I never thought of myself as a visionary but compared to much of the ‘short termism’ I encounter, I feel I am!
I’m certainly not claiming to be a Leonardo Da Vinci but more in the realm of Percy Shaw!
My vision is that I believe political reform of our governance, in this country, is inevitable for the very simple reason that the ‘people’ will eventually not stand for the increasing levels of incompetence and corruption in our political system.
An important qualifier at this point is that what THA seeks, with its six demands, is reform to our governance which does not involve reforms to our electoral system or the creation of new political parties, which are both entirely separate issues and will not in themselves give the people any more power.
The downside to my vision is that I’m unable to put any timescale on it as a prerequisite for any of our reforms is that the public at large have got to get behind them and for that they need to become more materially and perhaps even socially uncomfortable and that will take time for the discontent to reach its peak.
One of the main understandable issues I find, with the protracted timescale for our reforms to a become a reality, is that most people find it difficult to think beyond the 81-year lifespan of the average person in the UK. In this instant world of instant coffee and instant communications most people want instant results and find it difficult to think long term and so look for quick solutions. The trouble with quick solutions is that they invariably don’t stand the test of time.
On Saturday having been turned away at the supermarket entrance, as they were only allowing one shopper per trolly ( should simply have got another trolly!). I returned to the car and opened the glove compartment for something to read and fortunately there was a copy of our pamphlet inside! In the last six pages under the subheadings of ‘A change of relationship’, ‘Progressing the Agenda’ and ‘Conclusion’ all the key issues are covered as to why there will be no quick fix and the likely opposition we will encounter.
One hurdle, identified under ‘Progressing the Agenda’, that has been achieved is the requirement to leave the EU which in 2012, when we first meet in Harrogate, was a distant dream!
So many of our great achievements over the centuries have taken time to develop from the building of St Paul's cathedral, 40 years, to the gardens of Capability Brown which needed around 200 years to fully mature. However, in terms of political reform we need look no further than the Chartists(1838) and their six demands, five of which took between 20 and 73 years to become enacted.
In summary as Dr North concluded on the last page of our pamphlet :-
"Those subscribing to the ideology of THA are, in our view, visionaries in the traditional sense. They are creating something that is completely at variance with current thinking. It is one which, incidentally, is based on a belief of John Stuart Mills - the extensive participation of the people in the governance of their country.
THA offers something that we rarely get when politicians offer change - real power, the ability to make real choices, permitting people to accept or reject proposals made by our governments, their institutions and servants - at national and local levels. When sufficient people accept our ideas, we will regain the power that is truly ours - power which should never have been taken away from us in the first place.”
Amen to that!