Eh? Who are the 1 in 4?
Walking among us are the members of a powerful sect. They number 1 in 4 of our electorate and exert a disproportionate influence on our lives. They are divided into two elements - the public face - arrogant, privileged, loud and possessed of a strong sense of entitlement. They occupy much of our media and politics. Then there is the other wing, much larger yet rarely visible and seldom heard. This group emerge every five years from their sleeper cells when their public colleagues summon them to do their bit. They share the values of the public wing but rarely the power, wealth or influence. They are very good at doing as they are told.
Who are they?
These are the Tory party members and followers who slide out every election day to do their masters bidding.
Why are they so invisible?
They recognise that their values of selfishness, their love of money, their hatred of foreigners and in particular their loathing of scroungers, socialists and socialism, not to mention people working for the common good, could make them unpopular in their communities. They say very little and contribute even less unless it is in their personal interest. Not for them campaigning on behalf of an asylum seeker, a food bank or a homeless family. Only when their direct interests are threatened do they emerge and make their feelings known, for instance, when a high speed railway line is scheduled to go through the bottom of their garden. Or when someone threatens to increase their taxes.
Why are they so influential?
Our ‘First past the Post’ voting system serves these people well. They do just enough to ensure their public wing forms the government of the UK.
They have figured out that a third of the people entitled to vote do not bother. They know that all they have to do to keep their political wing in business is to make sure their quarter do vote. They are very good at this.
Has this always worked?
Another sect known as the ‘Tories with Red Ties’ did succeed in diverting some of the cult away from their one true path for 13 years.
So these people can be persuaded to change their minds?
Not really, no.
Only when the last fish has been caught, the last animal killed, the planet dying before their eyes and they are starving to death in abject misery will they finally realise they cannot eat money. And as they lie dying they will also recognise that they cannot take their wealth with them.