The other day I posted a comment on the blog ‘Turbulent Times’ co-authored by Dr Richard North (who drafted THA pamphlet) and his son Pete, about why we needed the radical reforms to our governance as offered by our six demands. One respondent wrote that he could not support THA as it would lead to the ‘Tyranny of the Majority’ to which I replied the ‘Tyranny of the Minority’ is worse and in the long run unstainable.
For too long, as I’m in the habit of saying, the minority tail has been wagging the majority dog and the time is long overdue for the dog to reclaim his tail and wag it as and when he chooses!
For democracy to be sustainable and true to its origins, coming from the Greek demos “people” and Kratos “power”, it has to see power invested in the people with the views of the majority taking precedent but with due consideration for minorities. Let me be quite clear about that last point in that minorities need to be protected as necessary, as any civilized society would do, but the general views and opinions and demands of the majority are what should set the direction of travel for our country.
Every day there are examples of utterances from public figures which clearly indicate to me that they are completely out of touch with majority thinking and I wonder for how much longer the ‘People’ are going to tolerate this?
To take just three examples over the last couple of days. First, the Bishop of St Davids, Dr Joanna Penberthy, tweeted derogatory comments about the Conservative party saying in one how she was appalled and ashamed of any one who support them. I wonder what the Conservatives in her congregation, if she still has one, think about that?
Second, is the continuing saga of the ‘sacking’ of the cricketer Ollie Robinson for some ‘sexist’ tweets he sent when he was 18 which raises the question as to how many cricket fans, both male and female, share the view that what he said, eight years ago, should lead to his dismissal?
Third, are the stories behind the English football team taking the knee before matches. Some fans have already booed their opinion of this action and I wonder what the public at large feel about this but of course they don’t get to have a say.
Neither of those three examples are incidences where the public is likely to raise a referendum under our fourth demand ‘The People’s Consent’ but they are indicative of how far removed the views of our ‘Establishment’ are from the ‘People’.
Finally let’s consider an example where the public might well want to have their say. This concerns Colin Pitchfork, who raped and murdered two young girls and admitted other sex attacks, who could be released shortly after serving 33 years of his life sentence.
On this I would remind you that the debate in the 1960’s to end capital punishment was not clear cut and many judges, prosecutors and police opposed the abolition as they believed it acted as a strong deterrent. To allay the public’s fear, it was readily understood that a life sentence would mean life.
The public, whenever asked, still favours the reintroduction of the death penalty, for certain crimes, and I’m convinced that there would be certainly be an overwhelming majority supporting the position that life imprisonment should mean life. That the current parole system can ignore public opinion in their deliberations clearly shows the contempt they have for us and worst of all there is no accountability when their decisions go radically wrong as they did over Usman Khan the 28 year old British national, a convicted terrorist, who killed two people after his release from prison.
In conclusion I believe the time is long overdue to give the general public the mechanisms to be heard which is of course the primary aim of our six demands especially the fourth ‘The People’s Consent’. After all the current official system of raising 'Petitions', is just a sop, which the government can ignore as they have recently done over the petition to 'Leave the 1951 Refugee Conventionand 1967 Protocol & revoke the Immigration Act'.
I strongly believe that it is essential for our democracy that the inherent sovereignty of the people is fully recognised and their views have a formal outlet so that the government is unable to ignore. In this way the dog once again will be able to wag its own tail.