Saturday, 20 November 2021

Save our Boilers.

 The reason we started the official petition, seeking a referendum on Net Zero, on the government website was because of the lack of the democratic mandate in the government's decision to press ahead with their £3 trillion Net Zero policy by 2050.

In popular terms we should be calling this campaign 'Save Our Boilers' or SOB for short!

THA's fourth demand 'The People's Consent' is aimed at allowing the 'people' to tell, yes tell, the government what they want between elections. As such all real democrats should sign and promote this petition.

Within two weeks we passed the first deadline of 10,000 votes which will give us an official government response - we are still waiting after 16 days. The next target is 100,000 votes by April 22nd next year and after a very good start we are going to have to go some to get there, but these are still early days.

As I've so often said if the 'people' want change then they are going to have to make it happen and if they sit on their hands bemoaning their fate then nothing will change.

Please sign and promote this petition raised in THA's name.

Monday, 8 November 2021

“Hold a referendum on whether to keep the 2050 net zero target”

“Hold a referendum on whether to keep the 2050 net zero target”

At the last election all three parties committed to Net Zero by 2050 with the Lib Dems setting out to get there more quickly but no party gave any details, except for the odd line in their manifestos. Whoever you voted for Net Zero was a given.

In October’s budget Rishi Sunak increased total spending and taxes, neither being good for economic recovery, but made no mention of the potential £3 trillion bill for meeting the Net Zero target by 2050. Also, in the Telegraph recently, a poll showed that 42% of adults supported a vote on Net Zero.

For me Net Zero and the whole Climate Change debate is at the heart of our democracy as reflected in The Harrogate Agenda’s fourth demand ‘The People’s Consent’. This demand sets out the principles by which the people, via referendums, can hold the government to account between elections.

This is why on the 27th October I have launched this petition to ‘Hold a referendum on whether to keep the 2050 Net zero target.

The petition states:-

“I believe the Net Zero lacks legitimacy and without a referendum the current Climate change policy lacks the explicit consent of the people, as argued by The Harrogate Agenda. This exposes a massive democratic deficit in our system of government.”

The petition will be up for six months, until April next year. At 10,000 signatures we are guaranteed a response from the government and with 100,000 it would be considered for a debate in parliament. At the moment this is the only tool available to us, and while not ideal, we must not waste this opportunity. As at 8th November the petition had 17,244 votes and the previous petition on Net Zero, in 2020, only got just over 7,000 votes in the six months. This subject appears to have hit a nerve with the public!

So, whether you support Net Zero or not all real democrats should support this petition and sign it and pass it on to your friends and contacts.

This is democracy in action so please use the opportunity provided by this petition.


Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Hold a referendum on whether to keep the 2050 net zero target

This official petition to the government, which will remain up until April next year, gives THA a real chance to make its mark.

Please sign it and to ensure this petition makes an impact on the government it is essential that you pass it on by e-mailing all your contacts and asking them to do the same.

At 10,000 votes we get a response vfrom the government and at 100,000 we might get a debate and vote in parliament.

Without our six demands in place these government petitions are all we have so we must use this one to the full and hope it makes it's mark. 

Be in no doubt if all the people in this country, who are sceptical about the current Climate Change agenda, were to support this petiton the government would have to take notice.

So please sign it, talk it up and pass it on.


Thursday, 21 October 2021

A few random thoughts after the murder of Sir David Amess

It’s because he has been generally heralded as a great constituency and parliamentarian that my thoughts turned to what the role of our MPs actually should be and what they are paid to do?

Whether he was that upstanding, as there is an increasing amount of evidence that he wasn’t, is not for this post to cover.

Something which I doubt many MPs understand is that their official role is both to make laws and to scrutinize the Executive or Government.

It is because they have moved so far away from their primary role and become quasi social workers to their constituents that our governance is so lamentable as evident by the many bad laws rush through parliament on the ‘something must be done’ basis.

The reality is most constituents’ problems and concerns could be solved by local councillors or Citizens Advice offices but the later are very stretched having been reduced from 1074 in their heyday to around 316 today. This reduction was as the result of government cuts with little long term thinking about the consequences.

Implicit in our Second Demand 'Real Local Democracy' is that our national MPs would only concentrate on the issues of national importance such as Defence, Home and Foreign Affairs and of course the overall budget for the country. In their reduced role, concentrating on national issues, there is absolutely no reason why MPs should have to work every day of the week and indeed secondary employment would be encouraged, giving every MP a much broader outlook. Also, in such a way would their work life balance be improved.

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 is of course a complete reversal of our current system where central government largely controls local government expenditure.

Interestingly my county of Somerset with a population of 560,631 is served by 55 County Councillors and, over four Districts, 214 District Councillors. That’s a total councillor count of 269 which gives you one councillor to 2084 citizens. Albeit councillors are currently part-time I really do wonder what they actually do but with a complete overhaul of local government and a greater role their value and worth would be enhanced.  

Given the current thinking is that MPs should do constituency work it should be noted that around 200 MPs, by being either government ministers or Shadow front benchers, have responsibilities that take their focus from their constituencies. Our second demand clearly address this point as well.

THA is also very clear with enhanced local government and MPs concentrating on national issues we do not need 650 and could easily reduce the number to around 400. That would mean there was one MP for every 167,000 people which compares to 750,000 for each member of the USA House of Representatives.

The Executive or Cabinet would, under our third demand ‘A Separation of Power’, be separated from parliament along with all other ‘ministers’ thus leaving parliament free to hold them to account.

In addition to the reductions in the House of Commons the House of Lords, renamed The UK Senate, could also be reduced from 788 to around 300 with a third each appointed, elected and selected by sortition.

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 and dealing with constituents’ issues thus leaving national politicians to concentrate on the key issues of State.

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