Tag Archive: Janet Daley

The Power of the People

is being stolen from them – so writes Janet Daley in her usual Sunday Telegraph column while posing the question: How strong should central government be, and how much of our money should it spend? She further maintains that [in the United States] there has been an inexorable push over the past century toward the centralisation of power at national level and the loss of local self-determination.

Fast forward to the present day and where the United Kingdom is concerned, one can say that the process of the centralisation of power at the national level and the loss of local self-determination is nearly complete – if not completed. In her article Daley attempts to dispel what she terms three myths – it is a great pity that she did not attempt to dispel the myth that representative democracy is democracy.

But then what is representative democracy – however ‘constituted’ – if not the centralisation of power among a few with the resultant loss of local self-determination. Have we forgotten history which shows that once one power is ceded the recipient of that power then has but one aim: to accumulate more – and more – and more. Those who believe in – and practice – representative democracy do so by ‘selling’ the idea of a beneficent state, one whose only aim is to be the provider, the carer and the guardian of our safety. Unfortunately those that fall for this do so in the mistaken belief that freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint – until it is too late and they find themselves enslaved. Were Darwin alive today he would probably revise his thesis and proclaim that such people are the missing link between apes and human beings – but I digress.

It can be said that representative democracy is a political system that allows the awarding of office to the most ruthless, cunning, and selfish of mortals, one which then allows those on whom it is imposed to act surprised when it subsequently appears that those willing to do anything to win power show themselves equally willing to do anything with it – and to retain it. Readers of this blog will be well aware that I consider representative democracy to be but a form of democratised dictatorship. Where any form of dictatorship exists, then tyranny is not far behind. At which point, in this article it is worth recalling the words of Frederick Douglass (1857): Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

As an aside Edward Spalton kindly drew my attention to a programme aired on Radio 4 about George Washington which, as he points out, contains some very interesting food for thought for all considering constitutional matters. During this programme it is pointed out that the taxes imposed from England that instigated the eventual war with America were not that punitive – it was the arbitrary imposition of the taxes that were at the root of rebellion. As with taxation in the 1770s, so with taxation today – it is imposed in an arbitrary manner. Yet is that not what representative democracy allows: the imposition of arbitrary laws? Does it not also allow arbitrary decisions to be taken by those who attain power,which affect us all, yet on which we have no say? That is not democracy.

 The biggest criticism of any form of dictatorship – be that democratised or not – is the subsequent situation wherein those ‘governing’ tend to treat the country they govern as their personal fiefdom; yet since when did the country belong to them? If, as logic demands, a country belongs to the people, then logic also dictates that it should be governed by those who own it. That premise neatly leads into the reason why the 6 Demands should – and must – be adopted if we are to have democracy at all.

Here endeth a Sunday rant.

 


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Janet Daley makes the case against reresentative democracy

Boy, does she do a good job in the process!

Daley writes about an “Official Opposition”, bemoaning the fact that without a credible opposition two party politics would be in decline, she then maintains that an additional result would mean endless coalitions with backroom deals and a smaller party being able to, in her words, “call the shots”.

If it is accepted that Daley is correct to say that good opposition makes for good governance and that such draws more people into politics. why do we need a political party to fulfill that role? Should not the electorate fill that role? If governments are to be subjected to worthy criticism and thus held to account then should it not be by those on whom the results of Government decisions fall? Should not the people be able to “call the shots”?

Just because our American cousins have settled on a two-party system of politics, by what logic does Daley presume to think that the UK should follow suit? As regular readers will know, I have often asked the question about in whose pocket is who where the relationship of politicians and the media is concerned. Perhaps Daley exhibits the inability of her profession to handle and comment on more than two political parties?

It is about time that politicians and the media realized that the people of any nation do not wish to be ruled – all they wish for is to employ a section of their society to handle what may be termed “day-to-day matters and safeguard  the security of their nation while at the same time allowing those that serve to be constrained by those that employ them.

