Friday, 19 February 2021

The importance of establishing grassroot support.

After a discussion this week with a THA supporter, who believes that the introduction of a system of PR is a priority as it would encourage new parties to form, I was still not persuaded from my view that the reform of our governance was far more important than tinkering with our electoral voting system.  It is of course the aim of our six demands to radically reform our system of governance centred on the principle of giving the people real power none of which a system of PR addresses.   

Two weeks ago, I explained why electoral reforms, such as PR, would not give us the changes necessary to make our politicians our servants rather than our masters.


During our conversation I pointed out how in our life time no new party had cut through and made a successful contribution in Westminster and even if PR did see a new party grace the green benches, they would still be restricted by the same Westminster system and thus swimming in the same corrupt cesspit with the people still not having one ounce of real power to control their politicians or government. Further to this, I suggested, it would not take long for a new party to turn native as unfortunately UKIP proved albeit in Brussels rather than Westminster.

I pointed out that THA, first and foremost, had to become a grassroots movement to bring direct pressure on politicians and, while accepting support from any individual, organisation or political entity, the movement would drift into obscurity if it became divorced from the grassroots and relied purely on the ‘Establishment’ for its promotion and implementation.

Somehow the discussion raised an analogy with the Protestant religion in this country with the point being raised as to who had tried to keep the C of E on the straight and narrow as it developed into a top-down organisation which has drifted into the socially liberal and woke institution it is today.

The answer is that little resistance came from the grass roots as they simply parted company from the main body and set up new Christian Churches such as Adventists, Anabaptists, Baptists, Calvinist/Reformed, Lutherans, Methodists, and Pentecostals.

 I know this is hypothetical but now let’s view the new Church denominations as new political parties and you could argue that what the C of E has needed is not new break away Churches but a grassroots movement with the power to hold the C of E hierarchy to account. If rather than break away from the C of E the congregations had held together and demanded changes and reforms to give them more power, they might have been able to influence and fashion the C of E into something closer to the views of the people it once served and lost.

In my opinion the same is true of our party system in that the more we have, with or without PR, they still don’t have the power or even the resolve to change our system of governance which can only come from the people.  

Radical change comes from mobilised grassroots – it’s just that at the moment the grassroots have other things on their mind that precludes them even thinking about political reform let alone acting to change things. However, I predict they will eventually wake up as the current deplorable state of our governance and politicians will not be tolerated forever.  



  1. Interesting analogy with more in common that you say but there are also some fundamental differences. Reformers did join the CofE Synod to try and stop the hierarchy from moving further and further away from biblical roots but there were never enough folks. The grassroots saw the problem and left in droves, as they continue to do.

    Unfortunately you cannot 'leave' our current governance without moving somewhere and declaring independence - Scotland, Wales (Wessex?). If you stay, as those found in the CofE, they will discover that the party system is immune from grassroots change, as any member or past member of the main parties will tell you.

    When the 'grassroots' does eventualy get mobilised, as is inevitable as all the signals are that the money/debt printing system is about to fail, with the inevitable dire consequences. However, it is far more likely that the 'grassroots' will coalesce behind a leader or organisation than behind and agenda however good the agenda.

    That is where the analogy is good as political types of Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists etc will pop up and some will even form together ie under umbrella groups such as the FIEC.

    Where the analogy will fail, as that none of those independent churches are wanting to take over the government of the country. Just spread the 'Good News' which most will reject.

    A thought provoking post though.

    1. I should add that there are still some fighting hard within the CofE to bring it back to Biblical roots. One such person is Rev Dr Peter Mullen, whose post today in ConWoman gets right to the point.
      "Bishops, do your duty and stop talking a load of barracks"

  2. The non-conformist mindset at least in the USA was behind development of liberal democracy. The non-conformists knew that no-one is fit to have absolute power and that we must know how to govern ourselves. The non-conformist mindset has gone now. People in government were surprised how easily lockdowns were accepted in the UK. They thought it could only be done in totalitarian regimes. They should not have been surprised. I fear that enterprises for giving power to the people will get nowhere as the people do not want power.

    1. That is the sad truth. We have a political system that has made people apathetic as they feel they have no voice, no impact and as long as there is food in the shops and entertainment (Bread and Circuses), that will continue.

      As I said, I believe that the debt enabling money printing system is about to fail. When that does, people will want change. as money becomes devalued, mortgages unpayable and food expensive.

      Unfortunately they'll be like sheep without a shepherd.

  3. Cometh the hour cometh the leader and a good idea will never die even if our demands happen after I'm gone!

    There is some hope that one element of our six demands could become popular sooner rather than later and that is part of our third demand which seeks an elected Prime Minister. Achieving that one element would be a good start.

    1. Whilst I was not party to the Harrogate discussions, I can see how they lead to Demand 3, The Separation of Powers and how this requires an elected President. A heated discussion was carried out on this very issue just over 233 years ago.

      The argument was that if there wasn’t a separation of powers then one part would hold too much power. James Madison detailed all the arguments extensively in Federalist Paper 38 (January 15, 1788). When considering how much power was held by the existing Congress, “excrescent power”, he spells out the dangers. Are those just the dangers that we face today, in our present government that dares to go under the name “Conservative"?:

      ”All this has been done; and done without the least color of constitutional authority. Yet no blame has been whispered; no alarm has been sounded. A GREAT and INDEPENDENT fund of revenue is passing into the hands of a SINGLE BODY of men, who can RAISE TROOPS to an INDEFINITE NUMBER, and appropriate money to their support for an INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. And yet there are men, who have not only been silent spectators of this prospect, but who are advocates for the system which exhibits it; and, at the same time, urge against the new system the objections which we have heard.”

      Is there any better advert for THA Demand 3?