Monday, 27 October 2014

Be afraid of fear

Is fear a good basis for choice of government? Fear of more of the same? Fear of change and the unknown? Fear of foreigners? These are the agendas of demagogues but do Farages and Brands make for good governance? Surely not. They simply criticise whilst offering no viable solutions or alternative government. We should vote for outcomes, goals, for a country run better according to our beliefs, needs, values.

Recent debate has suggested that, with no overall majority for any party likely, we may enter a period of huge uncertainty or even paralysis, undesirable, no matter how it arises. Nor do alternatives taking place elsewhere in the World look much more attractive to believers in democracy. Disregarding the chaotic aftermaths of popular discontent with past governance in Libya or Syria, the stability now offered [and apparently liked by many] in their countries by Putin, Sisi and even Erdogan can hardly appeal. This sort of autocracy we should indeed fear.

The probability of a hung Parliament is created by citizens' hunger for something better suited to their perception of the country's priorities. For an increasing number, this means not more of the same, of the familiar, stale formal groupings. But for all of the imperfections of our sclerotic system, responding to fears may lead to results we will find useless or even abhorrent. Perhaps we need instead to work to change our institutions from within rather than dumping them in favour of a vacuum which may be filled by less desirable solutions. Until it proves to fail, let us hold fast to voting Labour for a more equal, less fearful society.

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