From this side of the pond the Iowa Democratic Primary results have given us, depending on your political persuasion, a frisson of either deep pleasure or deep joy – or in some more extreme cases a combination.
The sight of a vote being ignored to ensure that the preferred candidate got the nod would warm the cockles of the hearts of those who, despite the clear reality of the UK’s exit from the EU, feel that something went wrong.
In Iowa of course democracy (amongst Democrats natch) was usurped to create what can be described as assisted democracy – a sort of reverse assisted suicide.
Here in the UK many amongst the left in the guise of the Labour Party, at least the wiser heads amongst them are hoping that something similar can be organized. They call it post-democracy.
But then we have to look at what they would do with this twisted form of democracy. Seriously, the goings on here in the UK would make the staunchest Bernie fan blush.
Imagine the Democrats nomination for Secretary of State calling for the theft of private property by the state.
Emily Thornberry, who is the Labour party’s spokeswoman on Foreign Affairs, this week did just that. On live TV she suggested that if a flat was left vacant the Government should be able to take it.
“If you leave a flat empty and you’re not using it then you will lose it… They would need to justify why it’s been empty for the amount of time that it has”.
She is in the running to be the leader of the Labour Party, and she is proposing theft of property, and the need for individuals to justifying the ownership of property.
So much for the basis of individual liberty. So how about being able to go to war if necessary?
Richard Burgon, contender for deputy leader – or the Veep nomination in US terms – has come up with a ‘peace pledge’.
This beauty of an idea means that before committing British troops to a conflict there would have to be a confirmatory vote amongst Labour Party supporters. He does caveat it that if the UN approved that would OK.
Imagine a future President getting the phone call from the Secretary of Defence at 2am.
“Sir, the balloon has gone up, we have to commit troops”.“OK Mr Secretary, convene a General assembly of the UN security Council.”“Sir, it’s 2am on a Sunday morning”.“OK, then set up an online vote amongst all registered Democrats, we should get an answer by next Thursday.”
One of the things that the UK can do and is reliable about is to project rapid reaction forces if required. We are no lap dog and we will not always support US military action, the Prime Minister must and will continue to have the discretion to act in what he or she sees as the UK’s essential national interest. But this political lunacy would condemn the UK to utter irrelevance.
So please, while you look on bemused at the Democratic Party’s shenanigans over what constitutes a legitimate vote and what it means to win one, just thank goodness you do not have the UK’s left to deal with.