Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Gordon's Big Idea

If in doubt or any kind of political difficulty set up a quango or an independent inquiry or some kind of regulator. It's Gordon Brown's prescription for more or less everything. It's a nice way of avoiding having to be decisive, or at least it gives him someone else to blame for those decisions. It's why politicians love talking about 'the science'. Don't blame us, they say, it's the science that told us to do it, that is unless of course the scientists tell them to do something they don't want to do. Then they sack them.

Now, fresh from failing to save the world, Gordon wants to set up some kind of supra national body, an international regulator for the environment. This would ensure that the will of the majority, never something that has worried this unelected Prime Minister before, would prevail at international conferences such as Copenhagen.

The will of the majority? Actually the will of the majority did prevail at the weekend. The reason that no deal was done was because China, not usually a country which worries too much about democracy, had the interests of their people at heart. Those interests lie in continued growth. The interests of the leadership, on this occasion, are in accord. Similarly Barack Obama was shackled by what he could do according to what he can push through Congress. This of course infuriates the likes of Polly Toynbee and George Monbiot. That's the trouble with democracy, it tends to come up against the wishes of the lumpen masses who should really be doing what they are told rather than having the temerity to form their own opinions.

Just because our supine and useless mother of parliaments is treated as a rubber stamp by Gordon does not mean that he is speaking for the majority. The majority of British people are unconvinced by the need for his draconian measures. That's why he calls us all Flat Earthers - somewhat impolitic of him really given that he will shortly be asking us if he can keep his job.

And how exactly would this new body of Gordon's work? How would they give expression to the will of the majority? Is it going to be like the old days of the union block vote? Gordon would go off to these conferences and vote 60 million on behalf of the British people having not bothered to consult us. The obvious flaw to that plan is that he would still be outvoted by the Chinese and Indians under these circumstances and their selfish desire to do what is right for their own people.

No, Gordon's idea of the will of the majority is a very European one. It's the will of the majority of the self selecting ruling elite who get together at summits, meet in secret and do deals to legislate for the rest of us for our own good. Happily of course, Brown's membership of that elite is about to come up for renewal and he's unlikely to be back at the top table any time soon.

Indeed, perhaps this is Gordon trying to create a nice job for himself in a proto world government of the future. We Flat Earthers cannot be trusted to do the right thing and so he plans to create some international body to circumvent mere inconvenient democracy and do the kind of cosy deals he so enjoys. Brown is supposed to have found his niche in these international deal making forums. We're told he is very good at it. Perhaps they could find a way for him to go along anyway once he has lost power. He never listens to anyone else anyway and dismisses other people's opinions (those who aren't powerful leaders anyway) so having no actual democratic legitimacy would make no difference to him. He doesn't have much now. It will give him something to do in retirement. What's Gordon doing here? Oh just indulge him. We haven't got the heart to ask him to leave, anyway he might throw a phone at us.


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