Rights v. Democracy

Zwinglius Redivivus:

It’s the first country in the world where the citizens actually are voting on the issue. Every other place (and State in the US) where gay marriage is legal the issue has been shoved down the citizenry’s throats…

I have no idea what the good people of Ireland will decide, but at least their government is actually a democracy, unlike our own which, in spite of the will of the people, has done what the tyrannical minority and activist judges and non-representative elected politicians do what they want.

Rachel Maddow:

“Here’s the thing about rights. They’re not actually supposed to be voted on. That’s why they’re called rights.”

Score: Rachel Maddow 1, Jim West 0

GIVE US ELECTORAL REFORM.

The 2015 Conservative Manifesto reads:

‘We will protect our electoral system, to safeguard our democracy.’

They want you to believe that their preferential system ‘safeguards’ democracy. Potentially the biggest political lie ever told. 

Democracy literally means ‘rule of the people’ but that is not what is exemplified in our electoral system. The Conservatives won only 36.9% of the popular vote and yet took 51% of the seats, thus giving them a parliamentary majority. 

That is 63.1% of the British nation that did not vote for the Conservatives and yet have to endure five more years of them. 

Surprisingly, that’s not even the biggest sham of a ‘democratic’ election that Britain has had to endure. The anti-democratic sentiment that is engrained into the First Past The Post system is not anything new. 

Indeed, historian Geoffrey K. Fry recognises Clement Attlee’s post-war Governments (1945-1951) as ‘the Golden Age of the Labour Party’ which saw the implementation of William Beveridge’s ‘British Revolution’ and the establishment of the Welfare State. Yet at 1951 election this ‘Golden Age’ was eviscerated by the undemocratic nature of the British electoral system. Let’s turn to good old Wikipedia: 

See in the popular vote row where Attlee and Labour had nearly 1.3 million more votes than Churchill’s Conservatives? Where Attlee had a 4.5% lead on Churchill in the percentage of the electorate? And yet the Tories still formed a majority government!

THAT GREAT TORY SWINDLE WAS 64 YEARS AGO AND YET THE COUNTRY HAS STILL SEEN NO ELECTORAL REFORM. 

GOVERNMENTS FORMED BY FIRST PAST THE POST ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS AND YET THE POLITICAL ELITE WONDER WHY SO MANY ARE DISILLUSIONED. 

PREFERENTIAL VOTING SYSTEMS ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE.

IT IS TIME TO DEMAND CHANGE NOW. 

IT IS TIME FOR DEMOCRACY.

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First of all, thank you to throughymy4eyes for alerting me to this. I stay off social media for a few hours and I miss all of this, typical! And you would have to be on social media to see this, seeing as a media blackout appears to be censoring coverage of the protests. #ToriesOutNow is the number 1 trend in the UK but has been removed at least twice from trending pages by Twitter. There are few news articles being published and so the following information has been difficult to get completely right because of lack of sources, other than people’s tweets.

I’d like to request that you reblog to signal boost. The media is deliberately censoring this protest, let’s spread the word ourselves in retaliation.

As far as I can tell, protests in London began around 6pm/7pm and have grown since then. Large crowds gathered outside the Tory HQ in Westminster with signs reading “Get The Tories Out!” and “Austerity Kills”, chanting “Tory scum” and “no more fucking Tory cuts”.

The protests are aimed at two things in particular (main reasons as I can tell)

  • The fact that 63% of us voted against the Tories, yet they still formed a majority goverment through our voting system
  • Austerity, and the prospect of 5 more years of cuts to public services.

People are angry. And rightly so. I’m angry. I know all of you are angry. Our voting system really outdid itself this time, proving that our democracy is not quite as democratic as we once thought. 

63% of us said we didn’t want a Tory goverment, so why do we have one? Proportional Representation is a tricky one for me I’ll admit. For I believe that we should have equal representation for who we all choose to vote for, rather than being handed a Tory government when 63% said no to one. I’m conflicted merely because had we had Proportional Representation in this election, UKIP would have had many more seats than it got. But that’s just me.

At least 5 police officers have been injured. Apparently they have had bottles, a bike, smoke bombs thrown at them. I saw one person report tear gas but I can’t be sure that is true at all. Sounds like the start of a small riot to me, yet where is the media coverage? No coverage from Murdoch papers so far, surprise, surprise! What little coverage there has been has been biased.

Our country cannot take five more years of austerity. We cannot take privatisation of our health service. We cannot take benefit cuts. We cannot take our services being squeezed for their last spare penny. End the cuts. End the Tories. End the misery. End the deaths, the suicides and the starvation they are inflicting upon the most vulnerable! 

