I have posted here previously on my concerns over a potential lack of confidence in democracy amongst the young. Several polls have suggested consistently that there is a gulf between the younger and older in our nation in the degree to which the fundamentals of democracy are valued. I hold that universal suffrage, the secret ballot and the right to associate and form political parties are together one of the most profound achievements of human civilisation; some folk don't share this faith in fair decision making in our society.
The benign rule of technocratic experts is a model of anti-democracy much beloved of supranational organisations. Why bother with popular opinion, campaigning for elections, allowing actual people to vote as they like? Surely like-minded well qualified experts can rule their subjects to ensure the best possible outcomes for the maximum number? It is not extraordinary that those who who belong to or support such organisations should believe this, but I am genuinely mystified as to why this form of anti-democratic serfdom would appeal to any subject person with more than one brain cell. Yet apparently it does - and the young, who should in a healthy society be the most intolerant of all of authority, would seem to be amongst them.
I am old enough to remember Franco ruling a Spain that had been politically and culturally shut off from democratic Europe since 1939. When tourism could be resisted no longer, from the early 1970s, the social impact was akin to dropping a lump of Sodium in water. The harsh, backward rule of a Catholic church complicit in fascism (unelected technocratic experts who thought they knew best what was good for people), a population fearful of the secret police and the night-time hammering at the door, could not withstand the bikini and the transistor radio. Democracy is contagious.
And in my heavy-smoking days when Spain sold cheap fags, the £60 cost of a day-return trip to Barcelona with easyjet was exactly equivalent to the saving of UK duty on just one single carton of cigarettes. The aircraft left Gatwick at about 7am and Barcelona at about 4pm, allowing for a leisurely lunch in the Ramblas and to be home in time for Eastenders. There were always little tents and roped off areas in the large expanse of flat, scrubby wasteland between the city and the airport; only later did I find that they were exhuming the remains of the victims of Franco's death squads, clearing the ground for development. That made me value democracy even more.
I am fearful of the anti-democrats within our nation; the propaganda lies of broadcasters, the intolerance of the snowflake generation, the violence of the Soy Boys, the coarse, bullying ignorance of those who would sell their democratic inheritance for a Eurorail pass. The anti-democrats, the democracy-deniers, are truly the enemy within, and we must defend from their assaults with our every breath our democratic rights and freedoms.