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UK politics: the will to win

Richard North, 06/01/2013  


"The lies of Cameron and co are designed to one end, to keep the EU in control of the UK. We are bound into a developing political union which is not required to achieve free trade or access the single market. But the vested interests of the political class demand that the EU becomes the government of the member states against the wishes of voters, so the lies are told and repeated without challenge by the craven media which is desperate to keep 'access' to the politicians. That's how the game works".

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So says Autonomous Mind in as neat a summary of the state of play as you will get. Additionally, he takes on board the latest effluvia from Damian Reece in The Daily Telegraph, and his piece entitled "We may soon need Europe more than Europe needs us".

The decidedly pro-EU spin from this member of the "hack pack" is but a small indicator of the things to come. We are deluding ourselves if we believe the legacy media is going to back an "out" campaign. They will fall into line with the establishment, and promote continued membership for all they are worth.

As always, the opposition is going to come from other quarters, and we are beginning to see the makings of a leaderless revolution, where people are beginning to think for themselves, and make their own voices heard in an uplifting example of grassroots activism.

Today, though, we see the antithesis of this, where the establishment Telegraph runs a headline declaring of David Cameron that, "I want to lead the country until at least 2020".

Apart from the delusional aspect of the Cameron aspiring to remain in office after 2015 – unlikely on present form – there is something deeply disturbing in the implicit arrogance of this assumption of leadership of the country, although it is by no means clear that Cameron actually used these words. 

However, the point must be made that the prime minister, at best, is the leader of his government (primus inter pares) and of his party. He is not our leader. We are not a nation at war, we do not have a single purpose, and we do not, like sheep, need leading in any normal, or abnormal sense of the word.

That much applies to our daily lives but it also applies to the way we campaign for political change. There is a lazy tendency for people to sit back and bemoan the lack of a "leader", in the Churchillian mould, waiting for one to rise up and lead us to the sunlit uplands.

In fact, social change, when it occurs, most often arises through the actions, joint and several, of individuals. The individual choices of people matter, and they make the difference. We make our own choices in thousands of small ways as to whether to accept the status quo or reject it. 

The piece from Autonomous Mind about grassroots activism, outwith the political classes, is most definitely the model for the future. You have seen a little of this in our corner of the blogosphere recently. There is no leader – no Fürher - just individuals taking a stand and taking responsibility for their own actions, occasionally working together and most often on their own.

The will to win is about self-belief – not about quality of leadership. There are far more us than there are of them, and if our voices are not heard, we have only ourselves to blame. Politics is about people, not the ambitions of the political class. We need to make it so.

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