Monday 25 February 2019

Being a nuisance.

I am taken by this quote, attributed to Dame Freya Stark, in connection with seeing our demands enacted:-

“One has to resign oneself to being a nuisance if one is to get anything done.”

There is no doubt in my mind that if enough people want to achieve the political reforms we are proposing, in our six demands, then they will happened especially if the ‘People’ become a nuisance! Fortunately the various and numerous levels of active peaceful protest have been well covered in Gene Sharp’s excellent little book ‘From dictatorship to democracy’ which I recommend you to read.

I also picked up on these two statistics this week which should have ramifications for our agenda and help it to progress. 68% of Britons feel there is currently no political party that represents them which is up from 61% from six months ago and less than 10% of people closely identify with any leading political figure.

Both statistics support last week’s post and prove how disconnected our politicians are from the people they serve.

However the main point about these statistics is that when the ‘People’ are recognised as sovereign the importance of political parties will become less as at any given time the ‘People’ will have the ‘Power’ to hold the government and politicians to account. The impact of this would be that exposed directly to the people they serve the Westminster bubble would be permanently pricked with parties and politicians being more responsive to our basic needs and concerns thus preventing them indulging in in their own naval gazing illiberal elitists fantasies.

The need for our Agenda has never been so relevant to the situation we face with the collective incompetence at Westminster and all we have to do is to get organised and unite and tell our politicians what we want. There is of course one major hurdle to overcome and that is to get the word out there that “ There is a better way.”

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Government disconnect.

I've just finished reading an interesting book called ‘Politics’ by David Runciman which has introduced me to the thoughts and works of Thomas Hobbes whose most famous work, Leviathan, was written in 1651. This book is probably the greatest work of political philosophy in the English language, according to the author.

Amongst other things Hobbes believed in three things. First, politics had to prove its usefulness to us the people. Second, personal fulfilment required political protection but not political interference and third, politics has to be founded on an agreement between individuals and their representatives or put another way decision makers won’t carry the people with them if they don’t speak for them.

Remember this was written in 1651 but is as true today as we can clearly see over Brexit, and much more besides, as our elected representatives have clearly lost sight of the views and opinions of those they serve. This has slowly developed over time as, apart from General Elections, our MPs have little to fear from the electorate and have increasingly become more and more distant and disconnected form the people they serve and the rot is now so ingrained that things will only change with fundamental political reform as advocated by our agenda. The most important ingredient is of course that the 'People' are recognised as sovereign instead of Parliament giving them the ultimate POWER over their elected representatives given certain conditions and critera are met. 

I could wax lyrical about our preening  celebrity minded politicians who increasingly, in both parties, come from the same draw and those who don’t soon adopted the same high handed elitist attitude. However, suffice to say it is increasingly obvious that they are disconnected from the concerns, wishes and desires of us ordinary folk.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

It's not a Citizen's Assembly we need but our six demands.

While driving to Frome yesterday I heard the Labour MP Stella Creasy speaking, on the Jeremy Vine show, very eloquently and passionately that the way out of the Brexit stalemate in Parliament would be to hold a Citizen's Assembly (CA) of 250 people.

These people would be picked at random, as one would a jury, to listen to expert witnesses, over around three weekends, and to then, after due deliberation, give direction to our 650 MPs at Westminster, who of course have already had two years to sort this out.

So after the result of the referendum in 2016, the biggest mandate in election history, two election manifestos by Labour and Conservatives, in 2017, stating they would honour the result and two full years, under Article 50, the likes of Stella Creasy and others, who support this idea, believe 250 citizens, over a few weekends, can achieve what 650 MPs have failed to do in two years - I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Can there be any clearer sign, as to how clueless and incompetent our MPs are, that some believe the answer to the Brexit conundrum should lie with this idea.

So lets just suppose the Assembly's conclusion was that we should leave with a No Deal would our MPs implement such a disastrous policy?

Of course the permanent solution is for all six of our demands be enacted with our fourth, 'The People's Consent', enabling all of the electorate to have their say on any government's policies. This would be real democracy in action which would be far better than some gimmick, though up by a group of useless politicians, who like the rest of those in Westminster have never undertaken to do any serious homework on the issues surrounding Brexit.

The only general point I do take from this idea, as stated in our first demand, is that ultimately it should be the 'People' that are sovereign and not Parliament as only in this way can the 'People', when there is enough support to do so, demand answers and action form our politicians at Westminster.     


Tuesday 5 February 2019

'Sale' of THA pamphlets.

I felt it was time to sell off my last stock of 500 pamphlets, normally going for £5 each, at the reduced price as follows:-

1. One for £5 including the £1 p&p.

2. Five for £7 including the £2 p&p.

3. Ten for £13 including the £3 p&p.

Our bank details are HSBC, The Harrogate Agenda, Sort Code 40-21-19 61631772

If you contact me off our website and give me your name and address I'll get in touch and then arrange to dispatch your order to you.

Niall Warry. 

Sunday 3 February 2019

Our agenda must be for Britain as a whole.

I've just finished the book 'Britons - forging the nation 1707-1837' by Linda Colley which was not the easiest of reads.

In it she explains the reasons, during these critical 130 years, why the English, Scots and Welsh forged themselves into seeing themselves as British. In very brief outline she explains the unifying effects of our Protestant faith against the Catholic foe in France, our joint business and commercial interests and ties to the emerging Empire, our unified class structure and support for the monarchy, the growing position of women in the countries, the role of men in our armed forces and finally our joint endeavours in Catholic emancipation, the 1832 parliamentary reforms and the abolition of slavery.   

It was during the end of this period that the Chartists were establishing themselves and she makes some interesting points about their formation that I thought were very relevant to our own agenda today. The six general points she makes are :-

1. They appealed to ALL parts of the UK constantly talking of the 'Nation' and the 'People'.
2. They clothed their activities in patriotic rhetoric and symbols employing mass open air rallies using a background of blarring patriotic music and emotive banners.
3.  Their opponents became viewed as the corrupt existing order acting against the National interest.
4.  Their use of petitions was extensive with 3000 submitted to Parliament between October 1830 to April 1831 alone.
5. Papers such as the Scotsman supported the cause with a daily column deliberately called 'The National Movement' reporting every detail of the activities of the reformers.
6. Without a revolution they realised that no measure of parliamentary reform was possible unless sponsored by the parties in Westminster hence their extensive lobbying of their MPs and parliament.

Much of these half a dozen points transpose to today with the added tool at our disposal being the internet. I believe the three key lessons we can learn from the above are :-

1. We must keep our movement relevant to the whole country and appeal to the true patriot.

2. We should label and accuse our opponents as the corrupt status quo.

3. All opinions to communicate our message should be employed with our initial concentration being the use of the internet. In time with Brexit out the way we need a specific platform dedicated to daily reporting of events and activity around the country. Once we have built up a head of steam we should not bulk from using the peaceful tactics as advocatd by Gene Sharp.

These are still early days but our cause is just and long over due and we will succeed so long as we keep going. and don't give up.