Harrogate (vii)

Richard North, EUReferendum, has published a draft of the 6 demands that are required as a means of changing the ‘skewed’ system of democracy under which we presently live. The ‘Provisional List’ has been ‘tweaked’ slightly with one amendment and one change in regard to presentation – it is however, as I have commented on his Forum, something that I can support and endorse.

My reasons for so doing are that the ‘provisional list’ contains the elements upon which the system of direct democracy is founded; namely that the people are sovereign, ie they and they alone have the opportunity to decide what is or is not ‘acceptable’; that they and they alone decide how politicians can spend their money (taxation); that they and they alone have the means to ensure that no treaty, law or regulation can come into effect without their ability to decide otherwise; and that the countries, or nations – and much discussion is taking place on the Forum twixt the difference – that comprise the present ‘United Kingdom’ can become separate ‘entities’ while maintaining the existing ‘unity’ where relations with the rest of the world are concerned.

As I have previously written, it is the apparent acceptance of the Harrogate attendees that ‘sovereignty of the people’ is important – and I immediately have to ask whether does not ‘sovereignty of the people’ demand the introduction of the basic element embodied in the idea of direct democracym namely the idea of ‘people power’?

It is also interesting that he who wrote:

“The idea of direct democracy, therefore, is to an extent simply swapping one form of oppression for another. Instead of being oppressed by the ruling élite, who believe they know what is good for us, we are ruled by the infinitely malleable masses, who impose their mores, in many respects more restrictive that a liberal élite.

What WfW might be neglecting, therefore, is that the term democracy comes in two parts, the dêmos (people) kratos (power). Direct democracy simply shifts the mechanisms by which the majority – the people – exert their power over the rest of us. It does not necessarily ensure a better use of that power.”

now seems, with the proposed 6 demands, to be embracing the concept for that which I originally argued.

No system of democracy is perfect is it, but with the 6 demands it is nice to see that I appear to have, at least, one convert to my idea…..

Just saying, Richard……………..

14 Responses

  1. Of there is a dêmos (people) but no kratos (power), how can there be democracy?

    One thus wonders whether the people who recoil from the idea of the people being given real power are really democrats.

  2. david says:

    Methinks that you are coming round to my demands for the introduction of direct democracy then? Welcome aboard!

  3. Robin says:

    The demands are not really inspiring .
    Maybe with a lot of subclauses there might something to excite the ordinary joe , but in the works canteen there will be ” but we`ve got that mostly anyway ” .
    Theres nothing about redressing any bad governance , transparency of the workings of any administration , and the naming of those within who administer /maladministrate .
    Nothing about the police chiefs and judicairy who can punish you , or not punish (properly ) those who trespass against you .

    • david says:

      Oh dear, Robin – you have not ‘read’ the demands…….

      If you believe we have most of that, anyway, then prove it!

      Apols if I appear a tad ‘argumentative;……

  4. Robin says:

    Polite argumentative interlocution is neccessary to reason and satifactory outcomes .
    I did read the demands .I recommend everyone read the demands in an objective way without fear or favour from the author and then put him/herself in the position of the average bloke .
    I didnt say I beleive most of that [if you refer to what I said about conversations in the works canteen] . It is the PERCEPTION of those demands .
    No good being right if the rest of the population PERCIEVE you to be wrong .

    • david says:

      Fair comment – the demands may need ‘tweaking’ where the form of words is concerned, but the basic requirements are most definitely those that are required if power is to reside with the people rather than the politicians.

      • Robin says:

        There is still something missing . The politicians can be thrown out at election time .And they have to work to get elected .They`re not perfect , but there is still a form of sanction against them .
        What about the power that resides in the machinery of state that is not in the peoples hands ?

        • david says:

          Bearing in mind that which I have previously said – what power in which machinery of state?

          • Robin says:

            The civil service , the police the judiciary and quango s .

            • david says:

              Let me answer this point by point, although I must point out this is only my view of how direct democracy might ‘work’:

              The Civil Service: As I have written more times than I care to mention, anything the civil service wish to ‘produce’ can only be enacted via politicians therefore the people are the ultimate voice there.

              The Judiciary: I see no reason why the judiciary should not be elected and also be subject to a recall procedure.

              The Police: The Coalition idea to have Police Commissioners is
              flawed in my opinion. I would have Chief Constables also elected
              and subject to recall, likewise I would return to County Police Forces and, to take Oxfordshire as an eample where there are 4 district councils I would have each elect a ‘Sheriff’ who ‘ran’ whatever level of law & order the people voted for.

              Quangos: Why would we need these useless bodies of ‘crats? What purpose would they serve under direct democracy? As they are all but fake charities – and whilst on that subject – I would wish it to be the case that any charity existed purely from public donation, with no government subsidy. That should sort out those two problems areas you mention.


              The Judiciary:

  5. Ian E says:

    It all seems excellent to me, but I just wonder how it will be taken forward? I can’t see any (current) political party or the Unions or the useful idiots that make up the bulk of our electorate batting for this set of ‘demands’. Have I missed a critical part of the discussion?

    • david says:

      That not one of the present political parties or Unions will agree with us is a given.

      How will it be taken forward? One step at a time and the first step is to get agreement of the demands – after that will come the ideas on how to take them forward.

      • Ian E says:

        Ah. Well at least I haven’t missed anything. Don’t misunderstand me, I do not wish to carp – I absolutely spend my days in extreme frustration with the current state of politics (and the world in general). It is just that, from my limited understanding of the Chartist’s demands, nothing was accomplished until well after their demands were drawn up and I wondered if there had been lessons learnt.
        My two remaining major ambitions in life are to see SETI succeed (after all there is precious little intelligent life on Earth) and to see some approximation to democracy here in the UK – I fear that the former is more likely than the latter!

        • david says:

          I must admit that it is the dissemination of the idea in a manner that will grab the people’s interest that I continually consider.

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