One of the key issues, with our current political system, is that the views of the public at large are being ignored by our politicians, that is assuming they are even aware of what they are?
We have all heard MPs say how they are kept in touch with the 'man in the street' by their constituency
surgeries but in reality, they only get to meet a vocal minority with
specific problems, while the views of the vast majority are seldom
brought or get to their attention. It could not be clearer, over recent
years, that our politicians seldom if ever speak for the ‘people’.
The problems start with the need, for anyone considering a career in politics, to join a party and become part of the ‘tribe’ and accept their mantras for without the support of a party machine the chances of getting elected as an independent are very slim. Adopting the ‘party-line’, from the start of a political career, means fresh ideas are not getting into the political arena which does of course presume that prospective candidates have any in the first place!
However, even if a new politician does have strong opinion on say Climate Change, and is a climate realist against the current orthodoxy, he or she would have to suppress their views for fear of jeopardise their advance in their party. As Bernard Shaw said: ‘He knows nothing; he thinks he knows everything – that clearly points to a political career!’
At the moment our governments and politicians, in general, pander to the last minority pressure group to sit on them. For far too long the tail has been wagging the dog.
So, our current system of governance will only be reformed when our politicians have to seriously consider and act on the views of the majority which is what our six demands set out to do. Our first demand requires that the people's inherent sovereignty is recognised and from this the other demands flow.
Demand two, ‘Real Local Democracy’, gets decision much closer to the people and would allow constituents to agree the level of pay of their MPs and set up a procedure for recall between elections if they so desired. Demand three, ‘Separation of Powers’, would enable the whole of Parliament to keep the executive in check as well as the position of Prime Minister being elected by the people.
Demands four and five giving the people real
power to reject the government’s proposed legislation, and
annual taxation requirements in the budget as well as recommend proposals for new legislation. Finally demand six pulls everything
together in a new codified constitution.
So, when enacted, the six demands of The Harrogate Agenda would radically reform our current system of governance with the key being that the views of the majority can no longer be ignored. Our Agenda allows the views of the people to puncture the Westminster bubble and bring fresh ideas into the system.
After THA reforms are in place it would be appropriate to quote Abraham Lincoln, from his Gettysbery Address:-
"The nation, shall have a new birth of freedom,and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.