Under-rating democracy

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
20 December 2008

Anthony Barnett (London, OK): This is my full - and brief - entry in the Prospect roundup of people's"most under-rated" events  of the year  (from politics to books). It was touched up (and hardly for length reasons) or rather down and this weakened the point about democratic republicanism.

Underrated: One huge policy process and one book. 

Our old Empire state is being transformed into a database state through a process officially known as the Transformational Government programme which has never been debated in parliament or by a select committee. It trades on a modernisation of subjecthood that transforms traditional deference into electronic tagging.

How can this be stopped? David Marquand's history of Britain's democracy since 1918 is a wonderfully written account of how we got to this situation and points to the only way out: democratic republicanism. If you have heard little of either it goes to show how underrated they are.


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