Democracy per se is not that difficult – it is the politicians that make it so complex because it keeps them in a job.


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Moronic Sheep?

Janet Daley would like to slap David Cameron for being so relaxed – personally, I would just like to slap him for being David Cameron.

Dan Hodges doesn’t think much of Ed MIliband – and I would like to slap Ed Miliband for being Ed Miliband.

Where the child protection system is concerned I would like to slap all politicians for allowing this unacceptable state of affairs to continue.

Why, I hear the cry. Why? For believing that having been elected to govern our country, they then impose their ideology on us without having spelled out exactly what that is. Who but moronic sheep allow themselves to be herded by the human equivalent of a collie dog (with fleas); dictating their direction of travel; controlling what they can and cannot do?

If a politician publicly states on taking office that he and his ilk must revert to the situation of being the servants of those that elect him – and promptly does everything necessary to continue in a “mastership role” – why should we even consider re-electing him? But no doubt those sheep corralled in Witney and Doncaster constituencies will. Why, when the same politicians who were complicit in the economic mess in which we find ourselves now present themselves as our saviours – are, if opinion polls are to be believed, forgiven for their sins?

Has the electorate of this country totally lost the ability to reason and think? Have they lost all understanding that the lives they lead are theirs – and, as such, it should be they who decide how those lives are led? Have they not realised that they are not sheep but are actually further up the “brain-cell chain”?

Politicians chase the “centre ground”, yet that ground is basically “middle Britain” – and middle Britain seems to accept that if taxation only rises by a few pounds, why should they worry? There is talk of a pay increase for Members of Parliament, a matter over which we who will be providing said increase will have no voice. Where is the public outcry over that? Writing on Conservative Home, Marina Kim suggests that any recall system for MPs must be one where the decision rests with the public; also suggesting that the subsequent process of electing a replacement should be funded by the party in question on the basis that political parties may be more selective in their choice of candidate.

In her article Kim also touches on the matter of equal pay and a situation whereby one MP may not be as good as another; and suggesting that this is unfair on those industrious MPs who “do the work” – while querying who should make the decision. The solution is simple really – all that is necessary is for each constituency to decide the level of salary they are prepared to pay plus the level of any increase; or, come to that, any decrease. Likewise if a constituency is to fund their MP’s salary, then they should also have the ability to select the candidates of each party – and not have one imposed upon them. That of course is the situation that would arise from extrapolation of the 6 Demands.

We read today of the “arrangement” that the Conservative and Labour Parties have arrived at in order to get the Same Sex Marriage Bill through Parliament – just what business is it of the political elite to decide such matters~? Is it not for those that it affects to make whatever decisions they wish? Is it not for the people, per se, to decide what law should be in their country?

Richard North, EUReferendum, writes about an article by Christopher Booker that was “spiked” by the then editor of the Telegraph on the basis that what he had written was “unacceptable” as part of which castigated David Cameron for his inability to gain a majority at the 2010 general election; and from which:

“The tragedy is that, confronted by the most corrupt, hypocritical, inefficient, illiberal, discredited government in history, what millions of voters are looking for is an alternative which might put an end to the sleazy, self-regarding sham of the Blair era by displaying some “masculine” firmness: in cutting back on the bloated public sector and the out-of-control bureaucracy which is destroying our health service, education and police; which might encourage enterprise; which might restore democracy to local government; bring back some balance into our public finances; sort out the shambles into which our Armed Forces are sliding; uphold Britain’s national interest, as we suffocate under the malfunctioning system of government represented by the European Union.”

Where I may take issue with Christopher Booker is where he implies that corrupt, hypocritical, inefficient, discredited government dates from the Blair era, as one could argue that all governments before Blair could have some, if not all, of those labels attached to them. (Corrupt, hypocritical: Wilson, Macmillan, Heath, Major?).

