Saturday, 25 January 2014

Alternative to 'political cartel': letter to Cambridge News

The Cambridge News was kind enough to publish my letter on why I'm voting UKIP in their edition of 24 January - here it is, with the name of the person whose letter I was responding to changed.

I read with interest John Smith's letter "The benefits of being in the EU (News, January 2, 2014).

Mr Cox mentions "rich UKIPers" - of the many people I know who intend to vote UKIP in the coming European and General Election, none is rich, myself included.

He states that "the City friends of Osbourne and Boris Johnson" wrecked our economy. Any deleterious effect Conservative policies have had on the economy have merely widened the cracks inflicted on the system by the previous Labour administrations. Remember Peter Mandelson announcing he was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich"? He seems to have been similarly quiescent about the amoral atmosphere in which many of these people acquired their lucre.

The Labour Party is just as much a part of what the late, left-leaning political scientist Peter Mair called a "political cartel" as are the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Each party offers roughly the same policies with different wrappings. I'm sure not every member of each of the three main parties wants things to be this way, but laws made by European bureaucrats who nobody in Europe got a chance to vote for make anything else impossible.

Is being a member of the EU 100 per cent bad for Britain? Of course not. But the benefits of membership are minimal in comparison for the harms we are suffering and the risks we face, both societal and economic. That's why I intend to vote UKIP.

Gerry Dorrian

Europe is slowly strangling the life out of national democracy - Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph: Oborne writes about Peter Mair's concept of the "political cartel" in what I think will be one of the defining political essays of 2014

Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy: The Emergence of the Cartel Party - originally published in Party Politics, now on politicacomparata: Oborne references this essay in his own, above

Click for reviews of Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy, in which Mair's ideas on the political cartel were posthumously developed from his notes

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