I don’t know if the protests will continue. I don’t know if they will change anything. Best case scenario is they get bigger, spread to the rest of the country and we fight for a re-election. Pie in the sky, perhaps. But we can try! 

Stay classy, but fight for your right to democracy and fight for your right to a fair government. Your vote is not your voice, just because they won doesn’t mean we have to sit down and shut up. 

Links: 1 2 3 4

Video

1 may 2015 - A riot cop who was chasing a protester is tackled and beaten with his own club in Male in the Maldives.

Maldivians were protesting because of the sentencing to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges of the nation’s first democratically elected leader, whose government was toppled by police and military in 2012. Almost all of the country’s opposition leaders were arrested following the protests. [video]/[article]

In Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden — they are very democratic countries, obviously, the voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free. In those countries, retirement benefits, child care are stronger than in the United States of America, and in those countries, by and large, government works for ordinary people in the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class.
HOLD THIS NEW GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE.

Yesterday I asked you to remember the past five years. I asked you to remember the devastation that the Tories have inflicted on Britain. I asked you to reject the Conservatives.

Alas, democracy has spoken: the Conservatives have a majority.

I’m bewildered, dismayed, disappointed but most of all I’M ANGRY.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT THAT IS HELLBENT ON CUTTING THE DEFICIT AT ANY COST HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT WILLING TO CARVE UP AND SELL INSTITUTIONS THAT QUINTESSENTIALLY DEFINE BRITAIN HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS SOUGHT TO DEMONISE AND HAS CONSEQUENTLY ALIENATED A NATION’S POLITICS HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN PUNISHED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE COALITION AND YET THE PARTY WHICH WAS AT THE HELM HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT RUPERT MURDOCH HAS BEEN ABLE TO USE HIS MEDIA EMPIRE TO TARNISH A MAN’S CREDIBILITY AND DETERMINE THE ELECTION.

I’M ANGRY THAT THE GREEN PARTY MANAGED TO CARRY IN EXCESS OF A MILLION POPULAR VOTES AND YET THIS HAS ONLY TRANSLATED INTO ONE PARLIAMENTARY SEAT. 

I’M ANGRY THAT THE LABOUR PARTY WILL INEVITABLY TAKE THIS ELECTION AS A SIGN TO MOVE BACK TO NEW LABOUR POLITICS, THUS MAKING THE CHOICE BETWEEN LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE EVEN MORE MINUTE ONCE AGAIN.

So today, I ask you to remember how you are feeling right now. I ask you to channel your anger, fears and disappointment and I ask you to make bloody damn sure that this new Conservative government is accountable to the people. 

DEMOCRACY SPOKE LAST NIGHT BUT IT NEEDS TO CARRY ON SPEAKING FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS AND BEYOND.

TAKE YOUR ANGER AND REMEMBER.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is ‘Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy’

What will you be doing on Monday, 4/20, at 11 p.m.?

Perhaps watching the premiere of acclaimed astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new show StarTalk. Tyson, who may be best known for hosting the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in 2014, will now be appearing weekly on the National Geographic Channel in what may be the first late-night science talk show. Along with a trusty cast of comedians and science-minded folks like Bill Nye, Tyson hopes the adaptation of his popular podcast to a broadcast format will make getting a regular dose of science as pain-free as possible. He thinks that by embedding it between pop culture discussions and entertaining asides, the science will go down easy, and even leave you wanting more. And he’s right.

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Noam Chomsky - “10 strategies of manipulation” by the media

Historically the media have proven highly efficient to mold public opinion. Thanks to the media paraphernalia and propaganda, have been created or destroyed social movements, justified wars, tempered financial crisis, spurred on some other ideological currents, and even given the phenomenon of media as producers of reality within the collective psyche. But how to detect the most common strategies for understanding these psychosocial tools which, surely, we participate? Encourage stupidity, promote a sense of guilt, promote distraction, or construct artificial problems and then magically, solve them, are just some of these tactics.

1. The strategy of distraction

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

2. Create problems, then offer solutions

This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant‟s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

3. Self-blame Strengthen

To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual autodesvalida and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

4. The gradual strategy

acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions ( neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

5. The strategy of deferring

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

6. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See „ Silent Weapons for Quiet War).”

7. Go to the public as a little child

Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children‟s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilising. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

8. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves

Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

9. Use the emotional side more than the reflection

Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas , desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …

10. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity

Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…

For the love of God, please don’t vote Conservative today.

If you are yet to exercise your democratic right today, then I urge you to make your cross anything but blue. Literally anything else (maybe not UKIP).

