Quite a lot actually as they started the ball rolling on political reform over 400 years ago!
The Levellers were prominent during the Civil War in the 1600s with the political aim of extending the franchise and achieving manhood suffrage as they believed that everyone had equal rights to the vote.
They were called the 'Levellers', as they wished to level out society (one
wonders if our PM is aware of this!?) They had many ideas on how they thought
society should be and their political and religious objectives were put forward
to Parliament in 'The Agreement of the People' in 1647. This document was much
more radical than those before it. Along with their political aims they wanted
to reform the legal system to give equality to everyone before the law and
achieve recognition of people's fundamental rights and liberties.
They were however not successful primarily because they didn’t gain popular support which meant that they could easily be ignored. They also failed to make inroads into the army with only limited rank and file support as soldiers were more interested in their pay and conditions than in theoretical schemes of government or even the vote! They also had no support from the officers, the so-called 'Grandees', like Cromwell and Ireton as their power could have been curbed by the Levellers ideas. This meant they had little support in Parliament because the rich and wealthy landowners felt their power base, land and money were threatened. They also felt there would be a major destruction of the social order.
Interestingly as with the Chartists, some 200 years later, the Levellers
emerged at a time when there was severe economic hardship and this made their
policies attractive to working class people, who would have mostly benefited
from their reforms. However, as the economic situation improved support
for the Levellers started to decline. This was the major reason as to why they lacked
Coming right up to date for our agenda to achieve mass support we sadly need the economic conditions to seriously deteriorate so that the people are forced to consider how badly the current system of governance in this country has let them down. At that point they should hopefully focus on the necessary improvements needed to give them a far greater say in the way they are governed which of course needs to start with a recognition of their inherent sovereignty.
There is no doubt this government’s troubles are building up what with the inadequate Brexit trade deal including the NI Protocol, Covid, housing shortages, the growth in inflation, immigration, costs of Net Zero and the pending shortages of energy. As things get worse the people would have to be in a complete coma not to realise things need to change.
As Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote in The Leopard “If we want things to stay as they are, everything will have to change.”