John Ward – Universal Suffrage: Are Either The Voters Or The Voted Worth It? – 28 May 2014

JohnWFor your early evening entertainment, several events in today’s news suggesting that universal suffrage may not be such a great idea after all.

Burglar Derek Hardman’s decision to have 40 winks (while robbing two pensioners in the middle of the night) came unstuck when he was still there the next morning. He’s been sent to prison; personally, I’d have had him sent for examination to check that he was fit to stand trial. But in that sense, le dormant Derek is vying with a French camion driver for Dick of the Year, as the latter was caught on Britain’s busiest motorway having a Skype conversation while driving.

Myopia of the Decade looks as if it’s heading Southampton Social Services way, after two of their carers failed to spot their client’s body on the floor…despite opening curtains next to where he lay dead. Police meanwhile searched high and low for the dead man – up to but not including his flat, as the SS told them they’d checked it out and he wasn’t there.

But Naive of the millenium goes to the Duchess of Cambridge, who had clearly never heard of the gusting wind thing, and thus gave paparazzi a beaut of a shot of her near-perfect bum. It is, I have to say, even better than her sister’s. Pippa Middleton become famously eligible because her buttocks looked good during the Royal Wedding, a rationale for celebrity only one small step up from Posh Spice being famous for marrying a ball-bender.

So much for universal suffrage by examining the intelligence of the electorate. From the perspective of those still keen to elect ‘leaders’, things are looking even worse.

Alex Salmond’s SNP, for example, told us today that an Independent Scotland will be £5bn better off by 2030. I mean I’m sorry here, but how TF can they possibly know that? My own instincts (supported by reasonably sound data) suggest that an economy based on naff sweaters, dwindling oil and increasingly unfashionable dark spirit exports shows little sign of being able to advance…especially with a public sector that is, let’s face it, vast when seen in the light of the Scottish population.

As it happens, I think that Nations have had their day and we are heading back – quite rightly – to communities as the unit of human interaction. But one ageing film star prancing about in his kilt doth not a viable State make.

Meanwhile, what are we to make of the electorally slaughtered LibDems and their really rather unpleasant major players in the increasingly tiny pond? Lord Oakeshott and Vince Cable hatch and then botch a plan to nix Nick. But Nick purges Oakeshott mercilessly while Vinny Livewire professes to have known nothing about it, stabbing the luckless Peer in the front as he descends through the scaffold.

It doth verily smack of ancient Rome, and depraved gamblers dicing for control of one province or another. And so it has proved for the Juncker in the Bunker, who has been denied by Mutti Merkel…allegedly in the face of stern opposition from Avid Scammeron. Despite Dave having told the EU it can’t ignore the Euroelection results and by the way his grandad hit the beaches on D-Day and he’s ever so proud, I find this particular piece of spin very, very unlikely. The Prime Minister may well have been in the right place at the right time, but little Geli is spurning Juncker because her highly-sensitive conk smells which way the wind bloweth. It bloweth not towards federalism, and so Radio Luxembourg is off the air.

But if you think all this smacks of “they would say that wouldn’t they?”, peach of the day goes to Rory Stewart, chair of the House of Commons Defence watchdog, who today warned that fears of Russian Putinism are well founded, and so we need to spend more on, um, Defence. Well I never: another Con Coughlin fan in a high position.

And so tonight, the choice is yours: would you give The Vote to Derek Hardman, social workers, the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton or Posh Spice? And in turn, would you allow them and others to vote for Alex Salmond, Vince Cable, Nick Clegg, Jean-Claude Juncker, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, or Rory Stewart?

I’m really looking forward to the comment thread on this one.

Related at The Slog: Beware of those who believe

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