WORKERS, MARCH 2003 ISSUE
ONE LOOK at the huge march on 15 February and you can see why our "democratic" rulers dont like the idea of referendums. Like company bosses who insist on "the right to manage", they believe that they and they alone have the right to rule. Let the people have a say? You must be kidding.
What we have instead of democracy is a parliamentary dictatorship, in which the ruling party is always elected on the votes of a minority of the electorate. (And if things carry on from the last election, soon only a minority of the electorate will actually vote at all.)
On the back of this unrepresentative parliament, we have a government maintaining itself through bribery, to give the ministerial payroll its proper name. And at its head, a prime minister who thinks he is free to get away with going to war, with at his call what is in effect a private, mercenary army ready to do his bidding.
Even while acknowledging the strength of opposition, Blair is still effortlessly usurping the authority of the ballot box to march to war in our name. If that is not dictatorship, then perhaps someone will say what is.
Once British workers fought, and fought hard, for the vote. But surely we have learnt by now that there is a lot more to power than a vote once every four or five years. In the past we have found other ways of exerting our will, and we shall have to do so now.