Sunday, 9 May 2010


Although Prime Minister Gordon Brown may have fled the capital to his home turf, the Labour government is still in place, in a manner of speaking Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street. Its a nice image, the thought of a mob, armed with pitchforks and burning torches, marching down Whitehall to Downing Street to oust the defeated leader.

So I almost attended a protest at the weekend, a hastily organised affair, that later I read about on Twitter. It was odd though, the mob with placards aloft didn't march on Labour, they marched on the Lib Dem HQ and then the Conservative HQ.

Sure, they were protesting for electoral reform, but it didn't quite make sense in my head. The people they were shouting at had only been elected the day before, yet already the mob were protesting. Had the mob somehow elected the wrong people? Already?

Back to Copenhagen, when tens of thousands of protestors descended on the environmental talks, tens of thousands of activists from all over the world. Did it make any difference to the handful of world leaders who were inside discussing what measures they were to take to tackle climate change? I doubt it.

If climate change is anthropogenic, then there's only a couple of countries responsible, the top five polluters responsible for 90% of emissions, all the other countries are essentially the same as the mob outside, posturing to no end.

Back to the protest mobs, I marched against the war in Iraq back in the day, but I can't march for electoral reform. Iraq was a binary issue, against the war or not. But electoral reform is a rich tapestry.

Personally, I think equalising constituency sizes is far more important than PR, STV, AV or FPTP. Others feel that PR is the issue worth breaking the stability of a nation for, STV has its merits.

But it's all burocracy, admin, red tape and paperwork. There are more important and urgent issues to address in the UK today. Electoral reform is merely a 'would be nice to have' issue. Jesus, how long did Labour spend trying to ban fox hunting?

Stuart Sharpe stuck a wee line at the end of his last blogpost which I feel is very profound:-

I would be fascinated to hear evidence that proportional voting systems directly contribute to improved social or economic outcomes in other countries.


  1. You should have come. I marched and I'll march again this evening.

    We elected the right people. The takebackparliament brigade were reminding our newly (re)elected representatives of the promises and positions they have taken.

    This is what democracy looks like.

  2. I'm not so sure, I think it could be a fundamental division,either between the left and the right, or just personality types. There are some who like to gather in mobs and shout at their elected representatives, and there are some who prefer to leave them to it.

    Was it 2003 or 2004 when millions of us marched protesting against the war in Iraq which hadn't even started yet, millions of us, but our elected representatives still took us to war.

    What was it the mob did wrong? Was there not enough people marching? Were they chanting the wrong message? Not shouting loud enough? or was it just that we'd elected the wrong elected representatives?

    Now at the weekend there, these elected representatives had only been elected the day before, surely if they needed reminding of their promises and positions so soon, then they're imbeciles and we elected the wrong people.

  3. start sharpening those pitchfork and lighting the torches. it's all going pearshaped...