2007 - 2021

A Democracy of the 0.18%

Yesterday I tweeted that there’s “only about 70,000 members of the Conservative Party. Basically a dwindling coterie of some of the worst people in Britain are about to choose a candidate from a selection of some of the most repugnant politicians in the UK. That person will be our Prime Minister.”

That was untrue.

It turns out the Conservative Party has nearer 120,000 members in the UK (source Laura McAllister & Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University).

So that means that 0.18% of the UK will soon decide the next Prime Minister of the UK & the fate of the UK [from @BenGwalchmai].
Out of the current front-runners: Boris Johnson: 51% Dominic Raab: 19% Michael Gove: 10% Jeremy Hunt: 9% Rory Stewart: 6% Andrea Leadsom: 5% six are millionaires of which two are old Etonians, five are Oxford graduates and one is a woman who won’t win [h/t Otto English].
That’s sobering.

For all of May’s bizarre comments as she gripped the lectern she claimed incredibly that: “Brexit was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country, a call to make the United Kingdom a country that works for everyone.”One of the issues about the constitutional convulsions we’ve been exposed to is the other social, economic and ecological crisis that it overshadows. England’s Brexit nightmare obliterates everything before it. This farce of electing a leader with 0.18% reveals the makeup of the political class and the concentrated elite nature of Britain’s failed political institutions.

After such a period of upheaval and chaos, Britain emerges as a broken divided society. Divided by nation, by class, by unequal regional prosperity, disfigured by poverty and inequality, divided by generation, gender and race. Any Tory leader elected from such a pathetically tiny electorate must call a general election to have any semblance of credibility. Much of May’s speech was other-worldly, as if she is inhabiting a completely different dimension. She ended her desperate oratory with a series of statements so out of step with reality it’s worth recording:

“We stand together. And together we have a great future. Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.”



Comments (18)

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  1. Welsh Sion says:

    “So that means that 0.18% of the UK will soon decide the next Prime Minister of the UK & the fate of the UK [from @BenGwalchmai].”

    – Could someone come up with the equivalent percentage for the People’s Republic of China, so often derided as ‘undemocratic’? My guess is that there’s a higher percentage of people eligible to vote and appoint (anoint?) the Glorious Leader over there than there is in this shamocracy over here.

    It gets even … ahem … worse if we go by the current polling figures that were Johnson to win of these figures, he has a ‘mandate’ of 51% *of that* 0.18%. What sort of ‘democracy’ allows for that? And allows the future of ‘the country’ to be decided on such appallingly small electorates?

  2. Andy Anderson says:

    The Tories now seem to be rushing heads down straight into a boxed canyon with Boris leading the charge. The simple fact that the little the UK has of a constitution requires that a Prime Minister can only be ‘appointed’ by the Queen if he/she commands a majority in the Commons. Boris and his army of ancient Britons seem to be unaware of that, they are too busy trying to bully the EU leadership into accepting their conditions as the only terms for a settlement with the EU or threatening to damage the EU’s trading position at the cost of destroying the UK’s trading position. This looks like a negotiating strategy designed by the Mad Hatter. Scotland must get ready to hold a quick referendum on independence so that we can get our people and our economy out of this mess.

  3. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    This exemplifies who really runs The ‘United’ Kingdom and who have done – with some changes – since 1707.

    What this group has done over the centuries is to allow some others to share some crumbs (or, more charitably, the end (‘heel’ or ‘arse’) of their loaf, so long as they keep the rest of the hot polloi in their place. This group, represented by the Conservative Party (and the Lib Dems, and a significant group in the Labour Party, in the DUP, in ‘The Brexit Party ‘ in UKIP, in ‘Choice UK, etc ), also feel they are in some way a ‘precariat’ and so, sustain the ruling order, at various elections. Occasionally, things get so bad for them that there is a bit of redistribution of power and wealth (short term, of course), that a Labour (or, in previous centuries, Whigs, forms of Liberal Party, even Tories(!)) Government is permitted to ‘govern’ for a short period, before being brought down by a ‘run on the pound’ or other financial crisis, such as the 2008 crash, and the ruling clique takes over again and begins reversing most of the redistribution that had taken place.

    Already, the BBC and most of the other media are preparing the ethos for the retention of power. This was exemplified by the wall to wall Borisism on Good Morning Scotland and the unctuous ‘Shereen’. Of course, the flaws of Mr Johnson were rehearsed (to get them out of the way), but these were attenuated by references to Mr Johnson’s ‘wit’ and ‘brilliance’: ‘He really is a card and a rogue, but dontcha just love him?’

