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13 October 2012
Continuing our exposure of the failings of so-called democracy in western countries, we cite in support an article by the right-wing former editor of the London Daily Telegraph Max Hastings.
The article in the London Guardian on 11 October 2012 contains a full-frontal attack on the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who is seen in Westminster as a strong contender to replace fellow Tory Party member David Cameron as UK Prime Minister if Cameron loses the next parliamentary election in 2015, as currently seems likely.
Hastings acknowledges Johnson’s wit, brilliance, showmanship and popularity with the public at large, but claims that he is unfit to be Prime Minister.
Describing Johnson as a “superlative exhibitionist”, Hastings claims that “he is “bereft of judgment, loyalty and discretion”.
Using Johnson as an example,, Hastings then lashes out at the decrepitude of democratic politics in today’s Britain.
“Only in the star-crazed, frivolous Britain of the 21st century could such a man have risen so high, ” says Hastings.
“One of our biggest problems as a society is that we have become obsessed by the X Factor culture. We no longer look for dignity, gravitas, decency or seriousness of purpose in our leaders in any field. We demand only stardust…
“I knew quite a few of the generation of British politicians who started their careers in 1945 – the likes of Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey, Edward Heath, Enoch Powell and Iain Macleod. The common denominator, whatever their party, was that they entered politics passionately believing they could change things. They were serious people. It does not matter whether they were wrong or right – almost all of them had real beliefs.
“Today most aspirant politicians of every party have not a personal conviction between them. They merely want to sit at the top table, enjoy power, bask in the red boxes and chauffeur-driven cars, then quit to get as rich as Tony Blair.”
We have no comment from Boris Johnson but readers can assume that he rejects the negative picture of him painted by Hastings.
Here at Antigone1984 we are not particularly interested in Johnson at this stage – the next parliamentary election is not due to take place for another three years and a lot can happen in that time. However, Max Hastings’s general attack on the current generation of superficial stardust politicians we fully endorse.
Hastings’s article in the London Guardian appears to have originally featured in the London Daily Mail.
For a broader analysis of the current crisis in western democracy, readers might check out item 2 below: “Partitocracy v. Democracy”.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.