Shuffling Democracy


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Short briefing on how disintermediation is affecting Irish and British Politics

Published in: News & Politics, Education
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Shuffling Democracy

  1. 1. Shuffling democracy And the disintermediation of our politics
  2. 2. –Shakespeare, Henry IV Part One “The times are wild: contention like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose And bears down all before him.”
  3. 3. Losing the compass? • In 2010 the UK electorate went off piste • Tory party gained in places they hadn't expected • Labour survived but *still* isn't sure why • Led to UK's first formal post war Coalition • Murdoch vacillated (so 'The Sun' didn't win)
  4. 4. Old bottles and new wine? • Most political arguments are constitutional • SNP are building a popular movement • Ditto UKIP with the Tory party's nationalist identity • Ireland no longer has a natural party of government • Northern Ireland admin is leaking authority/agency
  5. 5. Is politics shrinking? • The rise of Euroscepticism is broad • Exaggerating benefits of negative actions • Channeling distress at loss of democratic agency • Resort to populism a response to over-complication • Shreds mandate of establishment for clear action
  6. 6. Policy be damned.. • Loss of traditional media as a "reliable witness" • Polls cannot cope with "cognitive polyphasia" • They tell us what we don't like, not what we want • Elites fearful of making themselves accountable • Losing ability to tell resonant stories of positive action.
  7. 7. –Ben Okri ““A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Stories can conquer fear, and make the heart larger.”