Thursday, 10 May 2007

What price democracy?

The announcement (today) by Tony Blair that he will finally unburden himself of the heavy mantle of office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom should give us all pause for thought.

I hold no brief whatsoever for Mr Blair, although I have watched his political career with interest ever since he was shoe-horned into the safe, Labour seat of Sedgefield, in County Durham. The story of the shoe-horn is one that I will save for a later date.

Inevitably, my thoughts today turned to the subject of democracy (even if that notion had been palpably lacking at the time he was selected as the Labour candidate for Sedgefield in 1983). Approximately every five years or so, I am invited to do something which is quaintly described as 'cast my vote' in a General Election which, I am told, might determine the very course of our nation. It has always been a source of concern to me that this 'right to vote' is universal, and extends way beyond the circle of friends and other people I have come to trust for their opinion. Be that as it may, when the people speak, Bill Blunt listens. The gripes I have against the Blair Government are fewer, and weaker, than I might have expected when he came to power in 1997.

But I digress. My thoughts, today, were on another form of democracy: the democracy of the internet.

Ever since I discovered the blogosphere, I have been invited to 'vote' on a quite alarmingly frequent basis. In fact, I think I may have spent at least ten minutes of every day since that date (which, thanks to the wonders of the internet I can pinpoint as 2.42pm on 19 July 2006) voting on something or another.

Every day, I vote for the admirable Ben Sparks, who (for reasons best known to himself) wants to be paid to 'blog for a year'.

Then, there are the new (and old) friends and acquaintances who I regularly vote for via such sites as Fuel My Blog. All in all, I seem to spend an increasing part of my day voting. I don't mind in the least doing this - in fact, I find the whole process both empowering and (to a slight degree at least) enjoyable.

Yes, I have my 'favourites'. And I'm not in the least afraid to list them here - so, if you feel inclined, you might vote for them yourselves. The democracy of the internet means you no longer have to wait five years to scratch a blunt pencil across a ballot paper. You can vote as many times as you like (well, on a daily basis, at least) for some (or, indeed, all) of these people:

Daddy Papersurfer
Harry McFry
Lord Likely
THAT Domestic Minx

Of course, after having spent just a minute clicking all those links, you may have a few seconds to spare to vote for Bill.
I can't promise you that the world will change when you (preferably right-) click those links. But it may be a slightly happier place, all things considered, than it was in 1983, when Tony Blair abused the democratic process to push his way into a safe Labour seat. If you don't believe me, perhaps you should ask wiki. Paying particular attention to paragraph two of 'Early Political Career'.

If you choose to bookmark this page so that you can, like me, easily vote for those people you have come to respect and admire, then you'll know, by now, it's not my style to stop you.

What price democracy? A minute a day, now, if you bookmark this page.


70s teen said...

I am obviously too young to vote being a 'teen'. How will this announcement alter my life?

Not an Iota I think......... I am not political in the slightest I bumble about life dreaming of Donny and pink and fluffy stuff....... so I say 'Vote Donny for PM'

Daddy papersurfer said...

Mrs Blunt is a very lucky woman if she is as well fed as I have been - thank you, Mr B.
I wrote something about Tony Blur on a blog - I can't remember where though - which probably says it all.

nursemyra said...

hey thanks for the free publicity.

I did as I was told and clicked for you

Andrew Goulding Articles said...

Tony Blair is one thing...but word games are another:
Vote is an anagram of VETO
Live is an anagram of VILE
Love is an anagram of VOLE &
Democracy is an anagram of MY COD RACE.

What's John West got to say about that, then?

Lord Likely said...

Many thanks, Mr. Blunt. Many thanks indeed.

I followed your advice, and heartily fuelled my own blog.