Much is made, especially by Ukip, of the need for a return to self-government. Where that party – together with supposed Eurosceptics – and I disagree is over the definition of the words “self-government”. Being subjected to “rulings” by an elected, dictatorial, political party is not “self-government”! For the avoidance of doubt “self-government” is having a small group of pe0ple, elected by the electorate, to manage the wishes of the people, said wishes having been arrived at by majority vote, both on a national and local level. “Self-government” is the ability of the people to halt legislation proposed by politicians with which they disagree; and to force politicians to enact legislation that the politicians may not want.

Now that is “self-government”. Anything else is an abomination of the word democracy!

 

 


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The forthcoming local elections

Richard North, EUReferendum, has posted the result of an opinion poll that has appeared in The Observer showing the standing of the parties based on those intending to vote. Andrew Rawnsley, writing in the same newspaper, warns of the Ukip effect, while Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph, writes about conviction and aspirational politics.

That so many words can be expended on an event that has no meaning whatsoever by Rawnsley and Daley without either of them acknowledging the meaningless of said event really does beggar belief. Rawnsley makes the point that voting intentions in local elections invariably do not provide a pointer to that of general elections. – but one has to ask does that even matter? Daley meanwhile writes about the conviction and aspiration of the wrong section of our society, namely the political elite.

Leaving to one side the point that Richard North makes about local government being but puppets of our national and supranational governments, surely the important question is why voters even bother to consider lending their support to parties that have, in the past, each failed when assuming any form of government – be that local or national.

When will the proverbial penny drop with the voters that both the political and democratic systems are not fit for purpose? Likewise, what is the point in voting for yet more failure?

Just asking………….

 

 


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Lets call a spade a spade, shall we Janet?

Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph Janet Daley ponders on the direction of travel that David Cameron and the Conservative Party are taking and what she perceives is the battle for David Cameron’s soul.

Apparently there is to be a shift of emphasis from the “centre ground” to what Keith Joseph coined as the “common ground” on the basis that that which is the view of the majority of people is the common ground. Daley continues:

“So if, for example, the overwhelming majority of voters express a desire for a harder line on immigration, or for more support for traditional families, then those positions are on the common ground of politics and deserve to be respected.”

Sorry, but: deserve to be respected? So the people should be grateful that the political class deign to respect us by providing legislation that the majority of us want? This country has surely suffered over decades by being pulled first one way and then another, based purely on political ideology over which the people have had no real control – and in the process, bankrupted by political chicanery.

If Cameron is now saying that political parties, especially his own, should and possibly will start reflecting the wishes of the people, then why don’t we go the whole hog and have direct democracy coupled with referism. If, as Daley writes, real people – as opposed to noisy activists – have sound instincts about what the country needs then should not the people be able to direct politicians to that end, rather than have to plead?

It is because the people have not been in charge of their own country and their own lives that we, as a nation, now find ourselves in the mess we are: bankrupt, our society and traditions trashed, a political system so riddled with corruption and venality that it no longer commands respect.

That the people have allowed what are no more than a self-centred, dishonourable and unprincipled collection of individuals (and it is not just of politicians that I write, there are many more “behind the scenes” with a similar common purpose) to bring what was once a “great” nation to its knees is unbelievable – totally unbelievable.


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Sunday “Skewage”

Yet still there are those in the media who feel they have something to contribute to the aftermath of “that speech” – and still the same old, tired, arguments are aired which continue the process of misinforming the electorate. In today’s papers are articles by Janet Daley (Telegraph); Tony Blair (Mail); Andrew Rawnsley (Observer); John Rentoul (Independent); David Miliband (Telegraph); and Nigel Farage (Mail).

Daley’s piece is a contrast twixt the messsages of Obama and Cameron – and as the outlook for this country is black enough without ploughing through her opinions on the problems America is currently experiencing, I propose we disregard those and concentrate on her opinion of Cameron and his speech. She is another who it appears has swallowed hook, line and sinker the Norway meme as she too is another who believes that Cameron’s speech was “eloquently argued, irresistibly persuasive to British ears, and logically faultless”. Logically faultless was it, Janet? One can only urge her to consult a dictionary on the meaning of those last two words. Writing that Cameron has a dream of the European Union as an open, flexible, freely diverse fellowship of nation states, each of them democratically accountable to its own electorate, and all of them able to cooperate in whatever ways suited their individual needs at any given time – which is what we all thought we would have, ie a common market – Daley continues:

“But does he not appreciate that this is the very antithesis of the founding principle of the EU? That its deliberate object was to curtail the power of its separate member states and the dangerous impulses of their volatile electorates, whose inclinations had a tendency to end in mass murder? It is not a travesty of the European project to say that it was a conspiracy of the European elites against their own peoples: it is the literal truth. Of course, the EU, with its unelected centralised governing bodies, overrides the democratic wishes of the nation states. That’s the whole point. This was a post-war French and German idea, devised to prevent any possibility of the hideous conflicts that devastated the continent during the last century. Its imperatives – the irreversible political integration of member states, a guarantee that national governments could never again go rogue, and the disempowering of electorates – arose directly from the 20th-century experience of criminal national leaders. The nation state, driven by the will of its own people, had been the demonic enemy of peace and the EU would put an end to it, once and for all.”

One might question the logic of the first part of that extract on two points: (a) were not the dangerous impulses of volatile electorates that had a tendency to end in mass murder not formed and directed by politicians; and (b) might not this time round the objects of said mass murder, rather than being the people, be the politicians? Leaving that aside, the remainder of Daley’s comments can only show that Cameron’s dream is totally unrealisable, As I and others have written, almost to the point of exhaustion, were one power to be returned to one member state it would start an avalanche of similar requests resulting in the end of the “project” – and those behind said “project” will never allow that to happen.

Readers will forgive me if I gloss over the offering of Tony Blair as it is what one would expect. Digressing again, someone wrote recently that Blair can never say or write something without forgetting that he is no longer addressing the House of Commons – very true that.

Andrew Rawnsley’s offering is long and while being a summary of what has already been said by others, does repeat one or two points worth consideration, but in castigating Cameron for a speech at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons, he writes:

“David Cameron has taken a great leap into the dark, which would not be so serious if he were not making his country jump with him.”

Er, when any Prime Minister of this country, because of the dictatorial aspects encapsulated in our present system of democracy, says jump, regardless of the subject, does not the country have to jump with them?

John Rentoul, in his offering, castigates MilibandE while praising Blair – which is hardly a surprise, Rentoul being one of the latter’s sycophants – explaining that Blair has nothing to fear about opinion polls nor that which he has previously said. No, the only thing Blair has to worry about is what those that can crown him President of the EU actually think of him.

David Miliband on the other hand (just love the picture) offers what may be termed a typical Europhile view; for example, maintaining that under the Lisbon Treaty national parliaments are more able to become “engaged” with the EU – yet forgets to mention that national parliaments are “handcuffed” in that EU law has primacy over national law, even national constitutional law. Reminding Cameron that any attempt to rewrite the commitment for “ever closer union” may as well be filed in the bin immediately, he continues with his own version of Euro-FUD by threatening that were the UK to cease EU membership we would be seen as a “fringe irritant” of Europe. Besides a tad of “spin” and thus informing us that EU membership only costs us £1 per week, each, MiilibandD then perpetuates Cameron’s lie about Norway but arguing from the point that we help write the rules of the single market – no, “we” don’t, but Norway does.

Finally we come to the offering by Nigel Farage – where to start? He also castigates MilibandE for not taking the opportunity of demanding the promised referendum now – no “ifs”, no “buts” and continues that he (Farage) considers this to be a political failure on Labour’s part and also a betrayal of their core voters. One can only counter by asking was Farage’s error not to criticise Cameron for his “Norway lie” a political failure and also a betrayal of his and his party’s core voters? Praising his party’s performances in Rotherham and Barnsley, Nigel Farage forget to mention that there were a lot of people who could not be bother to make their voices heard in the belief that all policial parties are the same. Suggesting that we need to sort out the bread and butter of UK politics, it is perhaps too much to expect a politician, especially one who considers himself a libertarian, to start with our system of representative democracy on which all political parties “feed”.

When considering the articles mentioned above – and those that have gone before – one can only ask when, oh when, will other journalists join Christopher Booker in providing us with reasoned, informative articles. When will the media, which is self-flagellating in order to prove that they are a free and fair press, be prepared to give air and paper time to those bloggers – and “the man in the street” – who disagree with “accepted opinion”? One can but repeat the question: how can the British people vote with any confidence and knowledge in what is a referendum about this country’s sovereignty and the right to self-government, the right of the people to decide their own future, when politicians and media lie to us?

As an afterthought, I leave it to readers if they wish to omit the letter “k” from the word “skewage” when considering the media output to which I refer.

 


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Janet’s ‘Weekly’ Diary

Most Sunday’s, Janet Daley has a column in the Sunday Telegraph, one invariably dealing with reasons for the continuing woes of the Conservative Party. Today is no exception; and from her article today:

“The critical argument at this European summit was not about national sovereignty, or the overweening force of EU law, or any of the existential questions about the European Union. It was about spending. It was, basically, the very same issue around which our domestic politics revolve: the one which has, indeed, dominated recent electoral debate in every country in the West.”

While the recent gathering of EU leaders (Daley is another ‘journalist’ to misuse the word ‘summit’) may have been about spending  ie, the small matter of payments to maintain a system of government over which we, the UK, have no control whatsoever, the question has to be asked: just what the hell was he doing there in the first place?

Let us not forget that Cameron is the man who quotes Vaclav Havel:

“Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.”

This is the same man who states that his country and its national character, has:

“a love of freedom and an instinctive loathing of over-mighty authority.”

Cameron, choosing to use the word ‘autonomous’, creates an enigma where the definition of the word is concerned. From the Concise Oxford Dictionary we learn:

  • enigma: 1. a puzzling thing or person; 2. a riddle or paradox.

From the same source, where the word ‘autonomous’ is concerned, we learn:

  • autonomous:  1. having self-government; 2. acting independently, or having the freedom to do so.

With regard to the first quotation – and if he truly believes in that which Vaclav Havel said – then surely he must embrace the 6 Demands of the Harrogate Agenda? That he does not- and will not – can only demonstrate that the man is a charlatan.

With regard to the second quotation, if he truly is a Briton then it has to be asked why he continues to favour membership of the European Union when that body does regulate our freedom and continues to impose on us ‘over-mighty-authority’. And why does he practise the same policies in his own country and on his own people?

Richard North, EUReferendum, in his latest post comments on articles by Andrew Grice (Independent);Toby Helm (Observer); Janet Daley (Telegraph); while also mentioning MilibandD on what Richard aptly calls the ‘Marr ego show’. In arguing for continuance of EU membership, are not such people shown to be false prophets – while also basing their case on ‘false profits’? Are not the likes of Grice, Helm and Daley also ‘Myrtles’, ie Judas Goats?

Yet again, just asking……….

 

 

 

 


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But the question is never asked

Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph, posts an article with a headline: “People would be happy to see a smaller state”.

That people might be happy to see a smaller state – if they had the faintest idea how to achieve that noble aim – must be classified as the understatement of the year. When one is a journalist, writing articles on a ‘daley’ basis, it must be exceedingly difficult to see the wood from the trees – on the other hand Janet Daley is supposed to be a ‘thinking’ journalist, or so she would have us believe.

