It’s a wondrous rejection of democracy, isn’t it?

That collective opinion was wrong, in other words. The skill required of politicians is to decide when they might know better than popular opinion, and to reject the latter. Unfortunately, that this is the case is now very widely forgotten. In the age of both populism and the near universal desire to appease focus groups politicians think it their job to deliver what people think they want. But the role that they have is not that simple. If only they appreciated that the world would be a much better place.

It is for the politician to take the unpopular, hopefully wise, decision that rises above the lowest common denominator that public opinion sometimes is. Wisdom does not always belong to crowds, and it is not elitist to say so. It is instead recognition that the opinion of crowds can be subject to many malign influences (from the mainstream press onwards) that have to be filtered and appraised before the right course of action can be found.

17 thoughts on “It’s a wondrous rejection of democracy, isn’t it?”

  1. The same lament of central planners all down the centuries. Just why won’t ‘the people’ do what I (aka we) say?
    Because son, the evidence of said history is that you have no bleedin’ clue.

  2. Yeah but no but…

    If we took the popular opinion, then we’d have hanging and the SBS ( like SAS but with boats) shooting the dinghies from underneath the illegals.
    Measures that I ( and most on this forum) would advocate, but I’m not that that makes them right.

  3. A brazen call for tyranny.

    Time the Fat Fuckwit was out of business.

    If he gets a shitload of grants what does he do for them? He has no real knowledge so surely he isn’t getting grants for writing a very bad blog?

  4. If we took the popular opinion, then we’d have hanging and the SBS ( like SAS but with boats) shooting the dinghies from underneath the illegals.

    Sounds good to me. Sounds right too.

  5. Politicians tell us what they want to do, and we vote for the bunch with the least offensive mix of ideas. Then we take the rough with the smooth, and that’s a mature democracy.

    If the elected don’t then stick to their ideas, and at least deal with emergent problems in accordance with their general principles, then it can be piano wire time.
    Murphy needs to understand what “Consent of the governed” means.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Either he’s channeling Burke’s letter to the people of Bristol but doesn’t want to been seen agreeing with such an important conservative thinker, and then have to accept points point about the little platoons, or he’s never heard of Burke and his letter.

    I’m inclined to go with the latter.

  7. Either he’s channeling Burke’s letter to the people of Bristol

    I think he’s more likely to be channelling Bertolt Brecht

  8. The silly proles want to vote me out of office. Let’s protect them by getting rid of elections so they can’t do anything so populist and foolish.

  9. It’s a rejection of majoritarianism, but not necessarily of democracy, if we also reject the idea that the political method is always, and in every case, the best means for the people to govern themselves. (Of course, I very much doubt that Ritchie does reject that idea…)

    “Either he’s channeling Burke’s letter to the people of Bristol but doesn’t want to been seen agreeing with such an important conservative thinker, and then have to accept points point about the little platoons, or he’s never heard of Burke and his letter.

    I’m inclined to go with the latter.”

    Precisely.

  10. After rejecting democracy, how are the pickers picked? Who gets to choose who gets to tell Lord Spudcup he’s a useless tosser and send him down a path of demanding the system be overthrown as it’s clearly not working.

  11. I dipped my toe into M’Lord’s Establishment to see what solutions were proffered to “people won’t vote the right way, dammit”, and it’s universally PR with the expectation of coalition government that will have the “right” policies.

    Bring It On! PR will result in a coalition of Reform Group, Conservatives, Orange Bookers and Blairites.

  12. • “Diversity is our strength”
    • “Down with the establishment”
    • “Stronger together”
    • “The unwashed masses are too stupid to govern themselves”

    Confused yet?

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