Douglas Carswell

29 DEC 2015

2015, the year of political insurgency? Wait 'til you see 2016 .....

Just before Christmas, Spanish voters became the latest to rebel against their political Establishment. The global rise of political insurgents tells us one thing: the old political consensus isn't working.

Voters around the world are all disaffected with their governments at the same time. This isn't a coincidence. People aren't just playing copycat. Nor is this only about economics. There is a deeper issue at the heart of our politics.

People are realising that whichever way they vote, nothing seems to change. That's why they are now voting for genuine, radical alternatives instead. The political Establishment has failed them.

Some are aghast about the rise of insurgents. They see extremists winning public support, and they fear the will of the people. But it is misguided to fear voters. We should be afraid of the failure of democracy: if the people support change but government stays the same anyway, we no longer live in a genuinely democratic society.

But it is also misguided to believe that a change of rhetoric and personnel will automatically bring change in government. Syriza in Greece are a case in point: they were originally elected on a platform of opposing EU austerity measures, and have ended up implementing even harsher EU austerity measures than those they set out to oppose. And when the insurgents fail, what then?

The problem is that too much government is totally disconnected from the people. In the UK, we are governed from Brussels by EU officials we never elected and cannot get rid of. But we are also governed by unelected officials in Whitehall. Vast institutions with their own political agendas that elected representatives can no longer hold to account.

The root of stasis and groupthink in political Establishments worldwide is Big Government. As long as we allow power to be centralised in opaque officialdom, there will never be change. Insurgents who ignore the role of Big Government will inevitably fail to deliver. Effective insurgency must shrink the State to give back power to the people.

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The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy

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