Tag Archive: Harrogate Agenda

The answer is: simples

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The majority of the electorate are, I believe, disillusioned and frustrated with politics in the United Kingdom; feel that change is needed but have no idea how to effect the change that they want and know must take place; and because they know not what – and how to accomplish – change, continue to occupy the same “ground” on which the political class stand.

At this juncture it is worth pointing readers to an article that has appeared by a Czech political scientist in Revue Politika (reprinted in Presseurope). In the article the comment is made that “outpourings” by those in the European Union on reminiscent of those of the Soviets. But the question then arises: is that not also true of our politicians? Do they not address us in their own language? Do they not so do in order to cement their own position in our society?

If we are so unhappy with the status quo why do we continue to listen to them, thus occupying their ground? Why do we not move off their ground and seek pastures new? One has only to look at the picture above to realise that if those remaining followed the first – who has decided enough is enough of this crap – what happens to the politician addressing them? He/she has disappeared into the abyss of oblivion!

If we, the people, are frustrated with the “ground” we are forced to occupy by our political elite and wish to seek “pastures new”, then should not we be those who decide exactly what those “pasture new” should be? That is the beauty of this idea.

It is your life, people – it is your country. Remember that – or do you wish to be slaves for that which remains of your life?


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There, I’ve said it

Richard North, EUReferendum, posts today on the subject of Banker’s Bonuses and the vagaries of the subject that is involved.

Of course, not much reported is the fact that the people of Switzerland have already done just that – curbed business bonuses and not just those of bankers.

Need I point out that had we the 6 Demands of the Harrogate Agenda in place, we too could have done that – had we so wished.

Just saying……..

H/T: RMB


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2013
03/03

Category:
David's Musings

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Tories/Spotify

Douglas Carswell has an article in the Mail today, one to which he links on a post which appears on his blog.

Currently, with our present system of democracy and politics, political parties fight for territory of a land which is not theirs, in order to rule it – and one has only to view the first picture in the Mail article to view two people obviously so pleased with themselves that they have “conquered” one small section of that land.

In his article and extrapolated on his blog, Carswell likens his party – and how that party could win the hearts and minds of the populace – with Spotify. He would like his party to become like Spotify. If only – at least with Spotify we can ignore it completely if we wish to; something which, unfortunately, we cannot do with his party or any other party.

Carswell makes the point that on Spotify one can select that which they want, they don’t have to buy the whole package, ie the cd. Now were that true of party politics – how many of us would have opted into funding Overseas Aid I wonder, had we not been forced to.

With this idea, what Carswell is attempting to do is conflate representative democracy with the principles of direct democracy – and as I have said many times, you cannot mix oil and water. Of course, what you can do is add an emulsifier to the mixture and thus create something different, which is what is achieved by the introduction of The Harrogate Agenda with its idea of  combining direct democracy with referism.

Later, in his post, Carswell lists suggestions whereby it might be possible to “Spotify” his party – but note how often the word “allow” occurs. Why should we be forced to use a political party to bring about change? Why cannot we do that for ourselves? Why should only one class of membership be allowed to determine party policy? More importantly, why should we be subjected to the policy of any party? Immediately Carswell demonstrates that he wishes to maintain control of the agenda – the less people that can have a say, the more control he and his political colleagues have.

Like many, on first sight of Carswell and Cameron, I was hopeful of change – and like many, too soon I noticed the similarity in their initials. Like a leopard, which never changes its spots and is renowned for looking for an  easy kill, politicians adhering to this outdated form of representative democracy are looking for an easy kill – and we, the people, are that easy kill.

If we have the ability to cage leopards, surely we can cage politicians and limit the ground over which they may roam?

Just asking……..

