Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Our MPs spend too long doing too much but achieving little.

The corridors of Parliament are littered with the corpses of failed marriages, with Matt Hancock and Michael Gove  the latest high profile casualties.

As one commentator said recently:-

"It is not just the obvious reasons; the long hours; the late-night votes; the drinking culture; the endless travel; the nights away from home; the birthdays, sport days and school plays missed in favour of that all-important vote.

It's also the fact that, however down to earth you may be to start, once you get inside the Palace of Westminster, MPs are treated like a demigod by a culture that operates like a gentleman's club in Mayfair. Meanwhile, at home, they're still expected to take out the bins." 

Implicit in our Second Demand 'Real Local Democracy' is that our national MPs would only concentrate on the issues of national concern such as Defence, Home and Foreign Affairs and the country’s overall budget, thus restoring, for our MPs a better work/life balance.

 Meanwhile local politicians, in a much-enhanced role, would take care of all local issues on a county basis with the powers to raise taxes a proportion of which would be sent up to Westminster to finance central government. This would be a complete reversal of our current system where central government largely controls local government expenditure.

For example, our National Health Service, currently the fifth largest employer in the world with 1.7 million employees would become county based and administered bringing local control and doing away with the heavy hand of central government.

 So with more local issues dealt with by local politicians our MPs, reduced to around 400, would be left to concentrate on national issues, Another knock on effect would be that there would then be absolutely no reason why MPs should have to work every day of the week and indeed secondary employment would be encouraged giving our politicians far wider experiences and relationships with the real world. Such changes might also help reduce the tally of failed marriages.

THA's demands set out a whole new way to govern this country in which the 'People' have real power, Local Politicians become important figures making real decisions closer to the people and National Politicians get a far more realistic and manageable work load based on national issues.

As Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote in his novel The Leopard "Everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same"


  1. What's the point of your Constitutional Convention when you seem to have already decided so much of it already? eg how did you decide upon your own idea for local government relationship to central? I've never seen you seriously ask for anyone's opinion and when people do give you their opinion you reject it, usually insultingly. Not the mark of a "real" democrat, is it?

    Who did you ask about this local/central government restructuring?

  2. Our six demands were framed as a result of our meeting in Harrogate and we now offer it as a solution to improve our governance.

    Most radical change originates from a few and is then taken up by the many.

    That you don't like it is your prerogative.

    Finally decentralising power is hardly a new idea and is I would suggest supported by most real democrats.

  3. The THA was formulated through a great deal of effort by a number of people so a lot of opinion was sought and used in its compilation. The only alternative, it seems, are the reform parties that have popped up but will they garner support? Time will tell.

    It would be great to have another well considered, well discussed way ahead but I haven't seen one as yet. Maybe you would like to carry out the hard work. I would love to see another such agenda published as it would form the basis for a good debate.

    The one thing that so many agree upon is that our current system is broken so something is needed to replace it. Bringing democracy down to the local level seems an essential element in such change.