Mind the gap! Democratic deficit in UK, US has never been bigger
The issue of Syria has demonstrated the massive gap that has opened up between the elite and ordinary people in both the US and Britain.
Poll after poll after poll shows very large majorities against
strikes on Syria. People are war-weary, and the last thing they
want is for their countries to become embroiled in another
One Congressman in the US tweeted earlier this week that he had
asked 200 people if they supported strikes on Syria and only four
said 'Yes'- that's just 2 percent. Another said that 99
percent of calls to his office were against military action.
Let's get one thing straight: the only people who are keen on war with Syria in the US and UK are the elites. Ordinary people on both sides of the Atlantic want absolutely nothing to do with it.
In Britain, the overwhelming majority of people were delighted
that our parliament voted against war last week and that enough
of our legislators finally listened to the people to defeat the
A BBC poll showed that 71 percent of people thought parliament had made the right decision. Yet our neocon/'liberal interventionist' elite is furious that legislators listened to the views of ordinary members of the public and not them. “You're a disgrace,” screeched neocon Minister Michael Gove at MPs who voted against the government. Behaving like spoilt brats having a temper tantrum because they were not allowed to get their own way, the Permanent War brigade have been calling for a "second vote'' in parliament, showing arrogant contempt for the views of the majority of ordinary people who don't want war with Syria.
Neocon historian Andrew Roberts threw a hissy fit in a newspaper column last
Sunday, attacking the “hideously amoral selfishness” of
“new Britain” for not supporting war with Syria. Serial
warmonger and drama queen Lord Paddy Ashdown declared "In 50 years trying to serve my
country I have never felt so depressed/ashamed" - after
parliament finally listened to public opinion and not to
warmongers like Ashdown.
Nick Cohen, poster boy for Britain's pro-war faux-left tweeted
“Can't help thinking that the British parliament's vote will
be remembered as a low and mean point in our history.” Have
you got that? Parliament listening to ordinary members of the
public is a “low and mean point.” Such is the
fundamentally undemocratic neocon/liberal interventionist
mindset, which says that no point of view on foreign policy
counts except their own and that of their neocon pals.
Since last week's parliamentary vote, UK establishment figures
have been lining up to give Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, a
jolly good thrashing for daring to defy the War Party's line on
Syria. Writing in The Times, aptly described as 'The
Warmongers Gazette' by anti-war conservative writer Peter
Hitchens, David Aaronovitch called Miliband a 'political vulture'.
Aaronovitch's attack on Miliband was hailed as 'devastating' by
Ian Katz, the editor of Newsnight, the BBC's flagship Current
Affairs program, which wheeled out a 'Dr. Rola' from
'Hand in Hand For Syria' to criticize Miliband's failure
to back the government.
Since the vote Newsnight has promoted a series of
pro-intervention figures, seemingly desperate to try and get us
plebs to change our minds. What part of 'WE DON'T WANT WAR WITH
SYRIA' do our elite not understand? Now the high priest of
'Liberal Interventionism', the multi-millionaire war
criminal Tony Blair, has joined the 'Get Miliband' lynch
mob, saying that he was “disappointed” that
parliament hadn't supported the government, adding, “This is
something where I just have to disagree with the leadership of
the [Labour] party."
For our neocon/liberal interventionist elite, Miliband is a
shocker, a bounder, a rotter, and a 'political vulture'.
But most ordinary people in Britain are very pleased that he and
his party listened to the public and opposed the government on
Syria. You'd never have known it from reading neocon newspaper
columns, but after last week's vote, bookmakers shortened the
odds of Labour winning the next election to 8-13.
If Miliband and his party had voted the way the neocons wanted, then it’s highly likely that earlier this week US and British forces would have launched their attack on Syria. Which is why of course the Permanent War gang are so angry with him.
The pro-war lobby may be numerically tiny, but in both the US and
UK it is massively overrepresented in the mainstream media.
Despite the Iraq debacle, the same columnists who urged on that
particular catastrophe, are still in front of their keyboards,
propagandizing for yet another Middle East 'intervention',
and are still treated with enormous deference whenever they
appear on the likes of CNN or the BBC. Which is very, very often.
“Did you know there are people who supported the Iraq War getting invited on news programs to talk about Syria?” tweets comedy writer Graham Linehan. S'TRUE!!!
The disproportionate voice that necons and 'liberal interventionists' have in the UK and US media makes it appear that their views are more widely held in the public at large than they are. But in fact their extremist pro-war views are very rarely found outside elite, Establishment circles.
The gap between the elites in the US and the UK is now larger than at any time in the last 100 years. If we do go to war with Syria, despite the overwhelming public opposition, then it will show that democracy is well and truly dead in both our countries.
Are we countries where the views of the majority are listened to,
or are we countries where a tiny, unrepresentative, pro-war
clique always gets their way? We're about to find out.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.