 


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Further thoughts on Eastleigh and other matters

Unsurprisingly the media is, it could be said, awash with articles on Eastleigh, the “rise” of Ukip and the ramifications of that party’s result on the other three. We have Charles Moore (Telegraph); Jonathan Freedland (Guardian); Patrick Wintour (Guardian); Simon Heffer (Mail); and Lord Ashcroft with an Eastleigh exit poll. Had those journalists read Ashcroft’s findings, they may well have chosen to change that which they had written. Having said that, readers who follow the links will form their own opinion on those articles.

Ashcroft’s exit poll findings certainly present Farage and Ukip with a problem as, from those findings:

“Ten per cent of those who voted UKIP yesterday said they would probably vote Conservative in 2015. And to look at it from a different angle, ten per cent of those who told us they would vote Tory in 2015 also told us they had voted UKIP yesterday. One third of UKIP by-election voters said they did not yet know how they would vote at the general election. As with the Lib Dems, only 43% of UKIP by-election voters said they would probably party with the party.”

Ashcroft’s findings with regard to what “mattered” to the voters of Eastleigh is also informative with local issues to the fore, with the exception of Ukip where those matters were immigration and the EU. As I have stated previously, for local issues to become a feature in an election for a representative in Parliament is, to a certain extent, an irrelevance. Likewise for those voters who did not register that immigration and the EU are a factor, both locally and nationally, then it could be said that their votes were meaningless.

One point worth picking up is contained in the article by Patrick Wintour where he mentions that Farage and Ukip wish to support “direct democracy on the Swiss model where the signature of a given number of people on any issue may generate a plebiscite at national or local level”; while also pointing out that Farage sees nothing wrong with a notion of a postcode lottery in all sorts of things where one region enjoys privileges or disadvantages that others do not” and “local councils should be allowed to introduce smoking or restore hunting bans”. These views, Wintour writes, may well repel voters.

What Wintour fails to mention is that Farage and Ukip wish, like the other parties, to continue the system of representative democracy and it’s central control – witness Farage stating “local councils should be allowed…..”. Wintour also fails to make the point that it is impossible to mix elements of representative democracy with direct democracy – an attempt akin to mixing oil and water.

Purely a personal view, but I sense growing discontent among the public with not only the present system of democracy and its politics, but also a desire to have more control over their own lives. That discontent will surely grow and where there is discontent, it is logical to assume that those discontented will be more receptive to new ideas that address their discontent.

So, one has to ask, where is The Harrogate Agenda?

 


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And we wonder why

“Mike Thornton’s vote of 13,342 votes compares with Chris Huhne’s 24,966 in 2010, yet Thornton talks of a Lib-Dem “mandate”, having dragged in a pitiful 32 percent of the votes cast, and 17 percent of the electorate of 78,313.  UKIP’s great victory amounts to 28 percent of the votes cast, or 14.8 percent of the electorate.This is a victory of sorts – bald men fighting over a comb, squabbling over a diminishing quantum, where an MP goes to parliament with a “mandate” of 17 percent of the electorate.  It never was democracy.  Now, it isn’t even representative.”
Richard North, EUReferendum

“It never was democracy. Now, it isn’t even representative” – two sentences that illustrate the heart of the problem with our system of democracy and that of politics.

Following any election, be it a by-election or a general election, there is always a post-mortem about winners and losers; yet when considering the present systems of democracy and politics the only losers are the electorate. Witness the talk about the fact that votes cast for Ukip were a protest vote, that the electorate felt it would make no difference – this begs the question whether, under our present systems, does any vote make a difference? I pose that question because we were told that as Eastleigh was a by-election people were voting on local issues – at which point two questions immediately arise: (a) are not local authorities supposed to deal with local issues, is that not why councillors are elected?; and (b) even if an MP is elected with a mandate to promote local issues in his/her constituency, how can he/she do that within an environment in which voting is “controlled” by party whips operating at the behest of one man or one woman? On the Daily Politics today a clip was shown of Nick Clegg claiming the result was a “stunning victory”. With 48% of the electorate not even bothering to vote, with his party’s support falling by 14%, with his party only managing the support of 17% of the total electorate in Eastleigh, Clegg can hail a “stunning victory”? Just what planet is Clegg on? Come to that, just what planet is any politician on? Regrettably it becomes obvious that the people too are on the same planet because do they not swallow such words of inexactitude, while nodding sagely?

An article
has appeared on the Mirror website by FleetStreetFox, a somewhat feisty lady it would seem. This is an article which is well worth reading in that it expresses what I would hazard a guess is the opinion of the majority of the electorate. Unfortunately FleetStreetFox illustrates all that is presently wrong while compounding the fault that all political commentators make of not following through their trains of thought – even when, in her case, she actually uses two words that should have prompted said act of “following through”:

“There is one hope for British politics though, and it’s the fact that people actually do still care. We don’t all vote but we do still complain, we have opinions and we want it to be better.If someone came along who could inspire support, who showed some character, we’d be in the voting booth quicker than you could say ‘new politics please, we’re British’.”

Knowing that “something” is wrong – and at such a stage realizing that “something” either needs changing or replacing – FSF then proceeds wishing to continue with it, “New politics please, we’re British” is indeed an ethos that needs promoting.

Forgive me for repetition, but to whom does this country “belong” – 60+million people, or 3 wannabe dictators and a further 647 “wannabes in waiting”? It is indeed ironic that representative democracy has resulted in the British people occupying the same status in society against which Wilberforce campaigned. Nicholas Farrell, writing in the Spectator, quotes Mussolini stating that political parties are the problem, not the solution. Indeed, why should people – and why do they allow themselves to -  be tied down by the straitjackets of dogmas and doctrines. The reason that any political party does not provide solutions that people want is purely because they have managed to exist on their terms, ie they have remained unconstrained.

Following Eastleigh, Helen, Your Freedom and Ours, poses the question: “So where are we?”; to which the answer is and will always remain: up the same creek that we have been for decades – until, of course, we finally decide to make some new paddles and, having made them, decide to put them to good use.


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2013
02/27

Category:
David's Musings

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Missing the point

Someone from Capitalists@Work forwarded me the link to this article, presumably as a result of my post yesterday on Grillo and events Itialian. The Capitalists@Work article ends with the question: “With hatred of Labour for wrecking the economy in 2008 and the Tories for the austerity since, could an Italian style political situation yet develop in the UK?”.

An Italian style political situation could develop within the UK, but not in the manner that the article suggests, ie the creation of another political party or the possible increase in the representation of smaller parties. That a number of the Italian electorate did consider their politicians corrupt, elitist and “closed” is beyond doubt; as is beyond doubt do most of the electorate in the UK. Where the unspoken similarity is concerned can perhaps be explained by the fact that both electorates know there is something drastically wrong with the system of representative democracy but as yet have not figured out how that deficit can be addressed.

Barroso may well consider events Italian “populism” and thus dismiss them out of hand because it goes against his views, what concerns Barroso is should what he terms “populism” spread then he knows that the “EU dream” is dead in the water. In any event what is “populism” other than an example of the freedom of the people of one country to decide by whom and how they wish to be governed? But I digress.

Reverting to the question posed by Capitalists@Work, what will happen is the spread of a movement designed to shape future politics in the UK.

Just saying…….

 


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Where have all the MPs gone?……

…….To Eastleigh, each and every one (almost) – to paraphrase Peter, Paul & Mary.

The question arose in my mind when I tuned into Parliament tv this morning and viewed the usual virtually empty green benches in the House of Commons. Later today I found out where they all were – or had been

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A picture from Twitter of Michael Fabricant with a wall chart listing all those MPs of all parties that have appeared on the streets of Eastleigh.

James Landale offers a few thoughts from Eastleigh, from which:

“…….They say the anti-politics mood is thriving in Eastleigh where many voters appear hostile to politicians, they are worried about immigration, they feel ignored and taken for granted by Westminster, and, frankly, they are fed up with people stuffing paper through their letter boxes and asking the same question over and over again……..” Perhaps an upset is on the cards?

Even more importantly, perhaps the penny is beginning to drop that they the voters are being taken for fools; that actually they are the ones who should have the power, but don’t.

As yet they don’t know how to reclaim that power – but they will.

 


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Actually, dear chap, they have

Charles Walker, Conservative MP, Broxbourne, has a short article in the Telegraph supporting the move to provide assistance for those MPs suffering from mental health problems – a matter on which I posted earlier.

Where Walker’s article is concerned there is little to be gained by repeating the points I made earlier – and in any event it was not the subject of the article which caught my attention, but that of his opening paragraph:

“I bet Sunday Telegraph readers are spluttering over their cornflakes at the news that MPs are to be awarded a special £25,000 fund to provide mental-health services in the House of Commons. I can hear Middle England’s cry of “What are the b——s up to now – yet another wheeze at the taxpayer’s expense?”. Having entered Parliament in 2005, I am acutely aware that we are not well-loved beasts. Most regard us as an evil to be tolerated, because nobody has yet devised a better system of governance than that embodied by our current imperfect one.” (emphasis mine)

Oh do keep up-to-date, Mr. Walker – please?


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Letting genies out of bottles

Such an act usually allows something bad to happen which cannot then be stopped – at least not without a great deal of work and aggravation, a process invariably involving unpicking legislation and treaties made/entered into by politicians who originally most definitely did not engage brains when introducing/signing it/them.

In an attempt to trace the origin and thus the blame for the effects of certain legislation, especially those of a societal nature that seem to be causing more problems than they solve, the trail leads back to (a) Westminster; (b) the European Union; (c) the Council of Europe; or, (d) the United Nations.

When considering problems of a societal nature the reason is obvious – it is the introduction of policies dealing with equality, diversity, equal opportunity and immigration. Consider, within the UK, have not such policies caused problems in marriage (who can marry in a church); schools (uniforms); the workplace (work attire); and society in general where traditions and customs are concerned.

However I have to ask who is ultimately responsible for the ensuing mayhem in marriage, schools, the workplace and society in general, to use those examples? Who permitted all the legislation that has caused this mayhem? Who, by permitting such legislation, has allowed politicians unfettered opportunity to engineer our society and country to the extent that the indigenous population of the UK begins to wonder who they are and what is the country in which they live?

The blame for all the problems and social disruption from which the UK presently suffers can be laid at the door of the people; people who have allowed themselves, through the sin of self-centredness, to ignore that which is happening around them in the mistaken belief that it did not affect them. As we protect our family, our homes, our possessions; and for all of which we will fight tooth and nail, so we must protect our country otherwise we will have no home, no family, no possessions – and ultimately no country.

It cannot be stated often enough that the sooner the people of this country understand and accept the reason for the demands behind this movement, the sooner the greater percentage of that against which we complain will become but a distant part of our chequered history as a nation and as a people.

Just saying…………


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We are truly mad!

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
John F. Kennedy

Passing comment on Cameron’s rebuke by the Office of National Statistics about misleading the public over debt and deficit, Fraser Nelson writes:

“Forget politics, forget spin, forget electoral strategy. This about basic decency. Ministers should level with the public about the debt they are putting on other people’s shoulders. You can’t use weasel words like “deal with the debt,” which clearly give a misleading impression. You can’t tell people you’re “wiping the slate clean” when you’re taking UK debt levels from £810bn to £1,530 billion.”

So Cameron “mislead” – as he did in his “Europe” speech – and we the electorate are supposed to shrug our shoulders on the basis that politicians lie, have done and always will. That we do is because we have no control over those we elect once every five years. Not only do we elect politicians on vague promises to do this, that and the other; we then hand them a blank cheque with which to do it. Have we learned nothing during the past decades? Have we not realised that when a group of people are handed what is virtually unfettered power, basic decency is the last principle we can expect them to consider.

We are truly mad!

One can but wonder how long the electorate will put up with this situation especially now that a remedy to the incompetence and venality of our political class is available.


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