When I was young, in the 20s and 30s, working class and middle-class districts were in fact villages within a town. Slowly but surely, with the advent of the motor car, followed by world travel, and a more ebullient lifestyle; people seem to have become more insular, and they can live in one street for years, and hardly know any of their neighbours. Now we have the computer age, which to some extent is increasing that insularity on a parochial basis, while at the same time broadening the outlook and the communication between people living miles or even countries apart. So with respect to the proposition, the electorate is now more likely to have a wider audience and the ability to source opinions as widely. The one thing about the proposition was that the individual was not consulted in any way before going to war. Indeed, the individual is consulted on practically nothing. There is a fudge at the time of an election, when the parties bring out their manifesto, which in my view are so carefully constructed, that they give licence to do anything they choose, without consultation.
I find it incredible how many people are talking to each other on a regular basis on the Internet. It would therefore seem logical that people are now discussing their views on the behaviour of the politicians within a wider circle. I personally have found that my friend in Holland is fully aware on what is going on in Westminster, and finds the same pattern in the Hague. People in Europe whom I have never met, for example, read this blog. It would therefore seem possible that in the future politicians will have to be more open, and responsible, because they will be required to justify decisions on some form of website. At the same time the electorate will have its own website making comments, suggestions and objections on the decisions being made in government. It is quite possible therefore, that if this situation arises in Britain, and more likely in America, it will probably be common across the world. In consequence then, if something like the Iraq situation was to rise again, where a high proportion of the electorate was against the war, it would take more than one person, either here or in any other country, to make such a devastating decision and carry it through. Whether it’s true or not, there have been occasions where the press has suggested that certain governments went to war as a distraction from some unpleasant matters which were embarrassing and likely to bring down the government
It is one thing for two of three people to moan to one another about the conduct of either their government or one abroad, but when negative opinions are widely broached on websites on the Internet both here and abroad, it is more likely that this will bring enough pressure on those responsible to think twice.
Time will tell!