With the recent vote in parliament rejecting a proper recall mechanism, it is more important than ever to stress the importance of proper recall in the modern British electoral system, particularly as an anarchist. For many years, British political power has been centralising exponentially, with the ability for members of parliament to effectively sit idly in the House of Commons and yet still win elections, despite multitudes of people not voting because they’ve come to the realisation that these waste-of-space MPs aren’t worth voting for or against. We also see this political centralisation in the post-ideological morass that is British politics, where nearly all parties push the same neoliberal agenda of more government without ever justifying themselves or tackling wider issues. Candidates as a result have become party apparatchiks who spout certain buzzwords and lines rather than form intelligent opinions that represent their constituency. Voting in the House of Commons isn’t based upon what the people want, but rather what the party wants.
As an anarcho-capitalist, I see this increased political centralisation as an inevitable consequence of neoliberal governance, where the solutions are always government action and legislation, these actions usually being influenced by powerful, entrenched lobbyists and corporations. When MPs try to question such an arrangement, with Steve Baker and Douglas Carswell being the most prominent, they are mocked and ignored by a government-influenced, corporate media. If we allow this process to continue, then British politics will simply become a talking shop, much like the European Parliament, where debate is stifled and important issues can never be discussed as it isn’t in the interests of the politicians’ paymasters. The British people will have no say, as voting would mean simply choosing one neoliberal apparatchik over another, thus never creating any meaningful change.
This, then, is why a proper recall mechanism is so important. It brings political power back to individuals and communities by giving them the ability to recall bad candidates and create a meaningful choice in representatives who actually represent them, rather than party or corporate interests. It individualises candidates by making them speak out on issues that matter to their constituents and means genuine debate can be had in the House of Commons. This radical decentralism, as Rothbard termed it, would be invariably good for politics, as it makes representatives answerable to the electorate and means do-nothing MPs can no longer do nothing, but instead have to represent and debate. It could also take policy-making out of hands of crony corporations and allow for the creation of policy that reflects what really matters to people, such as the cost of living, immigration or employment. In the end, the need for recall is greater than ever, as we are seeing the complete centralisation of political power away from individuals and communities and into the hands of undemocratic bureaucracies and lobbyists, which means more people will become dissatisfied with the way politics is currently done.