    In the Morning Star today, despite the accurate condemnation of Mrs May and her party, is promoting BRITISHISM, via Labour careerists, like Joanne Rowley MP and Joe Cullinane (Ayrshire councillor), who are claiming their entitlement and promulgating the lie that ONLY Labour has the vision to create a new Britain (after a Brexit, which it will facilitate.)

  4. w.b. robertson says:

    out of curiosity (and editorial “balance”), please remind me just what percentage of the Scottish public effectively elect our own FM?

    1. Keith MacKenzie says:

      Our FM was elected by the Scottish Parliament……………not members of a political party!

    2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      This is one of these pompous, but vacuous, debating points, which a few precious people seem to enjoy. What percentage of the UK population ‘elected’ any Prime Minister?

  5. Elaine Fraser says:

    What percentage of the population do the ‘Tran’s lobby represent ?

    How come the rights of 52% of the population can be ignored or eroded apparently on the say so of this unelected wealthy ‘lobby’ ?

    Somethings are even more important than Brexit or dare I say Independence.

    1. Craig Binns says:

      What is the “Tran’s lobby”? And what has it done, or what power does it have, that is comparable with deciding who is to be the next head of the UK’s government?

      1. Thanks Craig, I was confused about how these two debates could possibly be connected?

      2. Elaine Fraser says:

        Hi Craig

        Women are facing the erosion of their hard-won sex-based rights.

        The Scottish government plans to amend the Gender Recognition Act so that any man can declare himself a women. Think about that. Any man.

        When as an adult human female you realise what is at stake , debates about how unrepresentative the tories are sort of pale into insignificance.

        Here are two websites you could look at if you want to learn more.


        WomensplaceUK ( excellent videos)

        Mike says he is confused as to why I mentioned this issue regarding his article on representation and the Tories. The real is issue for me is who will stand up and represent half the population in their struggles.

  6. Ronald AlexanderMcDonald says:

    Circa 100,00 senile old buggers who think the UK should leave the EU without a deal and start a second empire, will decide Scotland’s economic future!

  7. Craig P says:

    Is it too late for a mass joining of the Conservative Party? Then we could all vote for the candidate who is least damaging!

    Oh, wait. There isn’t one.

  8. SleepingDog says:

    I feel there is a case for subjecting any prospective public-office-holder to the kind of test Rick Deckard uses to detect empathy-lacking replicants in Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Possibly live broadcast, with a loaded weapon, would be an interesting development. I wonder what odds the bookies would give of the prospective Tory leaders passing?

  9. Derek Henry says:

    And the EU ??

    How’s that democratic set up working out ? Or are you still only prepared to see one side of the debate.

    France on fire, Italy, France and Poland on the verge of leaving not to mention what they done and are still doing to the Greeks. As they parade around countries like
    pets in a zoo.

    Brexit: a massive smokescreen (but Britain should still leave)


  10. Derek Henry says:

    What is needed is a progressive vision of national sovereignty

    Says it all really of why we are where we are and what is needed and Nicola’s version of Indy is not the answer


  11. Jo says:

    Just nearly choked…..Andrea Leadsom is claiming she is the “decisive and compassionate leader needed to reunite the country”!

  12. Wul says:

    “We stand together.”:
    Our country has never been more divided.

    “And together we have a great future.”:
    A tiny portion of the population are getting richer. The rest of you are Donald Ducked.

    “Our politics may be under strain”:
    Our democracy (such as it was) has crumbled to dust.

    “…but there is so much that is good about this country.”:
    By most metrics this is one of the least healthy, least happy, most unequal and poorest of the Northern hemisphere’s developed countries.

    “So much to be proud of.”
    Our country’s reputation has been trashed. We are an embarrassment.

    “So much to be optimistic about.”:
    Our population has never been more pessimistic about the future. And with good reason. (Our immigrant and minority ethnic populations, perhaps not so optimistic)

  13. Phil 1964 says:

    As an English reader of this website, please don’t assume that everyone south of the border is complicit in this fiasco, there are many people down here who are appalled by the actions of this government, and horrified by how this government have widened inequality and sought to turn groups against each other.

    I’m not a supporter of Scottish independence as I feel Scotland will be moving away from its main economic market (the rest of the UK) in the same way that Brexit moves the UK away from its main market (the EU), but you should be given the opportunity to vote on it.

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