In 2006 the, 300-page, report ‘POWER to the People’ was published. This was an Independent Inquiry into Britain’s Democracy being a centenary project of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.
The report was chaired by Helena Kennedy QC and supported by a dozen 'Power Commissioners' and received submissions, in various formats, from around 1000 individuals and organisations as well as contributions from around 170 ‘experts’ which included 30 local and national politicians.
The Foreword opened with these two sentences "This is not a report simply about constitutional change. It is a report about giving people real influence over the bread-and-butter issues which affect their lives." There is nothing in the following four pages with which I would disagree as it outlined the need for democratic reform and the transfer of power from the centre to local communities.
However, the sheer fact I doubt many of you have any recollection of this report let alone any of the 30 recommendations, yes 30, to improve our democracy rather speaks for itself. I also note that its own website www.powerinquiry.org has been taken down, there now only being a Wiki entry and a copy of the report on the Joseph Rowntree website to prove it ever existed.
Looking at the recommendations there are a dozen, I’d support, which tie in directly with our six demands in areas like a Written Constitution, a Separation of Power and the People’s Consent. However, the majority would not improve our governance or our democracy at all which the Forward so clearly stated was their aim, examples include: -
- · Limits should be placed on the power of the whips – Good luck with that!
- · Voting age should be reduced to 16 – That should do it!
- · State funding for parties – Open to corruption.
- · Consideration of text and e-mail voting - ditto
- · Reform of media ownership – an old unsolvable chestnut.
- · A new independent Nat. Statistical Service to provide info to the public – open to bias.
In conclusion this type of inquiry, sums up the futility of such reports, produced by the supposed ‘Great and the Good’ because if the status quo is challenged the ‘Establishment’ will quietly ignore it and eventually bury it.
If the people want to reform our system governance and regain their inherent sovereignty they are going to have to wake up and demand the necessary changes or else accept the inevitable continuation of our national decline under our current incompetent, corrupt and self-serving politicians.