Sunday 27 January 2019

The people need to get angry.

As with the USA government's shut down Brexit shows up the inadequacies of our own system of governance in that after two years 650 MPs have, as it currently stands, absolutely no idea how to satisfactorily resolve the situation and meet the wishes of the people in the 2016 referendum, which produced the biggest democratic mandate this country has ever known.

McKay Coppins of the monthly magazine The Atlantic wonders how the American government shutdown will end and records that congressional staffers, off the record, have said “ there may be no way out of this mess until something disastrous happens”. They raise various “macabre hypotheticals”, including a big food scare resulting from a lapse in inspections, or even a plane crash caused by a stressed-out air traffic  controller.  Coppins concludes that the current political dynamics won’t change until voters get a lot angrier.

The point about getting angrier is something I have repeatedly said is necessary here if things are ever going to change. The trouble is the people in this country are still too comfortable to even think about the need for political reform let alone getting off their backsides and doing something about it like lobby their MPs.  

Brexit exposes our politicians for the celebrity orientated inadequates they all are and have made themselves the easiest of targets if we can be bothered to lobby them. The trouble is that very few of us, as yet, have any idea of what it is we need to lobby them about so it is fortunate that THA’s six demands provides them with a readymade answer to that question. All the people have to do is wake up and find us and then demand the changes we believe in.

This is by no means a short term project and, before it starts, things are going to have to get much worse.  

Incidentally the USA’s shutdown, over the government’s budget, would be resolved if they had our fifth demand as part of their constitution because the approval of the governments annual budget, in this case including the controversial $5 billion for the ‘wall’, would be subject to a compulsory ‘People’s Referendum’ rather than left to the partisan House of Representatives to approve.



Tuesday 22 January 2019

Political change is never instant.

Just because we have 'Instant' coffee doesn't mean that political reform will be instant.

Brexit is a case in point as anyone who thought that, after 45 years of trade integration, we could achieve a satisfactory exit in an instant was either ignorant of how international trade works or simply not thinking deeply enough about the situation.   

So as you know we increasingly live in an age of instant communications and results. We have super fast broadband, fast food, 24 hour news, E-mail, Instant Access to information with Google, instant travel (apart from those occasional dreaded airport delays), i-pads, i-phones and much more besides.

This leads many to believe that everything in their life should be instant, even our politics, and so it is that some involved in seeking political reform want to see instant results. However if history teaches us anything it is that one generation is seldom sufficient time to achieve major deep rooted political change to our governance and so it is most likely to be with the enactment of our six demands.

The good news is that much of the initial hard work has been done in that we exist and have been kept alive and ticking by a loyal band of supporters.

The other day we gained a new supporter who is generously paying a monthly S/O into our account and is keen to become an ambassador. I was particularily struck by one of his comments, when we spoke on the telephone, which is that he saw in the THA a solution so often missing from the 'pitch fork and sickle brigade'.

Anyone else interested in joining us please get in touch off the contact link on the website.   

Wednesday 16 January 2019

The incompetence at the heart of Westminster.

The recent shenanigans in Westminster, over May's deal and the vote of no confidence, proves to me just how incompetent our MPs are and how dysfunctional Westminster currently is.

I believe there are now increasing numbers who see our politicians as they really are and resent the fact they always put party politics over the needs of the country. Another problem is their reliance on information form insiders which just compounds their ignorance.

What they desperately need is the oxygen of  new views from outside their bubble and of course the views of the majority of the electorate as and when appropriate. Brexit has proved how out of touch our political class are with regards the views of the public.

Another failing of our politicians is that they are scared to face down minority pressure groups for fear of being branded 'uncaring' and I cannot remember the last time a politician said that in life it is often important to be hard to be kind. What is clear is that the 'People' are taken advantage of and their views generally ignored.

The above explains the whole reason for our Agenda which at its heart aims to give the 'People' the real power to affect change if the majority demand it and of course for this to happen we must first be recognised as sovereign instead of Parliament where it currently resides.

In conclusion, while the views of minorities must be considered and where appropriate be advanced and protected by governments the overall will of the majority must be seriously taken into account and in terms of supporting or rejecting the actual government's legislation then the will of the majority should prevail.

Saturday 12 January 2019

The wise words of Plato.

These two quotes from Plato shows he knew the main stumbling block to political reform is ...US!

“One of the penalties for not taking part in politics is you end up being governed by your inferiors”

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”

The challenge is how to get the people to wake up and engage with our six demands?

However at least we exist which is a start.

Monday 7 January 2019

The importance of Localism.

Our second demand ' Real Local Democracy' wants to see 'Localism' being taken seriously and a complete reversal of the current situation where more and more power is centralised.

The blogger Raedwald has a fine post here on this subject:-

In it he refers to the government's 'Power to the People Report' of 2006, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy, heralded no less by the likes of David Cameron as a very important piece of work to restore and update our democracy.

This report had 12 key recommendations I summaries below:-

1. Donations to political parties to be capped at £10,000.
2. A voters voucher allowing individuals to allocate £3 of state funding to a particular party.
3. Voters given the chance to put forward laws.
4. Voting age reduced to 16.
5. 70% elected House of Lords.
6. Monthly logs to monitor ministerial contacts with companies, lobbyists & Advocacy groups.
7. Restriction on the power of the party whips.
8. Replacement of FPTP for a more 'responsive' system for all national and local elections.
9. Abolition of closed party list system.
10. Election deposits of £500 replaced by a certain number of signatures.
11. The realignment of constituency boundaries to be accelerated.
12. Decentralising of power to local government.

What ever happened to this report - nothing is the answer for as the saying goes 'Turkeys would never vote for Christmas'.

The answers to improve our democracy are contain in our six demands and unless and until the people demand these changes, from their elected officials, nothing is going to change.