Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sources of Authority Ancient and Modern

After Glasgow East ,the membranously thin façade of loyalty to Brown has melted away and the suggestion that no constitutional problem would be created by changing leaders again , stalks the chatter-sphere with insidious intent . True enough, no written law would be flouted , it being unwritten an`all , but our political currency of would be as debased as a Zimbabwean dollar
The position of the leader has become pivotal .To purposefully digress ,I often remark to Liberals that voting formulas do not make a democracy in isolation. Take a mental trip around the democracies of Africa and it is clear that the dance requires partner with an ear for the music as well .We, the lay voters , are that intuitive partner.We interpret signs ,often unconsciously, which is why those without their noses pressed to the political window pane can often call results with occult accuracy. Our understanding of the leaders role is crucial whether or not it has been articulated .
During the Thatcher /Blair period, the Party leader has come to occupy a place we recognise in our ancient bones . The God King .( Bathos alert ...)In early societies a King was a negotiator between the un- knowable divine and the lives of the population. he took his authority, not from force ,or inheritance ,but from a belief that he was a conduit between the knowable world and mysterious forces beyond . For the Aztecs his person was explicitly incidental to the extent that they ritually butchered his body after a short term
The Party leader is latterly in a comparable position .Voters instinctively know that he chiefly wants to win their vote . They also know that to do so he must negotiate with the Party`s wish list . Thatcher was able to appeal directly to the electorate over the head of her Party in a primitive way.'One who came after her' , T. Blair ,brought the ‘conduit’ Leader system proper ,to its apotheosis
The electorate wanted change but
required reassurance that they would not sign off on a dictatorship of Callaghan era socialists . Unable to negotiate with the Party the people extracted promises like, “No tax rises” and “No Gordon Brown” . Only the god/king can make these promises liveing as he does, uniquely , both in the political world and our own .Undertakings were duly given by “New Labour “ via the leader while he , Janus like, extracted agreements from the Party initially
The accession of Gordon Brown ,under somewhat les democratic circumstances than the enthronement of William the Conqueror , broke this covenant. It was already stretched by the inability of Blair to control "Brownite" rebels and a further re-capitation will tear the remaining tendrils between the form of government and its legitimacy.For a Party leader to have authority now ,he must represented the Political world to the people and visa versa .Furthermore,the confidence of his peers is the least important part of the equation.It remains a superficial possibility only under the fossil rules of a 19th century settlement .
In all English life drama and symbolism is vital. Some obviously shabby little clerk like Purnell may well call upon the authority of Parliament . This is like the Wizard of Oz booming ,“ignore the man behind the curtain. …”We will not and should Labour attempt to deny us our 'negotiation' they will find themselves the subject of a loathing they show little sign of understanding .


Blue Eyes said...

Brown's downfall comes from the worrying fact that he has been in charge since about 2001. He cannot be the change from Blair because he was Blair all along. Brown didn't realise how much he relied upon Blair, to his detriment. Once on part of the double act is gone...

hatfield girl said...

No-one would ever want to dance with Gordon Brown. Tip a bowl of sugar (or worse) over his head, yes.

Bill Quango MP said...

But MPs are lawyers and bureaucrats.That is how they think.. fully backed up by the senior civil service, which is made up of lawyers and bureaucrats.
If its not a crime on the books , its not a crime at all.

Ed and Yvette cannot justify their 2nd home claims and can only say 'its complicated'.
But they don't have to justify them at all. Its allowed within the rules. If you make sure the rules are opaque enough, most things are allowed. Like taxi expenses.Nanny as a secretary, Campaign donations for £999.99

Or, more seriously, like wars.
Who voted for the war? Some MPs, spun over to the Blair cause, whilst millions in the streets demonstrated their desire for the UK to avoid the conflict.

But Mps were voted in by the people. They rule in our name, by the laws they pass. If we voted for them, then we must agree with them.

Well, no one asked if we wanted war..or Post Office closures, or a total smoking ban, or mass immigration, or a reinvestment in nuclear power or any of the subjects on a very very long list you care to pick.
But not wanting these things is irrelevant because the principle is quite clear. Mps vote in parliament in your name.The majority party is in charge and can do mostly what it likes, without further recourse to the electorate.

So, if the Labour party, the ruling party, decide that they want a different leader without an election, they can easily convince themselves that its possible.
Where is the act that says you can't change a leader without an election more than once?
If its not prohibited.. well then it must be permitted.

Then its just an issue of spin, damage control, denial of wrongdoing, deflecting the opposition with the well worn U-Turn phrases and a big big tax giveaway or a promise to do something popular to win back votes and to soak up the anger.

Remember all those promises around election times in the 80's and 90'?
To look at the licensing laws in or bring back hanging, removal of restrictions on duty free items at airports, raising the speed limit, decriminalising cannabis, free school meals, free childcare etc etc.

Many came about, but that's a whole other story.
These sorts of laws and tax cuts and interest rate cuts were regularly dangled before the electorate's eyes.

Anyway, it isn't as if they are trying to win an election any longer. Spend the political currency now, get a new leader and a reinvention at the same time, and your stock will rise with some straight away.

Labour are trying to avoid a decade in opposition. Possibly even as the third place party if Clegg ever gets a real, acceptable, effective narrative going.

