Even Cameron The Toff Gets Democratic Consent, Unlike Some Remoaners

‘A fragile state is one that has been racked by conflict, affected by corruption, one that is not really capable of delivering the basic services like health and education that its people needs. It’s often got a very divided society.’

But enough about Britain, to misquote former prime minister David Cameron in an interview with CNN earlier this week.

Presumably from his expensive shed, Cameron has been chairing a report into how the West fixes dysfunctional countries, advocating a gradualist, conservative approach that takes proper account of local conditions. It seems jolly sensible.

Being complex, boring and a tad vague, it has been overlooked by hacks in favour of Cameron’s admission he believes holding a referendum was justified. Cameron remains a remainer, but previously said the outlook for Britain leaving the bloc was not as doom-laden as previously thought – ‘a mistake, not a disaster.’

Unlike some undemocratic remoaners, he also acknowledges the basic principal of political consent.

‘I don’t regret holding a referendum; I think it was the right thing to do,’ he said. ‘I don’t think you can belong to these organisations and see their powers grow, and treaty after treaty, and power after power going from Westminster to Brussels, and never asking the people whether they are happy being governed that way.

‘There was also, I believe, a quite fundamental problem that Britain had, and Britain was seeing, with the development of the single currency, the beginning of decisions being made about us without us, and we needed to fix our position. I wanted to fix it inside the European Union; the British public chose that we would fix it from outside the European Union.’

Correct, although I suspect the conventional read that Cameron was hoping to avoid a referendum by again forming a coalition with the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election is true.

Frontbench British politicians have studiously avoided the lack of political accountability in Europe ever since we joined the European Economic Community – save for the 1975 referendum that approved that membership.

Even so, it is awkward for remoaners that even Cameron says that people should not be governed without consent.

The Origins Of The People’s Front Of Judea Vs The Judean People’s Front

While reading a crap Guardian piece on the importance of authority, I came across The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman, a feminist writer.

The essay, stitched together from several publishings, eloquently defends formal structures for making decisions, noting that in their absence friendship groups, personal ties and organic interactions dominate – excluding outsiders, the otherwise busy and the shy.

One passage reminded me of what Sigmund Freud called ‘the narcissism of small differences’. This is the idea that similar groups tend to bicker more bitterly with one another than rivals they have little in common with, perhaps most famously portrayed in Life of Brian.

Small differences can flare into international conflict, but they can also divide inert, tiny political groups, perhaps especially those doing little beyond chatting. As Freeman writes:

‘For those groups which cannot find a local project to which to devote themselves, the mere act of staying together becomes the reason for their staying together. When a group has no specific task (and consciousness raising is a task), the people in it turn their energies to controlling others in the group.

‘This is not done so much out of a malicious desire to manipulate others (though sometimes it is) as out of a lack of anything better to do with their talents. Able people with time on their hands and a need to justify their coming together put their efforts into personal control, and spend their time criticizing the personalities of the other members in the group. Infighting and personal power games rule the day.

‘When a group is involved in a task, people learn to get along with others as they are and to subsume personal dislikes for the sake of the larger goal. There are limits placed on the compulsion to remold every person in our image of what they should be.’

Should informal groupings and infighting lead to a vicious split, you get the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front. Or most rock bands after the talent and the cocaine run out.

Podcast Ep. 108: Cambridge Analytics Snubs Jeremy Corbyn

Right Dishonourable 108 Alexander Nix Labour toxic

Cambridge Analytica’s data shenanigans, Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-semitism shenanigans, and Harriet Harman’s all-women leadership shortlist shenanigans are the three topics this week.

Joining us is Charlie Brades-Price, television producer and co-host of DAS Podcast, which discusses everything from sisterhood to sandwiches.

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Why Does Anyone Care About Renew? (Part 2)

About a month and a half ago the launch of metropolitan elitist party Renew prompted us to ask why the group had garnered such voluminous press coverage – which we then added to by discussing it on our podcast.

The news cycle swiftly flushed the party out, but a recent interview by the Blairite comedian Matt Forde on his excellent podcast has shown there are signs of life in Renew.

Chris Coghlan, founder of Renew and former counter-terrorism officer with the Foreign Office, said the party was raising £10,000 a month, mostly out of small donations, and has 20 full or part-time staff.

It will also be running candidates in Battersea, Tooting and Putney, and wants to be ready for a snap election from this summer onwards. Its candidate base has certainly grown since we last looked, and has spread geographically far beyond the initial London-heavy selection.

Coincidentally, the Observer yesterday reported that a new centrist party with £50m of backing has been in stealth mode for a year. Perhaps they should pool their efforts?

It bears raising that the base rate for new political parties forming governments is almost negligible. Labour, who formed in 1900, are the newest party to lead a government. Though the Liberal Democrats formed in 1988 and were part of the 2010 coalition government, they are direct successors to the Liberals of old.

That said, Renew have already done better than 90 percent of those parties who register with the Electoral Commission. To be continued.