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Democracy: driving and drinking

3:30 pm - February 14th 2008

by Justin McKeating    

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Some people in this country, me included, believe there’s something pretty wrong with ‘democracy’ in the UK. It’s blown a gasket. It’s belching stinking pollution. It rattles and it bangs and threatens to seize up altogether at any moment.

Most people just stand around it, kicking the tyres and exclaiming, ‘nah, it’s alright, it’ll go round the clock another couple of times no bother.’ Jack Straw thinks it just needs another coat of paint and it’ll be sorted.

You get the impression that he knows what’s going on under the bonnet but doesn’t want to admit it to himself let alone those of us risking our lives by riding along in the death trap. It needs rebuilding or trading in, if we’re honest.

The old girl’s starting misfiring again, this time when ex-cabinet minister Jack Cunningham was taking it out for a spin:

Jack Cunningham, now in the House of Lords, is paid £36,000 a year – for an estimated three hours’ work a week – by the City of London Corporation to give political advice.

The corporation said that as part of his consultancy, he calls ministers to arrange meetings with the authority when it is having difficulty securing one.

Is that how it works? What’s the difference between a minister not wanting a meeting and a minister wanting a meeting? A phone call from Jack Cunningham. Why aren’t we all doing this?

The chances of getting a democracy that doesn’t revolve around who knows who and favours from and for mates is slim. We should therefore play the system. Thirty-six thousand pounds is not a lot of money in the greater scheme of things. That’s how cheaply democracy can be bought these days which should be good news for everybody.

Let’s all go on a binge-democracy bender if it’s so cheap. We should club together and buy our own ex-Cabinet minister. I can see the headlines now: ‘Minister’s fear cheap democracy is undermining society’.

Of course, that’ll only be because us proles can now afford to get our hands on the stuff. But hey, if they’re going to sell democracy cheaper than corruption, is it any wonder people are going to buy it and abuse it?

Sign the pledge, spread the word, be all you can be in this great democracy of ours:

I will give £36 to a fund to hire the services of an ex-cabinet minister but only if 1,000 other concerned citizens will do the same.

(Cross-posted from Chicken Yoghurt)

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About the author
Justin McKeating is an occasional contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is a Brighton-based writer and blogger who can also be found at Chicken Yoghurt and Nuclear Reaction.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Campaigns ,E-democracy ,Our democracy

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Reader comments

They say there’s a dsquared post for every occasion. I don’t know who they are, or why they’d say something so obviously untrue, but as it happens they’re right about this one.

What amuses me in a “have to laugh” kind of way is how Labour Ministers namecheck people like Thomas Paine but don’t have a clue as to what such people are on about.

Signed it of course. I like the idea of hiring ex-cabinet ministers.

Though, why are we aiming so low? How much does it cost for a cabinet minister directly? If we’re going to do this, let’s aim for the jackpot chaps.

I wish I had £36 to spare, but sadly, as an /actual/ prole… 😉

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