Friday 3 July 2015

The Grown-Ups Will Be Taking Charge Again

Is it the ritual of voting for who's to be chucked off 'Strictly' that gives people strange ideas about democracy?  Do people 'voting against austerity' think they are doing something meaningful?   Or do they recognise it's just a way of registering their bit of a protest with those - 'the adults in the room', © Christine Lagarde 2015 - who will take decisions regardless.  Or done out of devilment, like when we voted Jocelyn Hapless-Nerd to be form captain.  Not a golden age for democracy.

There's quite a lot of this going on, and it's prominent enough to be taken seriously - or at least, analysed as a serious phenomenon.  Scotland has had its spasm, and will probably be invited to jerk itself off again at a tactical moment of the SNP's choosing sometime soon.  The Greek thing will play itself into another frenetic bout of megaphone diplomacy next week.  Before 2017 is out we shall all be having a go at the old In-Out.  Hey, and the game may soon be extended to 16-year olds, that'll do wonders for the maturity-level of the whole thing.

So: if I vote 'no to austerity', more-or-less in a vacuum, do I consider I am invoking a fundamental right unilaterally to force *someone* to implement a Marshall Plan in my favour?  A bit of a perversion of of the least-worst-system-yet-devised, that.

I am reminded of the 1980s, when Lambeth and Liverpool councillors were wont to vote for utterly demented things, some of which were just empty (unilateral nuclear disarmament in Kennington) but others of which couldn't be allowed to pass: 'spending' money they didn't have was a favourite.  Reality struck, in the form of a new law requiring that a named council employee (the 'nominated adult-in-the-room') was personally responsible for imposing a balanced budget on the naughty councillors.

Jocelyn H-N's electoral success didn't turn out quite as funnily as we'd hoped either.  Not dissimilar really: when it comes right down to it, the adults always get out the cane.  Eventually.



dearieme said...

When did people start saying "least worst" instead of "least bad"? Is it an Americanism?

Blue Eyes said...

Manchester had a "nuclear free" sign up on the way into town until the regeneration got into full-swing in the 99s-2000s. What the Soviets would have done if Bury had harboured ICBMs is anyone's guess.

In my old hometown, peak Loony was a scheme for providing free driving lessons for black lesbians. When you can't separate reality from satire...

As for "democracy", who elected the last Greek government, or the one before that, or the one before that? In Britain we had our IMF moment and have tried not to look back. I wonder when ornery Greeks will get the message?

dearieme said...

I suppose they should vote no. That, at least, will probably be reversible, unlike a yes vote.

Electro-Kevin said...

I guess the Greeks can vote against austerity when they know that the EU is desperate to keep them in. After all, they can be supported because they are only a tiny percentage of the EU economy... that said, a plug hole is only a tiny percentage of a bath. (To quote a Guido contributor)

This socialist mentality extends throughout the western economies in many things.

Nick Drew said...

least worst

my attempt (evidently failed ...) to echo Churchill's famous quotation on democracy

dearieme said...

I am at a loss to see any Greek party as remotely "adult". Bunches of looters the lot of them. Balkan bandits. Choose your own insult, you are unlikely to exaggerate.

Budgie said...

Very many economists and indeed eurosceptics warned against the "one-size-fits-all" euro experiment. Well, Greece today is an example of that error working in practice.

The ECB bank rate was too low for the Greek economy in the 2000s, though it was set to be ideal for Germany in the doldrums. Any country with a low bank rate in a boom will come a cropper.

It is therefore not entirely the fault of the Greeks: the euro system and German preponderance are at least as much to blame. When "austerity" (that politically hi-jacked, and hence meaningless word) creates an economy that shrinks more than it saves, it becomes pointless if not cruel.

hovis said...

Who are the "adults in the room" now that the IMF has fallen into line with it's own research department (which has been saying it for around 3 years), that Greek Debt is unsustainable and needs a massive write down.

The huffing and puffing the so called "sensible" creditor politicos should be called out for the bullshit that it is.

- Oxi

Nick Drew said...

oh yeah, Lagarade is a feeble candidate for being one of the adults, that's for sure