would you want your vote to count for somebody like that. Somebody who you know is going to break every manifesto pledge, and every cast-iron guarantee, because they've done it all before. If either of them wins, democracy will lose, and you know that too. Now that's what I call a wasted vote.
I expect small parties will do better in this election than ever, but on the whole, tactical voting will prevail, and Party X will win.

It will, however, be interesting to see how many votes independent and small party candidates draw, and whether Labour lose as many votes to the BNP as the Conservatives lose to UKIP. The latter point may decide this election, while the former will give some clue as to what parliament may look like under Proportional Representation.

It is my hope that this election will see a higher turnout than the last. Even if die-hard Labour and Conservative voters are unable to break free from their tribal bonds, I hope that many of those millions who are inclined to stay at home will instead show up and vote small. It is unlikely to affect the outcome, but it will send a message: that the public aren't apathetic, they just don't like the choice they've been offered.

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