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Discussion > Is this what winning is like?

"Only blinkered idealists believe in the "will of the people".

Says it all really, what happens should be decided by teenagers .I don't think so. Politicians should serve the people. Or do you believe that the people should serve the politicians Einstein? Is that what you're saying?

Mar 5, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Bitbucket

As the Luxembourg pol Jean-Claude Junkers said regarding economics, “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”
Thanks for that brilliant quote Bitbucket. If Junkers doesn’t know how to work the porkbarrel in a country of 250,000 electors, he really doesn’t deserve to get re-elected.
This thread is too interesting to get sidetracked into undergrad political science. Rhoda’s initial post echoed the famous Gandhi quote “First they..” and also the plot of “the Battle of Algiers” which shows how a resistance movement has to be utterly crushed before it wins. This doesn’t mean our fleabites are ineffective. Even a rhinoceros has his sensitive parts. (I think I’ll leave off metaphors. I really don’t want to go there).
Some of us here (Robin, Barry) have been commenting on sites which pontificate about deniers (New Statesman, NewLeftProject, ClimatePsychologyAlliance). It’s amazing how the regulars are struck dumb when a denier turns up. Being a lefty, I tend to concentrate on lefty sites. if I were a Christian, Irish Nationalist or Esperantist I’d choose my sites accordingly. I assure you, it works. If you’re a Lady, comment at “The Lady”. If you’re a Gentleman, scrawl something on the wall of the Gents. And report back her on results. it could be interesting.

Mar 5, 2013 at 9:18 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Geronimo, only the naive would misunderstand what I said. Apart from snide remarks and straw-men you have nothing to say...

Geoff, "... undergrad political science": join Geronimo in the queue for some original ad-homs. "Rhoda’s initial post echoed the famous Gandhi quote ...", is that so? I read it again and I don't see it somehow. Are you are arts graduate? You sound sort of arty, like Dicky Duck and Verbose Hillary from tar-sands-heaven (no offence meant, all).

I used to consider myself as on the right, by the way. I voted for Maggie in '79 and for the Conservatives ever since (except '97; could bring myself to vote for the b*****ds). But the right of the Tory party and the right of the Republicans make me more and more queasy with their actions and their lines of thought. I wont be voting Tory again...

Mar 5, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

"Only blinkered idealists believe in the "will of the people".

"Geronimo, only the naive would misunderstand what I said. Apart from snide remarks and straw-men you have nothing to say..."

What's to misunderstand? You don't believe politicians are there to serve the will of the people and only blinkered idealists believe that?

Well tell me what they're there for, or do you believe the people are there to serve the will of the politicians?

Mar 6, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Something like representing their voters and governing in what they perceive to be the best interests of the country as a whole. That is not the same as doing "the will of the people", which one would have great difficulty determining on most issues (as opposed to the will of a few newspaper editors or of their proprietors).

Mar 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bitbucket
I agree with your definition of the purpose of politicians, which lays me open to another insult, I suppose.

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I would agree with the definition,.... bu the reality is far from the definition!!

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Democracy doesn't really entail the will of the people being carried out. The chief weapon of the people is to throw out those who fail. Government may do as it likes until that time, the election is where correction takes place, or not as the case may be. Not so much the will of the people as the won't.

Mar 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Something like representing their voters and governing in what they perceive to be the best interests of the country as a whole. That is not the same as doing "the will of the people", which one would have great difficulty determining on most issues (as opposed to the will of a few newspaper editors or of their proprietors)."

This is how it actually works. Political parties put together a manifesto on how they will rule the country. Tey then put their manifesto and themselves to the people who vote on their proposals. The people choose the one they like best and the politicians who get the most votes will carry out the manifesto the people have chosen. If they don't, or if they go off reservation, we can kick them out. They have no mandate to change their promises in their manifestos whatsoever, although from time to time during a government period issues will crop up outwith their manifestos which will require them to make a decision that they have not been mandated to make, and, of course they should do so with the best interests of the people at the heart of their decisions. In a democracy the people are supreme, and the House of Commons represents the people, I don't hold with wishy-washy statements like:

"Something like representing their voters and governing in what they perceive to be the best interests of the country as a whole."

Although I do accept that there are politicians who believe that's their brief, which, by the way is where we came into this discussion. The notion that they have a mandate to do anything they see as being in the best interests of the people without the consent of the people is precisely what makes them vulnerable to pressure groups and lobbyists,because these are the only way they have of judging what the people want outside of their own constituents.

What is the basis for your knowing that the people would vote for the death penalty, or hang bankers from lamposts? I know it is popularly supposed the people want to bring back the death penalty, but have no idea where the evidence for it was gathered.

Mar 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Robin Guenier
How near St Albans? I’m around Harpenden 21 March - 10 April.
Mar 1, 2013 at 7:48 PM | geoffchambers

Geoff: even nearer Harpenden (4 miles) than St Albans (8 miles).

Convenient for anyone else?
Mar 1, 2013 at 9:13 PM | Robin Guenier

I'd make the journey up from darkest Lewisham to meet the both of you. A week's time would be ideal - though not the 27th. Sorry for the late reply. Hope you have a pleasant visit Geoff. I'm rdrake98 on the gmail label if that's an easier way to do it.

Mar 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake