Democracy is usually defined as One Man (person) One Vote, but Abraham Lincoln offered an alternative definition: government of the people, by the people, for the people. Government by the people means the people being involved in government, playing an active part in decisions, confronting problems, dealing with them and seeing through the consequences. That requires a lot more involvement than putting a cross on a piece of paper once every four or five years. If the people start demanding to be involved in government on a day to day basis, what do you do about it if you are someone who thinks they should stay in their place and leave the decisions to properly qualified people like you?
Then through the 19th century, things changed. The driving force of the economy moved from land-ownership to industry and trade and the franchise began to expand bit by bit until, in 1918, democracy in the form of One Man (and some women) One Vote was established. The Tories couldn’t really come to terms with this for decades. Not only were the lower orders now excepting to be allowed into polling booths, they were even expecting to be actively involved in government. They had the temerity to form their own political party and to join unions demanding a say in the economy. The country finished up with swathes of rural counties painted pure blue Tory and swathes of industrial areas painted socialist red and just a handful of swing seats in between.
First step, obliterate the mining, steel, ship-building, motor industries, which had given those red communities their identity, with seemingly secure, highly skilled, comparatively well-paid, highly unionised jobs. Replace with financial services in The City that make vast fortunes for a few yobs in red braces. In the process, unions are demolished, helped along by legislation, so that instead of an organised labour force, ready to fight for its own, people are left on the dole or in a dog-eat-dog fight for low-paid, non-unionised jobs stacking shelves in supermarkets.
To add to the collapse of communal unity, whip up a general contempt for anyone claiming social security, even though 99% have no choice. Label them social scroungers. Broadcast stories of their dissolute laziness. Get neighbours and one-time comrades informing on each other as social security cheats.
Sell the idea that you are the hero of the common man by telling them they can buy their council houses. A property-owning democracy. Even today you can hear Tory politicians regurgitating the eighteenth century idea that property ownership gives people a stake in society. (No, actually we all have a stake in society, even if we don’t even own the cardboard box we shelter in.) The home ceases to be a place of shelter, warmth and security where families can be raised, and becomes a financial asset on a property ladder that must be climbed if anyone is to have any self-respect. Of course everyone wants to buy their own home. Everyone also nurses a hope of making a fortune by a nifty property deal. Help it all along with an end to rent control, allowing private landlords to charge fortunes for ramshackle shoeboxes, and forbid councils to build new social housing. Get everyone scrabbling for property that is skyrocketing in value. Skyrocketing, that is, in prosperous areas where there are jobs, but stuck at rock-bottom in the areas that have been eviscerated by the destruction of industry. There, property doesn’t sell, and even if a buyer is found, the price won't even to cover a deposit in the South East, so how do they move? They don’t. They are abandoned in their hopelessness. Add the final touch by portraying tenants of social housing as the criminal riff-raff at the bottom of the heap. Come up with terms like ‘sink estate.’ Ensure that ‘council house tenant’ can only be pronounced with a sneering curl of the lip.
Your banker friends create a world-wide financial crisis. Deal with it by heaping all the pain onto the unemployed, the poor, the disabled – everyone living in the old Red areas. Reduce them to desperation. Don’t forget to say “We’re all in it together” as they go to the food banks and you order a delivery from Waitrose.
The nation has spent centuries and countless gallons of blood fighting against despotic tyranny and for the rule of law and Parliamentary sovereignty. Tell the people that leaving the EU will restore powers to our own Parliament and to our courts. Take Back Control!!! (they like nice simple three-word chants). But then convince them that our Parliament and our courts are actually the enemy of the people and should be discarded or at least muzzled, leaving power solely in the hands of the government. Whatever you do, don’t remind them that they don't actually elect their Prime Minister.
Now you are in a position to wind the clock right back to the Eighteenth century. Persuade the angry plebs that they can say yes or no in a referendum but they really don’t want to have bother themselves with the consequences or search for genuine solutions. Leave that to the entitled classes, educated at Eton and equipped to understand these matters. If they vote for jolly old Boris, they’ll never have to worry about the fate of the country again. All this talking is just doing their heads in, isn’t it? They don’t want to hear any more discussion about the pros and cons of Brexit. If they simply give up all their last hundred years of struggle and vote Tory, they can get back to watching football and worrying over which Celeb is doing what with whom, or whatever it is that Common People do. They can leave the boring details of our fate to that rather amusing Bullingdon wag, whose only ambition is to be king of the world, and his clever minder, who doesn’t give a damn about anything but who knows how to play politics like a computer game bent on conquering citadels and and killing enemies by fair means or foul.
And there you have it. You have persuaded the people you’ve been kicking in the teeth for the last forty years to put you back where you belong, running the country. In fact, at this rate, you can probably dispense with holding another general election. Like Brenda of Bristol, they don’t really want to be bothered with all that stuff.
Oh, and if you want to boast about having a Tory MP presiding over the next Durham Miners’ Gala, learn how to pronounce Durham Miners’ Gala.