The “Attack on Democracy” meme being pushed on the March 22nd attacks is an emotive and clever one but not accurate. It makes you think this violent guy Masood targeted all of us or our whole Parliament. Not true. His targets were random, unlike say, Thomas Mair who full-mindedly targeted Jo Cox MP. It could have been anyone from any country who fell victim, or any one of a number of police officers on site. Indeed it could have been a MP too, but it wasn’t. Calling some random attack an ‘attack on democracy’ only serves to prepare you for the next idea – that our democracy is being attacked by terrorists. But it isn’t. What would a real attack on democracy look like?
Westminster refuses to entertain the idea of Proportional Representation, like we’ve use for the EU. We could call that an attack on democracy in a much more meaningful way. Thus our MPs are dedicated to a system which keeps either major party in power, with only small deviations such as the odd coalition. PR would undoubtedly give us a more representative Parliament but it’s routinely attacked. The chronic underfunding and reorganising of the NHS is something the vast majority of us don’t want either! Another attack on democracy.
On the same day 4 people were murdered at Westminster, the government put pensions up to age 70. Other policies have meant thousands of disabled people dying, a large number the DWP even admits to due to benefit cuts, so their complicit, excess winter deaths go on too, 40,000 deaths last winter, yet the attack on the “green crap” continues, meaning the elderly will be more at risk from ‘heating or eating’ in their own homes. We’ve got this for at least 3 more years. These are all attacks on large numbers of people in this country – and which the vast majority would want to see an end to.
Surely the most terrorist government though should include those we actively kill abroad. It’s hard to compete with the terror of Blair’s war, a million dead in Iraq, 2 million dead from sanctions enforced by us.
Even on the same day as M22, 24 people died in a car bomb in Iraq and over 200 civilians bombed by US and UK planes bombing Mosul. These wouldn’t have happened but for our 2003 destruction of Iraq. Our democracy was really attacked that time. 70% of people were against war and Britain’s biggest ever demo underlined it. Labour leader Ed Miliband called it a mistake – but that was just another lie. Iraq wasn’t a mistake. It was cold calculated policy, first to get the UK people onside, and to create and promote intelligence to justify war. The destruction of Iraq lay the seeds for Isis. The attack on Syria never became a British war because MPs were forced to back down after the debacle of Iraq.
But the full story on Syria is far from out either, with all but certain involvement of our intelligence services undermining the country. Corbyn apologised for Iraq and said the decision-makers should face consequences. But instead of that happening, there is a huge propaganda war against him. At a time when he was returned resoundingly as Labour leader, of Europe’s biggest political party, the media is part of a large-scale attack on democracy too. It’s very uncertain that this man of sound morals and integrity will get into power, and undo the social damage of successive Tory administrations. He certainly won’t undo the deaths – which make those of M22 pale by comparison.
“Attack on democracy” is inaccurate. On Parliament maybe, if he could have got there, or had bigger weapons! Democracy makes it sound like it’s all of us. It’s not. It’s not the people who stood up against the Iraq war. It’s not those who campaign daily to keep the NHS, or those who campaign to save the lives government policy is determined to end.
There are plenty of issues where Parliament and democracy are at odds. There is no-one in Parliament I have ever voted for. There is one Green. There is one Ukip – how many would we have in a fair system? We don’t know the motives yet of the M22 murderer – but we can guess. It’s reasonable to presume that had we not gone to war on Iraq, killing over a million, had we not joined in bombing Libya, with 30,000 NATO bombing deaths, had we not been cheerleaders for regime change in Syria – and doubtless covert actors arming and funding and training the rebels, including the most vicious – had we not been busy demonising Muslims for 16 years, then M22 wouldn’t have happened, and we might possibly be regarded as a nation of peace by other states.
But then there’s the arms trade we pursue, the vicious regimes we arm, like Saudi Arabia, who we also helped chair the UN Human Rights panel despite its atrocious record, our arming of Israel, who we moan about at the UN but nowhere else, and our ever-ready sabre-rattling against whoever the US wants us to. The consequences this century have already been dreadful enough. But the continuing demonisation of Russia shows it’s far from over.
Do we want a war with Russia? NO! So the demonisation of Russia becomes yet another attack on democracy. Will the UK government and the mainstream media stop attacking democracy and start helping to build a nation people really want?