The Referendum of the Sinister Clowns.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

I feel I’m being forced into this referendum by a political class that is intent on manipulation and jockeying for position, not for substantial social or political reasons.

It hasn’t arisen from some profound demand by ‘the people’ to settle an issue of sovereignty and democracy. It’s been foisted on us. We need a politically savvy debate on just these issues, but this certainly isn’t it. No wonder so many people are switched off.

None of our masters care a fig for ‘the sovereignty of the British people’, or ‘the democratic will and rights of  the citizen ‘ etc etc.’ It’s frivolous chatter. And there’s something frivolous, too,  about a lot of the actors: Johnson: intent on a result that works for him personally, Cameron: keen to get his backbenchers onside, Farage: scraping the bottom of the xenophobe barrel while posing as an ‘ordinary bloke’. And so on. All lightweights pretending to be statesmen. F*** the lot of them. F*** off back to Eton.
Yet, and I hate this too, I’m forced to care, because of the effect the vote will have. Trouble is, no one knows what that will be. So as a voter in this charade of a democratic process, I’m going to be held responsible, along with millions of others, for the result, whatever it is. And that result might be something that could seriously damage people’s lives for decades. Or not. No one knows.
So I’m coerced into an essentially frivolous yet simultaneously serious decision (even abstaining would be a decision) by players I can’t respect, who have the power to do serious damage. Sinister clowns.
This is how we do ‘politics’ here in 2016.

 

Addendum: I’ve decided to vote to remain in the EU. I’m unenthusiastic about the prospects for the European Union, but I’m sceptical that the leftists who welcome the prospect of a leave vote will actually get what they (and I) would want. In this, I’m at odds with my fellow contributor Duncan Simpson (see his article here). But that’s healthy dissensus for you! and as I’ve remarked, no one can say for sure what the effects of stay or leave will be. Anyone who claims they can is deluded.

Farage.

Farage.

About Chris Horner

teaches, studies and writes about philosophy and many other things. He is the co-uthor (with Emrys Westacott) of the CUP book 'Thinking Through Philosophy'. He has studied at the University of Sheffield, UEA, Goldsmiths and Roehampton University and has a PhD, the subject of which was Hannah Arendt and Kant's theory of reflective judgment. He has a strong interest in politics, history, literature, the visual arts and music.
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