Monday, May 02, 2011

Drawing the battle-lines

There is something particularly inappropriate about a major national newspaper giving over its space to a politician, allowing him free rein to promote a tendentious cause. The breed has more than enough access as it is, and anything they have to offer should stand and fall on its merits as a news item, treated in the normal way of such things.

When the politician is David Cameron, however, and he makes claim to supporting the cause of democracy, the offence is compounded. But there he is in The Daily Failygraph telling us, in an authored piece, why "keeping first past the post is vital for democracy".

This is, as we never tire of pointing out, the man who refused us a referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, and is content to allow us to be ruled an anti-democratic alien construct, of which he and his ministers are part. And he has the nerve to lecture us on democracy.

In pursuit of this general aim, he asks us: "Do you want elections that are – as Churchill put it – 'determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates'"? In response, we could ask him why we have elections at all when most of our laws and nearly all our policies are made in Brussels by an unelected supranational government. But, if we did, answer there would be none.

It is no longer even worth speculating whether the man is stupid, or is just mocking his own electorate, but he can be assured that some of us can see the irony of a man who pretends to be prime minister, seeking a result in an unwanted referendum on a voting system change, when it matters not who we vote for.

This is no light matter, and in ignoring our concerns, Mr Cameron makes a fool of himself. He does it to himself without our assistance, and by so doing denies himself any chance of gaining our respect or support – not that he cares in the least.

But the newspaper, in giving so freely a platform to this fool, is likewise tainted – not that it cares either. We hold our views, the politicians and the media hold theirs. There is no longer a meeting of minds, nor any possibility of that happening. So are the battle-lines drawn.