Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Conservative in tooth and claw

For some reason, I completely missed this story about the Torygraph-owning Barclay brothers and their advocacy of democracy on Sark.

Vile shitheads.


Mike said...

For democracy read "elect our puppet candidates, and return to feudal times".

And again no outcry of Stalinism, etc, etc.

mikeovswinton said...

Mike; according to the TV stories I saw on this they claimed to be running AGAINST the previous feudal system.
All that said, this seems to be a case of you can have all the democracy you want as long as you elect the right candidates. Actually, I think you have to admire the sheer bloody mindedness of the people of Sark in waving two fingers at these Barclays.... (I suggest that you read Kenneth Williams' Diaries on the subject of Barclays.)

Crushed said...

Thanks for directing my attention to this...

It is my argument that ALL democracy in a Capitalist econonomy works like this, only less naked.
Money blackmails the voters.

Paulie said...

Hmm Crushed. I once wrote a very long essay on that subject and concluded that you are right - up to a point (though that's true of most propositions).

I've lost the essay now, but it had headings like...

- Deferential voting
- Rational deferential voting
- The mass media as a pressure group promoting the interests of the owners
- the misuse of the concept of 'liberty' in the service of pressure-groups interests
- Advertising and the influence on journalism
- Political funding
- Class alignment and de-alignment
- Variations in the mix of mixed economies
- Gramsci - Hegemony

And you know what? I concluded that republican representative democracy ensured the least-worst outcome under the circumstances while progressively reducing the problem!

(The more you return here, the less that last sentence will surprise you...)

Mike said...

Fair comment, but I find the terminology misleading.

Sark's traditional feudalism seems democratic, in that 'everyone worked for the good of the island'. The Barclays' democracy was de facto feudalism: to work in our hotels, you must elect our representatives. The islanders duly exercised their new democratic rights at the election.

The Barclay's campaign against feudalism has been to make Brecqhou independent of Sark (and, probably, to promote their own business interests on Sark). Principally, to avoid paying taxes, and to leave their estate to all of their descendents. Sark obliged, changed the taxation & inheritance laws, drew up a constitution, held the election. In other words, behaved democratically.

ivan007 said...

God, I'm glad someone is fingering them for what they are. The BBC etc seemed to just find the story vaguely amusing.