It does not seem to cross her mind that achieving a smaller state is something politicians will never allow the people as by their nature politicians are only intent on accruing power. Neither does it, unfortunately, cross her mind to question why politicians should be allowed to present their electorates with a blank cheque, when it comes to the subject of taxation, at general election time.

In another of his trademark, puerile op-ed pieces, Matthew d’Ancona illustrates why journalists can never be relied upon for serious comment when he writes: “…those of us who comment on Westminster – who talk of “court news” – are instinctively drawn to “who loses and who wins, who’s in and who’s out…..” – and therein lies the problem we have in this country where the dissemination of political news is concerned.

Much is aired in the media about politicians, democracy and power; yet not one attempt is made to analyze the underlying reasons why the the first two are ‘shot to hell’ due a lust of the third. Yes, we had Simon Jenkins’ paper back in 2004 – and since then?

~

 


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Democratic deficit – and ‘Harrogate’

In a way this post is linked to the recent event held at Harrogate, in that the posts to which I link are all related to the heading to this post, which is what Harrogate was all about. In passing and for the avoidance of doubt it had not been my intention to comment on Harrogate until such time as Richard North has done so, however now that he has I can incorporate into my post, ‘events Harrogate’.

First though, let us consider articles by the following that have appeared in the Saturday and Sunday editions of the Telegraph: 1 - Janet Daley - 2. Liam Fox - 3. Iain Martin - 4. Matthew d’Ancona – 5. Charles Moore. Five articles which all contain either something that was obvious to anyone outside the ‘political bubble’; or something intended to ‘mislead’ us, or throw us off the scent; or finally, is pure bull – or,actually, all three.

Janet Daley has, it would appear, suddenly come to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy by the political class against the electorate; that the Coalition was formed not in the interests of ‘The Country’ but in the interests of two political parties; one of whom could not face ruling us as a minority government and the other who saw a way in which to gain power even though they had been resoundingly defeated at the polls. Daley continues, maintaining that the public do not like to see political conflict and that in so doing they fail to understand that differences of opinion between political parties is the basis of democracy. Liam Fox is of the opinion that government doesn’t just happen, that it needs to be driven. Iain Martin is of the opinion that what is wanted is a Tory leader with Tory values, quoting Norman Tebbit who believes that Cameron does not much like Conservatives. He cites the ‘rebellion’ by Tory backbenchers over Lords reform as a resentment over the trashing of a British institution. Matthew d’Ancona, in what is another puerile piece of journalism, believes that rule one of maintenance of the Coalition should be to remember Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford – a divorce that took place in 1995 and about which those of us more concerned with matters political than celebrity tittle-tattle did not bother to read. Charles Moore (who knows what Charles Moore believes – but I digress) writes that if leaders are motivated by fear, they are unable to inspire confidence.

In attempting to analyze the ills that befall our political system and politicians, not one of these ‘enlightened’ commentators has thought to mention the real problem that exists today in our present system of representative democracy – there is no separation of Executive and Legislature. Not one of them appears to realize that what is needed is a Codified Constitution, one that cannot be changed by the political class without the agreement of the people.

Janet Daley may well bemoan the fact that the public are unable to accept political conflict, but fails to take her argument to the next level by suggesting that were the political class listening to the people and implementing that which the people wanted, there would be no political conflict. Neither does she appear to realize that political conflict is but the means by which one party attempts to impose its ideology on the masses – in other words to dictate.

Liam Fox, in his assertion,that “governments must be driven” is also, by association, party to the belief that ‘government’ must dictate – yet where does the word ‘dictate’ appear in any definition of ‘democracy’?

Iain Martin may well report that Tory dissenters to Lords reform consider it an attack on a British institution – but fails to point out that EU involvement in the governance of this country is also an attack on a British institution, namely that of the belief in self-government – and that Tory dissenters appear to be ignoring that point.

