Democracy, is never a thing I've been passionate about. However, even my cold heart warmed to the democratic process this week as the UK General Election produced something only the British seem able to do with style : failure.
The Labour Party are victorious in failure. The Conservatives are failures in the most sour and narrow of victories.
The British press are failures once again, and rightly so. It is wonderful to see the odious rag, The Guardian look so stupid after having written off the increasingly left leaning Labour Party under its leader Jeremy Corbyn. It is also good to see that the incessant and increasingly unpleasant campaign against Corbyn in the right-wing press, that had more than a twinge of Soviet-era defamation about it, failed to turn him into the bogeyman they had invented. I hold no flag for what he stands for but the campaign against him as been vile and disgraceful and it has failed: there is justice in that.
We have witnessed the failure of the one party state. We now have 2 political parties once more. Parties with identities. This is good for politics. It is the final failure of all that Blair stood for and that is a very good thing. It isn't a victory for anyone. The Labour Party has a long way to go, but the parasite has been removed from the host, Blairism is over.
The victory of the referendum over the EU has become a failure as nobody seems to know what it means anymore or what to do about it. There is a very British fuzzyness and incompetence about this. Hurrah for failure.
Then there are the glories of the candidates who stand for election in order to fail: souls who dress in silly costumes, knowing full well they will loose their deposits. But democracy allows a candidate with a bucket on his head to stand next to the prime minister and there is nothing anyone can say or do. There is a failure of dignity, a failure of common sense, a failure of logic and it is all rather lovely.
This has been politics at its best. The political process is 100% worldly. We do not need religious political parties, indeed the idea is so very Protestant. What we need Catholics to be involved in all areas of politics in all major parties. A manifesto is not Dogma or Doctrine and should not be confused as such. Catholics need to be able to be part of the political framework on all sides when party manifestos are drawn up and in the workings of government afterwards. If Catholics are who we say we are, then we will be convincing and we will have a good effect on the party we are involved with. When voting, we are not voting for the Truth (and there can be no best approximation to the Truth.... that idea is abhorrent). We cast our vote in order to make the democratic process work. That this election has been such a very British farce means that despite its worldlyness the whole system isn't entirely in the hands of the Evil One. He'd not like the outcome, it is not tidy or nasty enough for him, it has too much irony and humour: he too has failed. Britain still has her identity, her DNA of heroic defeat remains intact. It is what makes this island nation great. She will muddle through as only she can, stronger because of her errors of judgement not despite them. Hurrah for failure.