They have been called low information voters or LIVs, people who vote but know next to nothing about political trends, issues or possibilities. People who don’t even know the names of major cabinet ministers or the role of the EU in making UK law.
Yet they vote.
In my view and no doubt quite a few others, the main function of the EU has been to sideline all voters simply because the governing classes regard us as too thick and politically idle to be allowed into policy-making.
Whatever its original purpose, the EU clearly intends to sweep away the untidiness of democracy and smarten things up with a makeover of professional policy-makers. Nothing must be left to chance or the whim of voters in the fanatical pursuit of extreme, micro-managed political tidiness.
Anarchy is the enemy of liberty, and so, at its highest pitch, is mechanical efficiency. The good life can be lived only in a society where tidiness is preached and practised, but not too fanatically, and where efficiency is always haloed, as it were, by a tolerated aura of mess.
Aldous Huxley – Themes and Variations
We used to refer to extreme political tidiness as fascism, communism, totalitarianism or whatever. Take your ideological pick. Soft fascism melds well with modern trends.
Whatever we choose to call it, the EU has created a situation where the main function of national politicians is the covert implementation of EU policy. This leaves them plenty of spare time to waffle their way through faux public debates on unimportant, preferably non-EU issues.
So is democracy worth saving and is UKIP the party to give it the kiss of life here in the UK?
Well UKIP is hardly likely to resolve the LIV issue even if against all the odds it makes inroads into EU domination. So we may as well face the possibility that LIVs don’t give a toss about democratic principles because they don’t analyse political issues beyond their own superficial and largely inflexible allegiances.
It takes a lot to shift us out of our comfort zones because here in the early twenty first century those zones are voluptuously comfortable. Especially when compared to living standards of only a few generations ago.
We don’t take to the streets, agitate for general strikes or vote for a dwindling number of folk who actually want to make democracy work. Life is simply too comfortable to be bothered with all that reading and thinking malarkey.
So LIVs vote for the mainstream every time. Democracy is on the way out and what the future will usher in as its replacement is not easily guessed at. The change will be slow though, so LIVs won’t notice until it is too late.
Maybe it’s too late already and UKIP is no longer relevant apart from being a repository for protest votes – but LIVs don’t do protest votes.