Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Campaign to restore British counties

I had a conference call on Sunday  with the Founder, Pam Moorhouse and Manager, Gerard Dugdill, of the British Counties Campaign.

https://britishcounties.org

 I have empathy with their campaign and as a part of our second demand ' Real Local Democracy' we believe local authorities could be based on counties,cities or the former county boroughs.

The trouble with this or any other campaign is that the only way it will see the light of day is to convince a governing party to adopt the policy, pass it into law and pay for it.

There are two key points to make here. First, It is my considered opinion that, with our existing system of governance in place, this is extremely unlikely. Second, even if it did come to pass then with our sovereign parliament, unable to bind successive governments, there is nothing to stop another parliament doing a 'Ted Heath' on us.

The issue highlighted above also applies to Brexit which is why our six demands are part of Flexcit for until the people are recognised as sovereign, instead of parliament, then the last word resides with Parliament and not us. So it is for this reason every campaign should support THA and our six demands.

One important consideration for all campaign groups is that once the views of the majority count then everyone has to accept their will, as and when exercised, and if your particular 'hobby horse' is not supported by the majority then you have a lot more convincing to do. 

Finally a real bonus for democracy is that with a sovereign people many existing 'minority' pressure groups would lose their influence over governments and so the whole 'Green'  business and bandwagon would have to face the cold reality that most sensible people are not duped by their propaganda.



    

 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

How will we ever beat the Establishment?

I believe that protest movements will seldom if ever beat the existing 'Establishment' and resorting to any form of physical confrontation will absolutely be guaranteed to fail as the authorities hold all the law & order cards.

These are the problems faced by The Iraq War Campaign Group, led by Reg Keys who lost his son in Iraq. Having failed to hold Blair personally to account they have recently made a submission to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee's enquiry looking into 'Safeguards for proper Government decision making.'

While the Group were pleased that the Committee recognised the need for 'New safeguards for proper process on decision-making' they were disappointed that 'There is no case for rules on collective decision making in the Cabinet Manual being placed on a statutory footing.'

In other words, in very simple terms, nothing much is likely to change as the 'Establishment' looks after its own.

What Reg Keys and his campaign need is to see the introduction of our six demands which specifically under demand four, The people's consent, would allow the voice of the people to be heard and in all likelihood, had it been in place before the war in Iraq, could well have stopped the government from embarking on that disastrous war in the first place.

The question then arises as to how we get our six demands enacted and the only answer to that is that enough people have got to be bothered to demand them and pressurise their MPs for our reforms  to improve the way we are governed.

As I mention above any protests that turn violent will be crushed by the authorities but as Gene Sharp outlines in his 123 page little book, From Dictatorship to Democracy, there are plenty of ideas and scope for successful peaceful protests, importantly within the law, which have been used in the past successfully. All that is needed is for sufficient people to wake up to the need for our agenda and then of course be prepared to do something about it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The sovereignty of our parliament.


Our first demand is that the people must be recognized as sovereign, so what does this actually mean?

The Royal powers of our sovereign monarch, were finally removed by the Bill of Rights 1689. The Bill of Rights also removed the ability of the Crown to dispense with or ignore legislation and statutes. Such a right had culminated in the Declaration of Indulgence of 1687, which had ushered in the Glorious Revolution. That led the Earl of Shaftesbury to declare in 1689, "The Parliament of England is that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government" Finally The Act of Settlement of 1700 removed royal power over the judiciary and defined a vote of both houses as the sole method of removing a judge.

Therefore our Parliament is the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UK constitution. As a result what one government passes can be changed by another and so, as a purely hypothetical example,  there would be nothing stopping any future government applying to re-join the EU.

This why our first demand, on which the other five depend, is so important and demands that we ‘the people’ must be recognised as sovereign so that it is only through our consent that constitutional changes can be made and this would all be set out within a new written constitution which is of course our sixth and final demand.

Sovereignty or power once rested with the monarch and now resides with our parliament and there is no good reason why it should not be moved again so as to recognise the people as sovereign. All we have to do is get enough of us to demand this to happen.


Monday, 28 May 2018

Scapegoated Capitalism – Ben Irvine


I brought this, interesting and easy to read, book on the recommendation of James Delingpole in his weekly article in the Spectator.

The basic preface of the book is that throughout history, from witches to capitalism, people have needed scapegoats that become a focus of attention on which to blame the problems they face.

The current anti-capitalist movement blames capitalism for all life’s ills and as with all scapegoating their criticisms of capitalism actually make things far worse. Capitalists are not perfect but largely left to their own devices they do more good in the world than bad and are certainly preferable to government initiatives and intervention that so often make matters worse. Furthermore the more the government restricts and penalises capitalists, to pander to the anti-capitalists, the worse things become.

On page 117 there was a pertinent paragraph that was applicable to THA:-

“Every anti-capitalist knows that no colonial government has ever achieved anything more than questionable results in the course of intervening in its conquered nations economic affairs, Yet, strangely, anti-capitalists fail to draw the correct general conclusions , i.e. that the economic planning of rulers tends to be woefully inadequate when it comes to fulfilling the needs of millions of citizens. The best decisions come from free people, who are more motivated to improve their lives than a government supposedly acting on their behalf. And whereas free people can adjust quickly when things go wrong – leading to innovation and progress - government planners adjust slowly, if at all. The government workers who have the largest incentive to respond to feedback are (elected) politicians, but the temporally distant threat of being unelected hardly compares to the real-time incentives faced by free people trying to succeed for themselves. Meanwhile government bureaucrats have a large incentive to lie to their bosses about the results of the politicians’ policies; no one gets promoted for reporting failure to a senior bureaucrat. When you add in the fact that all government workers are tempted to keep public money for themselves rather than spend it on the public, or at the very least to spend it profligately so as to demonstrate to the budget holders that the money was ‘needed’ and will be needed again, the prospect of enlightened government planning recedes into negligibility.”

This paragraph confirms for me the advantages of a smaller localised government and a free people directly able to influence their rulers when needed.

THA’s six demands will improve our system of governance for the better which is why they are so needed.

         

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Can new parties change the system of governance?


An early dissident to our strategy, of applying pressure on existing politicians to accept our demands, cited the Italian Five Star party as evidence of a new party making rapid progress.

This returned to my mind due to the main Spectator article this week which covers the potential coalition between the ‘alt-left’ Five Star and the ‘hard-right’ Lega. The trouble, which both parties will face, is that their coalition still has to operate within the existing dysfunctional political system that since the 1990’s has been dominated by the corrupt and obscenely overpaid political class. As a result, if the coalition comes off and lasts, one cannot help wonder how much they will both actually achieve within the existing system before they themselves are corrupted by it.

It is for the above reason, that to get the political changes we seek, we are determined to stick to our six demands for a more ‘people responsive’ political system which we believe can best be achieved when enough pressure is applied to our existing MPs.

Our six demands come as a package and our task is to educate the public of their worth and need and explain how they must bring pressure on existing MPs to adopt and support them or lose support at elections.

Footnote
Another interesting aspect of the Spectator article shows how under-reported these political developments in Italy are in our media. One obvious reason could well be that both Five Star and Lega are both united in their hostility to the Euro and want to see the EU radically reformed especially the Stability and Growth Pact which compels member states to keep budget deficits below 3% of GDP. It would simply never do for the likes of the ‘Europhile’ BBC to report too many anti EU stories.