It may be hard to remember - through all the election propaganda - but think back on the past five years:

(Student fee protest, 2010) 

(London riots, 2011)

(Protest against the Privatisation of the NHS, 2012)

(Never ending food bank queue in central London, 2012)

(Protests against the Bedroom Tax, Glasgow, 2013)

(Protests against proposed military action in Syria, Central London, Ed Miliband being the one who put a decisive stop to this, 2013)

(David Cameron literally putting the Union on the line with the Scottish Referendum, 2014) 

REMEMBER? PLEASE VOTE ANYTHING BUT CONSERVATIVE TODAY. THEY WILL ‘CUT’ THE DEFICIT BUT AT WHAT MORAL COST? 

THE COUNTRY CAN’T TAKE ANOTHER FIVE YEARS. 

I leave you with the words of a political titan, the father of the NHS himself, Nye Bevan: 

‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin’.

What Have We Done?

It has now sunk in that the British public seriously re-elected this guy… with even more support than last time. 

Mr. David Cameron - the man who’s family built it’s fortune in tax havens - is a man of the people. He say’s reassuring things like; ‘we’re all in this together’. Time and time again he has pledged his allegiance to the “hard working families” of the U.K; quite the contrast to age-old accusations that his is a party for the rich. But look, even without the constant criticism, David has a tough job; imagine having to oversee the economic recovery of an entire nation! Obviously, hard decisions need to be made, and belts must be tightened; remember: “we’re all in this together”.

So, when he took over in 2010, in came the cuts. You see, when an economic crash comes around, governments normally start looking for ways to spend less. And that’s what Cameron did. He looked up and down and all around and concluded that we needed to cut back on our expenses. Those of us with a conscience might say; ‘times are hard, we need to protect the most vulnerable in our society’, but not David.

He must know something the rest of us don’t, so he does the opposite, because that’s what’s best for the country. His government tripled tuition fees, and made plans of £83bn in cuts. Naturally, this lowered living standards; with those with severe disabilities (1/3 of which were already in poverty)  hit 19 times harder. In fact, the U.K was (and maybe still is) being investigated by the UN for systematic violations of disability rights. Under Cameron, Britain’s healthcare system continues to deteriorate more and more everyday. In his first 3 years, the number of people receiving social care went down by 25%, we now have 5,000 fewer nurses and last year there were 900 incidents of police having to drive people to hospitals because ambulances couldn’t. By December 2014; 60 people had committed suicide over inconsolable worries about benefits/ healthcare cuts. Though, to be fair, since the gap in the life expectancy of the rich and poor is widening; may as well bow out early, right?

Before he was PM, around 26 thousand people were using food banks. Now that number is at over 1 million. At present; 13 million people are in poverty - which is at a 30 year high - despite most living in working households. Turns out it’s not easy living on minimum wage, especially if you don’t know when the next shift might be (like the 700,000 people currently on zero hours contracts). Still, there’s no rest for the wicked: less than a week after being re-elected to govern (by themselves this time; God help us) the Conservative government is already eyeing up another £12bn in cuts to social security. Why make cuts when you can sell arms to the worst human rights abusers on the planet, like last time?

Anyway, at this point, those with a conscience and sense of morality - the ones who previously made that silly remark about helping people in need - might say; ‘can’t we take money from somewhere other than where it is most desperately needed?’… He can’t hear you, he’s too busy scrapping the human rights act. Besides, don’t hold your breath: while he was doing all those wonderful things for Britain’s most oppressed people, him and his buddies were doing something else for the most privileged. Nothing too big, you know, just boasting on camera about lowering corporate tax. Or ensuring millionaires are “£107k richer each year” by cutting the top rate of income tax. Yeah, little things, like using £200k of the public’s money to campaign against putting a cap on banker bonuses. A cap.

Let’s get this straight; a group of wealthy men knowingly crash the world economy; then the British tax payer gives £1.162 trillion towards bailing them out; but instead of asking for some of that back, the chancellor uses some more money to try and help them secure even larger bonuses. Call me crazy but I thought a bonus was something you received for doing well, not for crashing the planet’s economic system. But I’m no economist. 

Having said that, if you needed to find some money; the royal family costs £300 million to maintain, start with that. The top 5 banks in the U.K. recorded profits of over £20bn, why not take from them? Bankers are expected to receive £5bn in bonuses this year. Why not take that? I’m sure some of that so-called ‘defense’ budget of £36bn is being spent on slaughtering children somewhere in the middle east, how about cutting that? Or what about fixing the tax loopholes which has seen the U.K lose over £70bn in the last 2 years? The 1% have more than doubled their wealth since this government took power, but we cannot take from them, no, no, no, that would be too unfair. So instead; the students, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and single parents have to suffer… ‘we’re all in it together’? Give me a break.