Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Democracy Village: A Parable of the Liberal Democrats?

Several bloggers far more illustrious than I (Iain Dale, Adam Boulton and Ben Brogan, for example) have carried the recent developments surrounding the Parliament Square 'Democracy Village'. Camps - unlike marches - are an attempt to entrench the expression of a given political view (or more commonly, views) in either a public or an inconvenient place (or more commonly, both). Hopefully, we will soon see the end of it.

But these things can be awfully tricky to eradicate if the inhabitants are determined enough. The Greenham Common Peace Camp provides clear examples of some of the defining characteristics of leftist commune-camps:

1) It didn't achieve anything: Britain maintained cruise missiles at RAF Greenham Common until 1991, when they were removed due to a treaty that was the result of what one might call 'grown up' diplomacy. The camp had nothing to do with it.

2) It was damned hard to get rid of: The women were evicted several times, yet they kept on returning days later. Could be troublesome if the 'Democracy Villagers' decide to try something similar: constant police evictions will simply lead to increased coverage.

Of course, the Democracy Village is not identical to the Peace Camp: it lacks not only the hypocritically sexist admission criteria but, more importantly, the clarity of purpose. It began as a demonstration with a clear message and substantial support, but after failing to achieve its aims it has over time lost both support and focus, becoming a little-heeded focus for a staggering array of leftist agit-prop. A sort of tragic parody of the fate of the Liberal Party.

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