Friday 31 July 2020

In Defence of the People.

The more I read and think about our Agenda, since our formation in 2012, I'm increasingly certain that the opinion and views of the 'people' is on balance every bit as good, if not better, than those of our politicians.

Yesterday I was was struck by this quote by Thomas Jefferson, USA's 3rd President, which was in Dr North's blog post on EU Referendum as well as on the new blog Turbulent Times. 

"I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false."

This quote has been taken from a letter he wrote complaining about the misinformation in newspapers which is similar to the aphorism attributed to Mark Twain some years later "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed".

The 'elites' of our world come up with every excuse imaginable as to why they are the fount of all wisdom and it is indeed very easy to portray the 'masses' as uneducated dullards but those that are are a very small minority.

The claim that the 'people' lack the education to make major decisions ignores the facts that politcs is about more than just the facts. As the Chartists pointed out people knew more about politics than they were given credit for and were often better equipped with what was happening on the ground than the elites living in their ivory towers.

Trusting the views of the majority should not be considered a risk and is in fact the absolute cornerstone of a real democracy. The advantage to the collective will of the people being properly heard is that it allows fresh air to penetrate into the stale air of the Westminster bubble.

Of course our Agenda's fundamental aim is to give the people real power over our politicians. 

Friday 24 July 2020

"A Crisis of Trust".

With the passing of Stuart Wheeler yesterday I was reminded of The Bruges Group's 78 page publication he wrote back in 2010 called "A Crises of Trust" which highlighted the extent of the MPs 'Expenses Scandal' of which he was rightly extremely critical of MPs from all parties but was especially condemning of David Cameron and Michael Gove.

Just as a reminder this man holds the record for the largest donation to a political party when he donated £5 million to the Conservative Party in 2001. In 2009 he was expelled from the party after announcing he would be making a large donation to UKIP for the forthcoming European elections.He was you can gather a staunch Eurosceptic.

In the final paragraph of his booklet he wrote :-

"The case for having MPs at all is that they are there to test the executive. To do this, we need MPs who do not see being in parliament as a career, who do not see life in the Commons as merely an extension of life in civil service with added television appearances, and who see virtue in being independent of their parties, in being able to excercise their own judgement, and in not being beholden for their livelihoods to their party leaders. These are the MPs whom we can trust to give their first allegiance to their constituents. Please let us have more of them".

 More independently minded MPs is the primary aim of our third demand 'A Separation of Power' which calls for the executive(Government) to be separated from the legislature (Parliament).

A further check on our MPs would be covered in our second demand 'Real Local Democracy' as it would allow each constituency to hold their politicians to account by setting up recall procedures should they so desire and even set their individual levels of pay and expenses.

Only being able to hold our elected officials to account during periodic but infrequent elections is not 'Real' democracy.