661-Pete wrote:Another question. Are "Vox Pops" a form of "democracy"? The media, the Beeb especially, seem to have been relying on them quite a lot in the past few years - heavily edited and redacted, no doubt - and the majority of opinions expressed on air seem to have been strongly pro-brex**it. Are they representative of the "voice of the people"? Reminds me of the boy singing Tomorrow Belongs to Me in the film Cabaret. Was he expressing public opinion as of that time? The people surrounding him in the cafe seem to think so... (with a couple of notable exceptions).
There is rarely any cohesive and singular national "we" with an alignment of all views, policy-wishes, attitudes or anything else in Britain. During a world war perhaps. There's a fundamental contradiction at the heart of nations which on the one hand claim to be representative-democratic but on the other hand claim to be composed of individuals. If the nation is full of self-defining individuals then it's unlikely to be a nation of any coherence other than that enforced by various rather undemocratic means. There are a hundred different views on any and everything, many of them mutually exclusive. Just read this forum to see this.
What means, then, do we have for retaining the edifice of the British nation-state? The FPTP electoral system; the massive propaganda organs; the laws and institutions that are highly favourable to a ruling class (e'g' property laws and the public school-Oxbridge system). Once it was "a series of policies and institutions that provided a opportunities and meaningful roles for all in society". That world is long gone.
Of course, our ruling class is something of a clan. They don't really believe in the nation-state either except as a vehicle to extend their power & privilege. Their Brexit moves have been a means to rid themselves of what they perceive to be a drag-anchor (the EU) on their means to ever more power and privilege. Paradoxically, their Brexit moves have also revealed the fragmentary condition of the British nation-state, wherein several elements now wish for their own version of Brexit. Or alternatively, a real nation-state for the benefit of everyone in it rather than a 1%.
More to the point, the now exposed fragmentation of the nation-state of Britain has become such that far more people are now disaffected from it. Many remainers, for example. And Scottish Nationalists Others are very desperate to retain something to which they can belong and will pretend 'til they're blue in the face that there is still a "we. the people". Many Brexiters, for example. And the sort of people who would like to practice ethnic cleansing until there is only a remnant of "like-minded people" or "people like us".
Myself I would prefer the nation-state to survive and prosper. I would prefer it to do so within a strengthening and supportive matrix like the EU. I would like it to be truly democratic (genuine and disinterested representation for all elements) and tolerant of wide differences. Yet less rights and more duties for all those "individuals". It would need to have a far better balance of power with far less privilege for a super-class intent on destruction of all opposition or control, at any cost (to others).
In practice, I believe we are heading down a slippery slope to national dissolution, full of "individuals" who will themselves become full of regrets as they come to realise just how much the nation-state supported every aspect of their self-indulgent lives. They may express their regrets by displacing it to the bullying (and worse) of those "not like us".