Wednesday 20 April 2022

Democracy is dead - long live democracy!

This article by Iain Davis is long but really worth a read and gives his thoughs on the use of sortition to give us the real democracy we have never had.

I highly recommend it.


Tuesday 12 April 2022

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Recently on Dr North’s blog ‘Turbulent Times’, on which his coverage of the Ukraine war has been second to none, I have often posted the comment, over the last few weeks, that Putin’s mind and soul have been corrupted by 20 years in power.

Then yesterday I replied to a Tweet, on the corruption at the heart of the SNP in Scotland, as it occurred to me that after 15 years in power the same could be said for the SNP government.

It is with very good reason that American Presidents only serve a maximum of two four-year terms. This precedent was set by George Washington who feared that if he died in office America would view the presidency as a life time appointment. So instead, he stood down from power, after eight years, setting the standard. It wasn’t until 1951 that the Constitution was actually amended to make this official.

There is no technical reason why our own PM cannot serve for as long as their party and the House of Commons gives them their confidence. Even though that is the case no PM since 1902 has served for more than 11 years, which Mrs Thatcher did, and many would argue power had gone to her head towards the end.

There is that classic line in a Spitting Image show when Mrs Thatcher is dinning out with her cabinet and is asked by the waitress, after ordering her main course, ‘What about the vegetables’ to which she replies ‘Oh they’ll have the same as me’!

Currently the PMs we get are chosen in the main by their parties so at the last election in 2019 Johnson became PM by virtue of 25,351 votes that were cast in his constituency of Uxbridge and Ruislip with a total electorate of 70,369.

However, only 48,189 of his electors voted and Johnson’s majority of 7,210 was only marginally better than his 5,034 in 2017 which was the smallest majority of any sitting PM since 1902.

Turning to the bigger picture the Conservatives won in 2019 with 13,968,565 votes which only represented 43.6% of the 32,014,110 who voted and was even worse at only 29.34% of the total electorate of 47,587,254.

Johnson also faced little serious competition from Corbyn but the fact remains it cannot be said that he became our PM based on a majority of popular support.

In conclusion, at the time of an election, as covered in our third demand ‘A Separation of Power’ it would be far more democratic to have our PMs elected by popular vote and for a maximum of two terms thus ensuring power doesn’t go to their heads.







Monday 4 April 2022

Discontented people bring about change.

A while back I was struck by this quote by the columnist Frank Tyger from the American business magazine Forbes.

 "Progress is not created by content people." 

This is so true, and something I have consistently said, with regards the progressing of our Agenda.

The point I have made, for some time now, is that the people in this country are generally still too comfortable and so it is quite understandable how reforming our governance is still a low priority and off their radar.

However, if history repeats itself this could all be about to change with the current ‘Cost of Living and Energy Crisis’? Interestingly it was during periods of economic hardship that the Levellers of 1642 and the Chartists of 1838 made their demands for political reform. The Levellers had four and the Chartists six demands which for both included the vote for all men over 21. It took 276 for this to be achieved in 1918 with an earlier act in 1884 giving the vote to around 60% of men leaving the poorest 40% still disenfranchised.

On top of the economic hardships ahead we have the increasing omnishambles that passes for our parliament, with more and more people realising that far too many of our MPs are lazy, self-seeking incompetents. The behaviour of MPs after the Brexit referendum, in trying every trick in the book, to reverse the ‘People’s decision, supported by the ghastly Speaker Bercow, proved to many that reform of our governance is needed.  Currently this is manifesting itself in a spate of new parties which I predict will change little as they fail to break into the system as even UKIP proved.

Even my own MP elected in 2015, who came from a successful business background and who I have met at least a dozen times, looks like being no better than the rest as he is currently suspended from the party while he is investigated for allegedly taking cocaine and the sexual assault of work colleagues. I hoped he might be a new breed of MP but with his expenses paid flat in London and employing his wife as his PA on I believe around £50,000 it hasn’t taken him long to learn how to ‘milk’ the system. He is now apparently in a psych ward which is not surprising as his career is I suspect unlikely to recover from this whatever the outcome.

Every day the reform of our governance become more and more important and relevant. The good news is that our six demands exist and I believe cover all the important areas that need to be addressed if we are to achieve a system of governance that more closely reflects the desires and wishes of the majority of the electorate turning MPs into our servants instead of our masters.

The promotion and progress of our six demands lie in the people’s hands and if they continue to sit on them nothing will change. The big question is whether the approaching economic storm will be enough to wake people up to demand changes necessary to improve our governance and our democracy?