Matthew d’Ancona criticizes Cameron because he doesn’t believe there is a group within the Tory party to ‘twist arms’; to ‘brief’ the media – in other words d’Ancona is content for political parties to rule as a dictatorship, ‘forming’ public opinion, moulding minds.

Charles Moore writes that leaders do not inspire confidence if they are motivated by fear, but fails to mention the more important ill that bests our nation: namely that leadership should not bring privileges but duties.

Another important point, when considering democracy per se, is that not one of these enlightened ‘commentators’ seems to comment on the contradictions of our political class, where their actions are concerned. For example, the political class loudly proclaim the freedom of the individual, yet appear to spend an inordinate amount of time restricting that freedom. Not one of these ‘media experts’ appears to realize that the more ‘organization’ from above,the more constraints imposed on people, the less chance for any attempt at demonstrating initiative. Is it not by people showing initiative that nations become more prosperous and that communities ‘come together’?

To turn to ‘matters Harrogate’ and the inability of the attendees at that meeting to formulate 6 ‘demands’, that failure – and it is but a personal observation – is that the majority of attendees came with ‘personal baggage’, aspects of the deficit in our democracy that they felt important; and in so doing became too involved in their discussions with  the ‘detail’ of how their ‘pet aversions’ could be solved, instead of attempting to focus on the main problems. That aspect is illustrated by Richard North’s comment that: “Furthermore, although some great points were raised, not all got to the heart of the issue. Not all precisely fingered the areas where transfer of powers, the restructuring, and improvement might have best effect”. While most syndicates wanted, for example, separation of Executive from Legislature and a codified constitution, it seemed to me that not all were able to justify either requirement or truly understood the need for each. None had given thought to, when the ‘demands’ were made known, the obvious question that the public would then ask: why are those demands important to me?

More importantly, while it was felt that ‘democracy’ as presently practiced was ‘found wanting’ and acknowledging that democracy was and should be based on ‘people power’, the majority failed to investigate exactly how ‘people power’ could be achieved – in other words what system of democracy  would provide that one basic requirement. A few of the attendees did realize and raised what is a basic point, unfortunately their voices were not heard. Had those raising this point been heard, it may well have produced a consensus for a basis of demands, or at least 3/4 of the desired 6. 

I would close with a question to all attendees at Harrogate. If it is accepted that people power is an important and necessary factor in any democracy, then is not the ‘legislature’ the people? If we are proposing that a separation of the executive from the legislature of the political class is necessary, are we not suggesting that we are content to subsume ourselves to a political elite and thus remain content to remain ‘ruled’? Either we have ‘people power’, or we do not. How can we discuss a codified constitution until we have decided whether ‘people power’ is, or is not, to be the basis of said constitution?

As is my usual wont, just asking……….

 

 

 


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More faux democracy

Politics Home is reporting that the Government is to introduce a ‘public reading stage’ before passing bills, so that members of the public can help improve legislation. Anybody will be allowed to make suggestions on a dedicated website, and civil servants will make a report out of the recommendations, which MPs and peers will consider before passing the bill. The leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, said: “By harnessing the experience of crowds our aim is to produce more open and better laws.”; linking to an article in the Times (£).

Do note the phrase “which MPs and peers will consider before passing the bill”, while the quote by George Young is patronizing in the extreme. This is nothing but a blatant attempt to fool the public into thinking that they have an opportunity to influence – and to ‘control’ – government when, as with the previous examples of a recall system for MPs and local referenda, it is nothing of the sort.

No doubt the gullible electorate will swallow this hook, line and sinker. Writing about the ongoing ‘banker crisis’, Janet Daley states: 

“……The last thing we need at this point is a revival of the Soviet dream of an economy owned, run and manipulated by the political class, to pitch the whole discussion into a futile diversion.”

to which I would counter by saying that the last thing we need is our country owned, run and manipulated by the political class – which, unfortunately for us, is exactly what we have at the moment.

Just saying…………

 


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