I have encountered the above
questions on a number of occasions, since our foundation in 2012, and while the
simple answer is that ‘Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’ there are three more
serious considerations to make.
First, after reading ‘Chartism a New
History’ by Malcolm Chase, I learnt that political change is a slow process and
that five demands of the Chartists, relatively simple, six took between 20 and 73
years to become enacted. Their demand for annual general elections never
materialised. These changes while taking time came about because the ‘People’
got behind them and wouldn’t give up until politicians adopted them as their own
and made them law. One of the five was enacted by a Conservative government and
the other four by the old Liberal party.
Second, I’ve realised that the majority of the people are still too comfortable as they go about their daily lives earning a living and looking after their families. The reality is for the most part life in general improves for most of us every year. So, for the time being the last thing on peoples’ minds is the issue of reform of our governance, while accepting that many aren’t happy as they don’t even bother to vote anymore.
There are of course, as there always have been, groups of minority activists but the majority of people still cannot be bothered. However, could all that be about to change as we face three potentially major disruptions to our lives. The first is the economic hit from the impacts of the Covid lockdowns. Second, is the fallout from our inadequate TCA with the EU 27 and third the anticipated world cyclical economic down turn?
My third observation is that history shows us that our politicians never volunteer to give up their privileges or power. They don’t wake up one day and say :-
‘I’ve suddenly realised that the way I control and dominate others is wrong. I must change my ways. So, I’ll initiate a variety of changes to our governance to give the people more power over their lives.’
That is NEVER going to happen and
history is full of examples how power has to be wrestled from those who have
So, while we endeavour to keep the pilot light of The Harrogate Agenda alight, we await the people waking up and demanding the changes we have set out.
"Furthermore, we the people have the right to demand a Parliament which
truly represents our interests and does what it is told. Parliamentary
representation, we feel, is compatible with THA. But we do not see the function
of Parliament as being to provide a distressingly shallow gene pool from which
ministers are recruited. The antidote to the contempt with which politicians
are regarded is for Parliament to do its job as the protector of the people,
rather than the supporter of governments and the provider of its management
Its main task should be preparing legislation for public approval. the scrutiny of government, and then the representation of the people to government. For that to happen, the institution has to attract the right people and be properly structured. As long as its main function is to provide ambitious politicians with the means to enter government, it can never properly perform those duties."