Tuesday 21 May 2019

It's time for an elected Prime Minister.

In November last year I explained the basics of our third demand 'A Separation of Power'  and in particular the need for an elected Prime Minister - here is the link

At the moment, with the current Conservative Party 'charade' at trying to elect a new leader the need for the 'People' to elect our PM could not be more obvious or needed.

Of all the elements from our six demands electing our PM would be really simple as at the time of a General Election, as well as voting for a party to govern, we would also be able to vote for the PM we wanted. This could lead to a PM who was from a different party to the one with a majority in the Commons but that doesn't stop the process of governance it just creates the need for policy compromises which is an important element of democracy. In America, for example, we have had a Democratic President with a Republican House of Representatives and their government still functioned.

An elected British PM's cabinet would also sit outside parliament, while approved by it, which would mean the whole Executive being held to account by the whole of Parliament.

Having an elected PM would dispense with the farce that we are currently experiencing as the Conservative party goes through the motions of a type of 'Buggins' turn' internal election for their next leader.         

Monday 13 May 2019

Recall of MPs.

On Thursday 6th June there will be a by-election in Peterborough brought about by the 'recall vote' taken against the Labour MP Fiona Onasanya who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to a term in prison.

This was only possible as a result of the 'Recall of MPs Act 2015' which made it possible for 10% of constituents to be able to recall their MP and call a by-election but only in the limited circumstance of being found guilty of a wrong doing that fulfils certain criteria.

This new law is at least a start but does not allow the recall of MPs for general incompetence which is what real democracy demands.

In our second demand for 'Real Local Democracy' we are quite clear that under our proposed system of governance with a real increase in powers at the local level it would be up to the local people in each county to decide on such matters.

To quote from page 12 of our pamphlet :-

"Details of how and under what conditions individual MPs(and members of the upper house) are selected might be left to the electors of the county, set out in each local constitution and implemented by local legislatures. After all, if we are to have localism, then the terms and conditions governing the employment of representatives should be decided locally.

We could also envisage a situation where MPs are no longer paid from the central funds, but by their counties. It would be for the people of each county to decide how much their representatives were paid, how much should be allowed by way of expenses, and how they should be held accountable. Also, if one area wanted to introduce a method of recall, that would be up to them. Thus do we see democracy closer to the people, with government - local and national - under the direct control of the people. Anything else is not democracy."  

Nuff said!    

Monday 6 May 2019

The use of referenda.

Last week I explained how the third part of our fourth demand, 'The People's Consent', would allow us to challenge the decisions  made by government bodies such as elected and appointed officials, including minsters and judges.

As usual I posted this on 'EU Referendum' and some of the comments suggested that for the 'People' to be able to challenge judges would lead to mob rule.

I understands these concerns but to me it is akin to suggesting that any democratic majority decision amounts to mob rule especially when you don't agree with the majorities point of view. Furthemore it completely overlooks the significant checks and balances that we suggest must go along with the use of referenda.

Of course the decision of a jury, in a court case, can already be subject to appeal but the whole point of our fourth demand is to give the 'People' real power to ensure 'officialdom' can always be held to account.

Last week I pointed out the biased summing up at the Jeremy Thorpe trial by judge Cantley, which went against point 10 of Sir Matthew Hale's resolutions for judges toi follow, which could be the sort of issue the people might like the chance to comment on but I think there are better examples.

Take for example the 30+ years it has taken for the recent Infected Blood enquiry to be set up or the 25+ years it took for the investigation into the Hillsborough Disaster to get underway - are not these examples where, if the 'People' could have their say, governments would be forced to act sooner with the results open to the 'People' to challenge in the event of a whitewash.

I don't think governments and minsters would like the 'People' to be able to interfere in their cosy deliberations conducted at their own speed but then it is clear that our MPs, when considering Brexit, don't much like democracy.

The use of referenda, as outlined in our fourth demand, gives the 'People' real power without which we don't really have a functioning democracy.