Rory Ridley-Duff, September 2012 Creative Commons 3.0 Licence
ask me a politi
cian’s question,” she
replied, drawing laughter from the studio audience.Sharon relented. She held up her hands to indicate that she would answer.
Okay. Nobody is forced to take part in
,” she started. “We have a problem
in our society.We have outlawed the activities
old firm - th
at’s why he’s here tonight
For twenty years we’ve let
the problem grow of men and women in their middle years pushed to themargins. But this group is different.
. He’s got
food and a nice home. He even keptmuch of the money he made. But he, like many others, have been shunned at work, denied a meaningfullife. And this is true of two hundred thousand others affected by the changes. We cut share trading by 90%and people like Harold who previously depended on casino capitalism now have to find work.
Applause spluttered from a few parts of the auditorium. Sharon, however, was not finished.
Suicides used to be highest amongst young men between the ages of 16
24, especially war veteransand prison inmates. Today, the highest suicide rates are amongst 35
45 year old ex-stockbrokers.
Harold raised his hand, trying to interrupt, but Peter Dimbleby ignored him.
is not about money
,” Sharon continued
about human transformation. Contestantscome back to life when they find new ways to use their skills.
re using - not wasting -
Harold finally got his chance to intervene and made the most of it.
If you really wanted to improve their health, repeal the legislation that made them outlaws.
“What about our health?” someone in the audience shouted. Unperturbed, Harold continued.
They were wealth creators!
he asserted.Sharon felt the hairs on her neck bristle.
They were wealth
,” she responded sharply.
Peter Dimbleby held up a hand to stop Sharon. He opened up the debate to the other panellists.
do you all think
?” he interjected.
comprising MPs from the Tory, Labour, Liberal-Democrat, Green, Socialist andCo-operative parties
shaped a new political landscape. The public wanted
democracymore than parliamentary democracy, but dismantling parliament was even harder than reforming the Cityof London. The Levenson report, published in 2013, created a consensus that politicians had beenirretrievably corrupted by corporate interests. Avaaz co-ordinated social movements in a globalcampaign for
to be able to vote on legislative proposals, rather than politicians. In 2018, theUK became the first country to begin conversion to a participatory democracy. By 2030, the peoples of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England voted for each and every Act of Parliament.MPs, fearing a public rebellion, had restructured the social contract. They were now busier than ever,working with civil servants to draft laws, facilitating TV and public debates, visiting constituents to takequestions and comments, and actively charged with limiting the power of lobbyists. The
alsochanged to one of enabling citizens to examine legislative proposals through thousands of public fora.The internet cut referenda costs to 1% of the level they had been in 2012.
said the Tory MP
, “but not without merit.
I agree with Sharon that wecannot ignore the suicide rates
, but I’m not sure this show
brings investors ‘back to life’ –
it seems morelike a deeper and more permanent death.
At the previous week’s meeting of
the 1922 Committee, she had argued that any form of public votingwas
. The plebs, she argued - despite sustained improvements in their well-being and literacyfollowing renationalisation of the health and education systems - were too stupid to participate in politics.The Socialist MP quickly interjected.
“This show’s ratings suggest
that the public are still hungry for an alternative to the catastrophiceconomic management of old. The public understands that
were part of a class war topreserve the power of the wealthy.
shows people coming to terms with their past and givesthem a chance to redeem themselves
. I support the show 100%.”
Actually, the Socialist MP did not support the show 100%. Privately, he was on record saying that hewould not lose any sleep if contestants were lined up and shot but he was no more prepared to expressthis view on the BBC than the Tory was prepared to explain why participatory democracy was
.The Green and Labour MPs also argued with each other.
“The show is laudable, but
where is the attempt to slow down economic growth?
” said the Green