“Revolting,” by Nick Hume
A.C. Grayling expounded on the threat to democracy in an eye-opening “Democracy And It’s Crisis”
Times columnist, Editor of Spiked and self-proclaimed leftie Mick Hume goes to the mattresses against those undermining democracy. And among those he takes on is Grayling, whom he accuses of being among the cleritocracy who believe democracy requires a clear-thinking elite guiding the unwashed, ignorant masses on how to vote.
So who is this whippersnapper? asks my friend Quinten who is on first name term with Grayling.
This makes Hume’s point exactly.
Denegrate and belittle opponents and those daring to speak out against the conventional wisdom!
Grayling uses the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House as the pegs for allowing that democracy is failing us.
Hume find both these developments deeply regrettable.
However, his point is they are both democracy in action.
More Britons voted for Brexit than for anything else in British democratic history.
Their vote, like Americans who cast their ballot for Donald Trump, was a revolt against the elite preferring to tell them how to vote rather than engage them and address their issues and misgivings. In fairness, Grayling also make this point.
Hume insists democracy will often not give the desired outcome . The only way of addressing this is engaging in more debate to win the battle of ideas.
He fears that too much power has been handed to unelected groups, like judges and the European Commission, by the political elite determined to keep this out of the hands of the demos: the people.
Both he and Grayling draw on the first democracy in Athens 2 500 year ago which failed dismally to the extent that no one dared propose the idea for 2 000 years.
Hume argues that a successful democracy should go back to the Athenian roots with a careful removal of sexism and others mistakes .
This will mean taking power away from the unelected directors who dismiss opponents as racist and ignorant.
I am particularly drawn to the late Tony Benn’s acid test of anyone in power: exactly what power do you have; where did yo get it from; how are you sing it for the good of the people; and how do we get ride of you. 2015-05-18