Tuesday, 9 October 2018

More on Localism.

Recently Michael Krieger, the Brazilian entrepreneur and founder of Instagram, wrote a piece titled:-

" It's time to focus on Localism,Decentralisation and Community."

He was writing with regards the USA but his points are just as applicable to us and I have condensed his essay into the seven key points I feel he makes.

1. Most of us are conditioned to believe life is best organised in scale. In other words, we've been convinced it's best to have as many people as possible operating under a single overarching centralised government structure in charge of micromanaging society from the top down. He believes this is outdated, unnatural and increasingly dangerous.

2. In the western world, we tend to justify centralised superstates because they're ostensibly based on democracy but this doesn't hold water for three reasons:-
a. Just looking at the C21st the 'will of the people' is frequently ignored.
b. A one-size fits all solution to problems in a geographically and cultural diverse nation 325 million, tends to make everyone unhappy. (This applies to the UK and especially the EU)
c. When you over centralise power you streamline systemic corruption. All the big money donors have to do is buy-off a few hundred representatives who conveniently all gather in the same place, far from their constituents, to pass legislation which is often written by lobbyists.

3.Centralised power is unaccountable and exceedingly corrupt.

4. Those against 'Localism' often say it is as corrupt as central government but that is because the people's attention is focused on the centre. If REAL decisions are made locally the people would concentrate on local government where corruption is easier to detect.

5. Local improvements need to be made by local people in their communities - eg. Cleaning up empty spaces and creating community gardens is the sort of thing that brings people together, improves quality-of-life, even mental health and is achievable at relatively low costs.

6.Trusting Local governments to raise their own finances locally, rather than central handouts, instantly makes them more accountable and responsible to their communities.   

7. Localism will increasingly become a necessity as central governments struggle to solve and fail to resolve local issues.

As I wrote last week politicians need 'skin in the game' or their decisions increasingly do not reflect the 'will of the people'. Our second demand for 'Real local democracy' takes fully into account the importance, if not necessity, of local government, based on our historic country structure, taking over more and more power currently undertaken, so badly, by Westminster.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The importance of having 'Skin in the game'.

I was recently referred to an interesting article, on the Internet,  about a book which I have not read myself yet, called 'Skin in the game'  by M. Taleb.

The key points from the article were:-

1. An insight as to why societies and economies thrive or fail boils down to  one of scale.

2. Organisations that function well at a small scale (ie.localised) fail when scaled up and centralised ( ie globalised).

3. Both markets and governance function well at a small scale because those making the decisions must absorb the consequences of their actions/choices.

4.The entire point of centralised hierarchies is to buffer top decision-makers from the consequences of their actions and choices.

5.Having 'skin in the game' exposes decision makers to the consequences of their actions.

6. The decisions of political leaders, like going to war, has virtually a zero risk of them being killed.

7. Leaders of highly centralised hierarchies lead cost-free lives enabling them to to pursue disastrous policies.

8. Cheating is easier to get away with the more centralised the organisation or government.

9. Cheaters at the top of the wealth-power pyramid hire slick attorneys to evade consequences or they buy political influence/protection, in effect legalising cheating by those at the top of the pyramid in systemic ways. Small scale governance mostly avoids this as the office holders are more readily made to face the consequences of their decisions.

10. A state issued currency is the perfection of a centralised system which enables governments to avoid the consequences of their policies.

Our second demand for 'Real Local Democracy' recognises all the above and aims to give the basic unit of our counties REAL power including raising taxes and leave the central government to concentrate on the Nation's Home and Foreign Affairs, Defence and the National budget.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Money down the drain!

Our fifth demand 'No taxation or spending without consent' is essential as unless we have the POWER to control the government's spending plans they will still be able to waste our money as all governments seem to do.

This is far from a new problem and Sir Alan Herbert the distinguished MP, author, rhymester, wit and social reformer wrote this in 1930.

Well fancy giving money to the government!
Might as well have put it down the drain.

Fancy giving money to the government!
Nobody will see the stuff again.

Well, they’ve no idea what money’s for –
Ten to one they’ll start another war.

I’ve heard a lot of silly things but Lor’!
Fancy giving money to the government!

I like the bit about starting another war which Tony Blair did to our cost and loss in Iraq and Afghanistan, as did Cameron in Libya and May in Syria.

We need the POWER to control the government's spending, which afterall is our money in the first place, and I feel pretty sure the 'People's' spending priorities will be alot more realistic than those of our governments. 

Monday, 17 September 2018

Our MPs do far too much yet achieve so little.

Only somebody divorced from the realities of political life would not be aware that the corridors of Parliament are littered with the corpses of failed marriages, with Boris Johnson as the latest high profile casualty.

As one commentator said recently:-

"It is not just the obvious reasons; the long hours; the late-night votes; the drinking culture; the endless travel; the nights away from home; the birthdays,sport days and school plays missed in favour of that all important vote.

It's also the fact that, however down to earth you may be to start, once you get inside the Palace of Westminster, MPs are treated like a demigod by a culture that operates like a gentleman's club in Mayfair. Meanwhile, at home, they're still expected to take out the bins."

Implicit in our Second Demand 'Real Local Democracy' is that our national MPs would only concentrate on the issues of national importance such as Defence, Home and Foreign Affairs and of course the overall budget of the government, which would restore a better work/life balance. Meanwhile local politicians, in a much enhanced role, would take care of all local issues on a county basis with the powers to raise taxes a proportion of which would be sent up to Westminster to finance central government. This is of course a complete reversal of our current system where central government largely controls local government expenditure.

In their reduced role, concentrating on national issues, there is absolutely no reason why MPs should have to work every day of the week and indeed secondary employment would be encouraged. In such a way should the tally of failed marriages be reduced.

THA's demands set out a whole new way to govern this country in which the 'People' have real power, Local Politicans become important figures making real decisions and National Politicians only get to concentrate on the key issues of State.

As Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote in his novel The Leopard "everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same"


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Holiday time.

There will be a two week pause in my weekly posts as I'm off to France tomorrow until the 14th.

In the meantime those interested in really understanding what we are all about and how our demands would work in practise need to read and spend a while reflecting on our 29 page pamphlet:-


It's all there, in this short document, and I still find re-reading it, especially demand four the 'People's Consent', very useful to confirm my understanding.

Finally I'll end with a 'Thought for today' from Ludwig von Mises:-

"The worst events which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments."

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Membership of the EU is not compatible with our Agenda.

As we made very clear in our pamphlet on page 26, direct democracy embodied in THA is not compatible with membership of the EU which is why we affiliated ourselves with The Leave Alliance before the referendum.

Here is the link to our pamphlet:-

On this subject I believe the words of Michael Foot before the 1975 referendum are particularly pertinent, which I was reminded of from this blog post by the blogger Pete North.


Here is what Michael Foot said:-

"People didn't fight for the vote just to have the fun of electioneering. They wanted to see that the vote that they used at the ballot box could change things, stop things, alter things, remove governments when necessary. That's one of the principal reasons for having a vote. But that's not going to happen if we're going to stay in the Market and if we become enmeshed in the whole of their machinery and apparatus - because what will happen then is that you can go and have an election in this country in which you can vote out the government here - but you won't be voting out all the governments that meet in Brussels to decide what is going to happen to us. [...] It is that precious inheritance given us by the people who fought for the right to vote, fought for the right to form trade unions, fought for the right to establish their own institution, fought for the right to have an elected house of commons which should be the supreme authority in this country and answerable to nobody else. It is those things that are at stake in this campaign. We will have plenty of problems to solve after June the Fifth, but let us make it clear that, not merely to our own country, but to the other countries that we believe here in Britain we can solve these problems by using the strength of our democratic institutions instead of casting them aside in this trivial wanton way."

So reform of our democracy and governance starts by leaving the EU and then getting enough people engaged to push for our six demands. If and when the peoples of the UK want to reform our system of governance THA is ready and awaiting with a template for that reform that has yet to be bettered since its conception in 2012.