“‘I dread the mass mind!’
Baldwin had something there didn’t he just. Give ’em gin in the eighteenth century, credit in the twentieth but for Christ’s sake keep ’em quiet!”
“Now now Collin.” I said quietly but with the hint of a smile on my chops. “You should know better that to start criticising democracy, if you’re not careful some hack will be accusing you of being a friend of tyranny.”
“To hell with the press. I’m among friends aren’t I? Anyway never mind Baldwin what about MacDonald? Didn’t he write in his diary, ‘In youth one believes in democracy; later on, one has to accept it.’
“I believe he did.” I replied wondering where all this was going. There was an uncertain silence around the dining table for a few moments as all parties looked at each other and tried to work out who was friend or foe. Collin was a Labour MP, the other four (including myself) were a mix of doctor, socially mobile mobile phone supplier and a British Airways pilot. There wasn’t a lawyer anywhere to be seen.
“You know Collin, now you come to mention it.” Jack the businessman piped up.”I’ve often wondered about democracy myself. You know, why should all these indolent buggers who claim the dole have a vote for instance? If you don’t contribute to the national purse why should you have a say in how much is taken out of it. No pay tax, no have vote. Seems perfectly fair to me.”
“I agree.” John the airline pilot confirmed. “In fact I’d go further. I’d take the vote off 90% of the people in this country. Jesus most of them think Churchill is an insurance company and the rest believe life is all about getting pissed in Benidorm,worrying about what some cretinous celebrity is up to and playing computer games. God help us. ‘Democracy’ my arse! I’m all for the Divine Right of Kings at best or a benign dictatorship at worst.”
I laughed at this last contribution along with the rest of my friends. John wasn’t being serious……..or was he? He didn’t read the Daily Mail after all, on the other hand………
I sat back in my chair and concluded that democracy, whilst imperfect and often the victim of politically correct villainy, was as much as could be hoped for; after all there wouldn’t be a ‘Secret Dining Table’ without it would there?
Work that one out!