Oberon Houston: Enfranchise me
I’ve got a small confession to make regarding
yesterday afternoon. I was relaxing sleepily in the sunny living room. The
kitchen was a bit of a mess, the washing basket pretty full and the wife was at
work all day. What’s the right thing to do? I asked myself, as I pushed back in
the ‘lazy-boy’ chair. The right thing to do is to tidy the house and put the
washing on, I replied to myself, but not just yet. A thought was forming in my
mind, and I wanted to explore it a little further.
I was reflecting on Tony
Blair, and the damage he has done to our institutions, and quickly came to the
conclusion that he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He just wants to have a
good time. He doesn’t care about our institutions, even the Labour Party,
people, particularly, even Britain, much. He just wants to have a good time. But how
then could millions of people vote for such a person? How could the New Labour
project be so overwhelmingly sanctioned by the people of
Well, I thought, is that it? It’s as simple as that? Then a nasty little, long forgotten, Blair quote re-surfaced in my mind:
‘My aim is not merely to win elections against the Conservative party but to destroy conservatism itself’
Many thoughts came rushing forward now. Maybe this was the real aim of Blair, to encourage this breakdown, breakdown that we unwittingly might have had a hand in? If people cannot see that the system works for them, then they will have little interest in preserving it. In Scotland things are very close to breaking point. The SNP, despite having policies that are bonkers, are enjoying resurgence in support, now there’s disenfranchisement at its most developed my friends. Nationalism is, as a result of devolution, also gaining a foothold in England, and although regional assemblies were rejected, the break-up and separation of Britain is already occurring, in soul if not body, from local communities upwards. Yet there is an opportunity here, people are realising that they need more than numero uno in their lives. They need the sense of belonging and stability that a strong community and a socially strong nation offers. People are also realising that they need to make decisions soon about what type of future they want. We need to show them that, with us, they will get that. We need to re-enfranchise the nation.
Our institutions need overhauled so that they
do what there were designed to do, work for people. Our local agenda needs to
be given the importance it deserves, as it will rebuild the communities that
form the very foundations of our society. People also need to be shown why it’s
important to support the system, but a system that works for them. A
Finally contented that I had got my thoughts sorted out, you will be happy to know that, at this point, I went through to tidy the kitchen and put the washing on.