Lawyers and Bureaucrats dear Newmania! Lawyers and Bureaucrats.

Morality, trust and democracy don't come into it at all.

Daisy said...

don't we all ignore the man (or woman) behind the least for a short period of time...helps us to make our decisions viable...or so it seems...then reality hits and we are forced to see the obvious turns of events and how things play out...only then are we forced to take responsibility for our own ignorance...or continue to ignore/excuse it by saying "he must have been a magician, i never saw it" when we really know the truth was always was us that choose not see...

Auntie Flo' said...

Party leader has come to occupy a place we recognise in our ancient bones . The God King

Some fine obervation there. I think it comes down to us lot on the blogs and the dead tree lot to inform nulab that we are NOT going to have another unelected PM and that nulab will suffer in buckets if they try it again.

Auntie Flo' said...

As for that lispy, cologned cloud of self delight: Purrrrnell - aka the sleazy squirt

No way must that inexperienced incompetent become PM. He's born again Broon, even got Broon's mouth affliction. Purrr's a careerist snout in the trough, that's all he's ever done. And he's already mired in allegations of sleaze.

Look at the mess he's made of the lowly jobs he's had so far.

Look how radical I am, says, Purrrrnell, I'm going to get a million off incapacity and into work - and a maybe million single parents as well.

Well, 'scuse me, squirt, but how does an incompetent who hasn't even noticed that UK's labour market has collapsed and that we don't even have jobs for the many 100,000s made redundant in the past few months get to dream of being PM?

Because s*dding nulab are so s*dding desperate, that's how.

REC June survey: Job market at its weakest for 5 years and in minus growth. Prospects for years to come: bloody dire.

Body snatcher Harperson believes she has the answer: more quangoes.

We're going to have more environmental jobs, says Harperson, to enforce the totally unecessary fictional environmental regulations the EU and nulab are going to dream up.

So more regulation to kill off more of the vital SMEs that employ almost 60% of UK's workforce - in REAL JOBS - and are already on the verge of calling in the liquidators thanks to nulab.


I see that Purrrrnell's done a deal with Milipede - whose leaqdership bid Purrrrnell has offered not to oppose.

Very crafty, either:

let Milipede lead the party into electoral meltdown so Purrrrnell can take over afterwards - when nulab are even more bloody desperate.

Or: Appear to be so self denying and party minded that Purnell is nominated 'despite himself'.

Or: Get a the chancellor's job - no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, God help us

Newmania said...

Flo I think the feeling is that to tryb to get away with two years with another new leader would risk anihilation

Daisy I like that comment but i would say the role of ritual in making descisions impersonla is deeper than merely delusional self excusing

Bill Quango- I like Parliamentary democracy and i donot want to have an opnion oneveryhting inorder for goverment to function. That is why it is all importnat that there is biond of trust betyween the leader and the country. As you point out the uses of complexity have become a weapon ..the EU springs to mind

Newmania said...

HG- I am very keen that he stays right where he is . You leave that fine man alone

Auntie Flo' said...

HG- I am very keen that he stays right where he is . You leave that fine man alone(newmania)

Exactly. The poor wee soul is clearly trying to learn, he even took Sarah to see Macbeth so he could learn what he's doing wrong and begin mimicking the good guys for a change.

So, when PMQs are resumed
we can presumably expect MacBroon to stir his bogies chanting, "Hubble bubble, toil and trouble..." Yuk!

Auntie Flo' said...

Have you seen Tom Harris's comments on:

"I’ve been doing some serious thinking about my own nominations.

First, some ground rules. I’ve decided not to nominate blogs by professional working journalists. That’s not because they’re not worth reading - I’m a big fan of Ben Brogan, Coffee House, Three Line Whip and Red Box - but because blogging should be owned by the amateurs; journalists with loads of professional support and a well-financed backroom are cheating. It’s a bit like Wayne Rooney deciding to play for a Sunday league team in his spare time."

Tom Harris MP biog:

Tom Harris was born on 20 February 1964 in Beith, Ayrshire. He went to Garnock Academy before studying journalism at Napier College. He worked for the East Kilbride News and the Paisley Daily Express before becoming Press Officer for the Scottish Labour Party. Following that he worked as Press Officer at Strathclyde Regional Council and then Glasgow City Council, Public Relations Manager at East Ayrshire Council, and finally Head of PR at Strathclyde PTE until his election to Parliament.

Auntie Flo' said...

One form of ancient authority that gets relatively minor consideration is the charisma derived from the ability to transmit compelling non-verbal, subliminal or subconcious messages to collective others.

Blair was ace at this, but Cameron outclasses Blair at every turn on NLP or non-verbals. Why? Because he's a complete natural.

I've emailed Cameron asking him to consider another form of powerful non-verbal communication at the party conference: Ben Gee's sign language interpretation.

Gee's a hero among the deaf community (millions of us) and a gay icon - and a bl**dy fabulous BSL signer. Even hearing people love his signing.

Newmania said...

Gee's a hero among the deaf community (millions of us) and a gay icon - and a bl**dy fabulous BSL signer. Even hearing people love his signing.

I forget you are deaf Flo , my tinnitus is a constant nuisance.

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