For the last decade or so, come general election or referendum, there’s one comment that I always hear. More than Donald Trump, the upcoming housing market crash take 2 and the life and times of J-Dog Corbyn, it makes me worried for the future of democracy and Western civilisation.
“I wish stupid people didn’t get the vote.” It is said as a ‘joke’, you know, the one that will never get a laugh and is completely true but there’s enough residual guilt there to force it across as a lame attempt at ‘wild make believe’. Invariable, the person saying this wishes it was no fantasy, it is always an expression of a genuine desire to limit the voting rights of a certain section of the population.
It involves a line, drawn in the sand, between us and them. Us are the enlightened, the professional classes, the “educated” and “well read”, the “thinkers”, the eaters of avocado toast and the buyers of the Guardian.