David's Musings


Might we have a new ‘Dictator’ foisted upon us?

Mike Smithson, Political Betting, posits that there may well, could well, be a leadership challenge with the Conservative Party – not that I pay much attention to opinion polls, or their findings. However, inadvertently, Smithson raises an interesting point where the matter of democracy is concerned.

  • So, a new leader of a political party may be decided by a miniscule percentage of the electorate – ie, that party’s MPs and those members of the public that are paid-up members of that party.
  • Within the scenario of betting odds that Smithson posts, methinks we can dispense with numbers #1 and #3. #1 did himself no favours when considering the recent Newsnight programme – but then we have to consider the fact that those voting for the future leader are of deeply embeded simian heritage. Where #3 is concerned, he is on record as stating that no way, never, would he consider becoming leader of his party – but then again we are talking ‘politician’ here and since when has any politician adhered to previous statements of intent.
  • When one looks at the other names on the list it can only be said that, for those taking an interest who are outside the ‘political bubble’, the mind boggles and the body shudders.

The other fact that needs to be taken into account is that of the imbalance in our system of democracy where the position of Prime Minister is concerned, one which allows someone to achieve said position based on the votes, likewise, of a miniscule percentage of the total electorate. By way of explanation for that assertion, take the situation in Witney constituency at the time of the last election.

The present occupier of the office of prime minister, David Cameron, gained office on the basis of 33,973 votes in the 2010 general election. All those votes were cast in the constituency of Witney, which boasts 78,220 electors. Commanding 43.4 percent of the electorate, Mr Cameron did not even achieve a majority in his own locality. Furthermore, Mr Cameron holds office on the back of 10,703,654 Conservative votes, from an electorate of 45,844,691, representing only 36 percent of the votes cast and less than a quarter (23 percent) of the electorate. It is ironic then to see Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan complain about “the disturbing contempt for democracy at the heart of the EU”, because of its unelected commissioners and commission president, when less than 0.2 percent of the 46 million-strong electorate within the UK are allowed to vote for their prime minister in a general election; which can only show that Hannan and his colleagues are in no position to complain about the lack of democracy in the EU.

This situation gets right to the heart of the complaint about there being no separation of power twixt Executive and Legislature in our present system of democracy. One can but quote – as I have above – Richard North, from a draft pamphlet which has not yet been published as it is still in the stages of editing:

“As to why the general issue of “separation of powers” is so important to us, a useful port of call is the Wikipedia entry, which tells us that this need first emerged in ancient Greece. The state was divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no branch had more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is the executive, legislature, and judiciary. Here, the defect in the British system is immediately evident, stemming from our transition from rule by an absolute monarch, to a system of constitutional monarchy. The executive that emerged to challenge the power of the king now comprises the prime minister and cabinet. But, in holding the power previously held by the king, it has effectively become the king. Thus, as long as Parliament is the body from which the executive is drawn, there will be imperfect separation between the two bodies.”

This imbalance, that Richard North ‘homes in’ on, is then satisfied by Demand #3 of the Harrogate Agenda’s 6 Demands. If one believes in democracy per se, what’s not to like? Of course, you will not see this subject discussed or written about, nor polls conducted by, either the journalistic fraternity nor the pollsters – both who can justifiably be included in the question, when put, of: in whose pocket is who?

This raises yet further points:

  • Is not democracy per se being ‘bastardized’ by the existing system of political party leadership elections? and;
  • Where public opinion is concerned, is that not being ‘controlled’ by the political parties and their sycophants in the media and polling organisations?

And this country has a system of democracy? Bah, Humbug!




10 Responses

  1. wg says:

    The HA is starting to make some sense David.

    Something of interest regarding the separation of powers has arisen recently – apologies if you’ve already noted it.


  2. john in cheshire says:

    WfW, a suggestion; which I’m sure you have all thought about, so apologies for stating what you already know; is to take measures to ensure that the ‘Harrogate Agenda’ is high up in google. Now, that’s where my imagination fails me. Because obviously, if no one googles those words, then no one will see any hits. But, it is my understanding that google has as system whereby one can advertise things and one can include words or phrases which searchers who use them will then be given one’s website(s). So, perhaps using google’s commercial tools would enable you (us) to reach a wider audience? I hope this makes sense.

  3. Nick says:

    The problem you have, David, is that you’re a bright chap who thinks the rest of the country is as clever as you. They’re not. Most people are monumentally thick. Worse, they compound ignorance with apathy.

    Oh, we’re happy to complain about taxes on drink and fuel but no one really believes they can do anything about them. Few people, for example, understand what the executive, judiciary and legislative actually are, what they represent or their role. Some can discern judiciary to be judges, but again, they confuse judges with the ECHR.

    The Harrogate Agenda is a brilliant idea that is doomed to failure, as all genius is. It ignores that people are stupid. You’re going to need to frame the points better, far more simply and then provide methods for getting more detail but fundamentally to make them clearer.

    For example: why we need an elected PM. I looked to one side and ask the wife “is David Cameron elected? and she replies, yes.” because, at a basic level he is – but it is not a democratic election and that’s the bit that needs communicating.

    • david says:

      Explanatory short pamphlets & leaflets are being drafted and means of spreading the word are also in hand.

      There will hopefully be some announcements starting end of January.

  4. Boudicca says:

    We have a democratised dictatorship – but you try explaining that to the ignorant and apolitical masses and getting them to take any notice.

    I support the aims of the Harrogate Agenda, but I don’t think you will get very far …. maybe nowhere. We don’t ‘do’ revolutions in this country and what you are proposing would require a revolution.

    The Establish have the system completely stitched and until the Establishment is broken, nothing will change. I am supporting UKIP as the best way of weakening the Establishment. One chain must be removed at a time …. and the first chain must be the LibLabCONsensus and the belief that voting for anyone else is a ‘wasted vote.’

    Interesting that Owen Paterson wasn’t on Political Bettings list. His profile obviously hasn’t risen high enough yet with the hoi polloi who place political bets.

    • david says:

      Oh ye of little faith……. I jest of course but we shall battle on – see above comments about the commencement of announcements hopefully at the end of January.

  5. Edward. says:

    End of the day, [if you’ll excuse the tired old cliche] and if the purse strings are held by the people as it should be.
    Then, the unclean trinity; PM+cabinet, legislature, judiciary – will be beholden to the people. Or a government bridled, if you prefer and why not?
    The only truly effective method for controlling the nation’s governmental expenditure, is to bring it mostly back and down to local level and with a chop on annual expenditure by national government – in the form of yearly national referenda.

    The EU, will never allow us to have it – actual and animated, real time and fully representative government. In fact, there’s more chance of Khamenei and Ahmedinejad being invited to kiss the wailing wall during Yom Kippur – mind you I think Mossad may well like that idea.

  6. rick hamilton says:

    If you doubt the profound lack of democracy in the EU, and the contempt for the electorate held by its commissars, read this excellent book by the President of the Czech Republic. He signed the assent to join the EU and the Lisbon Treaty for his country and now regrets it:

    “Europe – The Shattering of Illusions” by Vaclav Klaus
    ISBN 978 1 4081 8764 7

    Order now from Amazon if you want to read something that will make your hair stand on end – or your blood boil – over Christmas.

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