I recently came across this quote by Mahatma Ghandi which he made in 1915:-
“I discovered that the British Empire had certain ideals with which I had fallen in love. One of those ideals is that every subject of the British Empire has the freest scope possible for his energies and efforts and whatever he thinks is due to is conscience… I have said that government is best which governs least, and I have found it possible for me to be governed least under the British Empire. Hence my loyalty to the British Empire.”
Apart from this being a refreshing endorsement of the benefits of our Empire, compared to the usual PC accusations that we ran an evil Empire for which we should constantly apologize, it’s his reference to being governed least which caught my eye.
Our second demand, for ‘Real Local democracy’, not only wishes to see far more power being given to the counties, thus reducing the dominance of central government in so many matters that would be far better handled locally, it also aims to see the size of central government reduced.
In our pamphlet we point out that if “the United States House of Representatives manages to make do with 435 voting members, our House of Commons might be able to reduce itself to less than 300, with of course the added cost savings involved.
We would also expect numbers in the House of Lords to be proportionately reduced – with perhaps only a hundred or so working members needed.”
The current situation, with sovereignty residing in parliament, it is hardly surprising that any efforts to reduce the size of government fail. In fact, the reverse is true, with the size of government ever expanding while the quality of our governance goes down and becomes more remote from the people it serves.
When the people are recognised as sovereign, our first demand, we will be able to ensure, with the right mechanisms in place, that our views and opinions be not only heard but taken account of and reducing the size of our bloated government would be high on the list of changes needed.