Voting, Voices and Verification

Recently we were subjected to a government campaign on why we should vote. "No vote, no voice" was the message.

Ironically, the government itself has, during the Iraq crisis, proven the hypocrisy of campaign and verified the anarchist argument. We have been lied to, manipulated, patronised, ignored and, finally, bulldozed into an immoral and unjust war the majority of this country (indeed, the world) does not want. The Members of Parliament who, it is claimed, represent "our voice" have been subjected to three-line whips to ignore us and their own consciences. In our name, weapons of destruction will rain down on the population of a shattered third world country. In our name, US imperialism has proclaimed its willingness to launch pre-emptive strikes against international law.

And all this is justified in the name of "good leadership," whose duty is to ensure that the wishes of the population it claims to represent are ignored.

And the state says that if we do not vote we have no voice!

Votes are power? No. Votes are the alienation of power. It simply signifies which handful of people will ignore us for five years. Who will misrule us in the interests of the wealthy and big business. The Iraq crisis shows that representative democracy is a sham.

The only voice we have is the one we create ourselves by means of resistance and rebellion. Direct action, solidarity, self-organisation, self-management. These are the basis of real people power. They can check those who exercise power over us. They also show that a better world is not only desirable, it is possible.

No wonder the state urges us to vote. It is worried in case we find our true voice, the voice of rebellion, of direct action and solidarity!


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