A Reset for Democracy?

### Reader’s Letter to The Guardian, 16th May 2024 ### …

Dear Editor,

I homed in on Martin Kettle’s article about democracy desperately needing a “reset” (The Guardian, 16th May 2024, link below) and was a disappointed by what the article was really about: Yes, Mr Kettle supplies a clear and informative view of the current British political landscape but, with the European elections looming, my imagination was triggered by ideas of a more fundamental reset.

Here I don’t mean “revolution” but the choppy waters which Europe is currently going through (e.g. the attack on Robert Fico, increasing radicalisation and “the culture wars”) make me think that, unless there is a certain (moderate) level of “reset”, revolution and/or violence is unavoidable.

For example here in Germany there are two emerging parties: The AfD and Bundnis Sahrah Wagenknecht. Some of their background is highly dubious (i.e. AfD) but we are now only three weeks away from the European elections and these groups are receiving only hyper-negative coverage in the mainstream media. With practically no objective coverage of their proposed agendas.

I am not a friend of the AfD but you don’t need to be a psychologist to know that their constant “bashing” (by the mainstream) will create “victim-mystification” and cause the disaffected to fall into their hands.

If we (the good guys) really are democratic, tolerant and liberal, why are we not analysing the attraction of the far right and seeing which of their gripes can be fixed in a measured, structured way? Rather than simply demonising them! It makes us (democratic liberals) as bad as the bad guys.

Here it is also interesting that Britain is pondering “devolution of the regions” … while Brussels seems to want to force ever more centralisation: I was strongly against Brexit but Brussels doesn’t seem to have learned that “if you hold the reins to tightly, you will suffocate the horse” (i.e. create further Xexits).

And, of course, the other “reset” that democracy needs is for us to add a component which forces us to include the interests of a.) the “not-yet-born” and b.) the “rest of the planet”: For example if we “democratically” decide that we want to carry on with “cut-price flying”, what consequences does that have for future generations and for populations threatened by climate change (including us)?

This last point is a gaping Achilles Heel in our current model of democracy.

Alan Mitcham

Link to the original article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/16/democracy-reset-westminster-power-party-labour






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *