first thoughts - election propaganda barrage
WORKERS, JUNE 2004 ISSUE
The message from Westminster and Brussels is clear: whatever you do, just vote in the European elections this month. A propaganda barrage is being levelled at the British people, varying from European Commission adverts in cinemas with breast-feeding babies, to dire warnings about the threat posed by the BNP.
Never mind that opinion poll after opinion poll shows a stunning lack of support for the BNP, we all get these fascists shoved in our faces to dragoon us tamely into the polling booths. And those who demand our participation in the euro-parliamentary farce, and the equally farcical local elections, want us in those booths for one main reason: so that once there we might, perhaps, vote for them. They all play the game, from Labour and the Tories through to the disintegrating Respect "coalition".
The greatest fear that Brussels has is that a low poll will expose the European Parliament as illegitimate, unsanctified even by the bourgeois conventions of elections. The people have already made up their mind. We won't vote for you, that's our decision. But parliamentary parties don't like it when the people decide not to vote.
In Belgium itself, voting is compulsory, yet even so, around 10% decline the offer. When it was voluntary, fewer than 30% took part. So much for freedom of expression. Would they dare suggesting such a law here?