Monthly Archives: October 2016

What have we, the people, allowed to happen

It would appear from this article that the supermarket Sainsbury is now  involved in a gender-shaming row as the supermarket investigates allegations that a cashier asked a boy why he had chosen a chocolate snack in pink wrapping rather than blue.

What we have here is either:

  • someone seeking their ’15 minutes of fame’; or,
  • someone seeking ‘compo’ for an alleged slight; or,
  • someone who has no idea of how to be a parent; or,
  • someone with no brain whatsoever.

We now have the producer of the chocolate snack, together with the supermarket, ‘covering their backs’ with a view to ensuring they do not become embroiled in a lengthy court case which may involve mega sums of money in legal fees and costs.

Just what sort of society have we allowed politicians to create; aided and abetted by fake charities and pressure groups all of whom are attempting to get a ‘slice of the action’, be that formulating law, formulating society for their own ends, or whatever other reasons.

When I were a lad such a comment would have been ‘laughed off’ by my parents, maybe encapsulating a tad of repartee. No-one would have considered they had been embarrassed or slighted; the entire incident would have been considered no more than ‘conversational banter’.

It amazes me that ‘industries’ have evolved to involve themselves in what are perceived, by them, to be defects in society that need correction; thus increasing the drain on the public purse. Another example of what is perceived to be a societal defect is that of ‘bullying’.

When I was at boarding school in the 50s I was ‘bullied’, also I was expected to ‘run around’ doing errands for older boys, cleaning shoes for example – then currently known as ‘fagging’ (the modern connotation had not then been invented).  Invariably, in the ensuing encounter following my refusal to comply,  I ‘came off worse’, but the bullying soon ceased as both the bully and the ‘fagger’ discovered the first thing they got was a ‘bloody nose’.

When ‘society’ negates the basic principle of ‘standing up for oneself’ then society is doomed to become no more than robotic fodder of those over whom they have no control. Do not politicians ‘bully’ the people by passing laws that dictate we must comply or suffer penalties? How about we inform them that they change their ways or none of them get our votes? What political party would dare attempt to form a government on a turnout of 20% of the electorate? That would, indeed, be a ‘bloody nose’!

The fact we are in the parlous societal state we are can be laid at the door of our educational system over the ages,  the ‘fake charities’ and ‘do-gooders’ who have secured the ears of our politicians – and our own apathy as to what has been happening ‘under our noses’. In respect of the last point, is it any wonder our society and nation have both sunk to the nadir they have?

To our politicians, fake charities and do-gooders I can but repeat what I believe is a Swedish proverb: sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbours – in other words, put your own house in order first, before you try and reorganize ours.

Just saying…………

 

The Pirates are coming – or so it seems………

A direct democracy driven political party may be on the cusp of achieving victory in Saturday’s Icelandic general election – and it didn’t even exist four years ago.

As the Washington Post reports, The Pirate Party do not wish to gain power – they wish to devolve power. They also believe that people want real changes and they understand that we have to change the systems by which governance is done.

Here in the United Kingdom four years ago a similar movement was born and has, unfortunately, done nothing to progress that movement (I won’t embarrass them by naming them) – in fact their only claim to fame has been to maintain their status as a ‘talking shop’.

When we look at The Pirate Party, coupled with the 5* Movement in Italy and AfD in Germany, one can only ask themselves why 4 years have been wasted by the aforementioned movement.

It is the intention of the new website, shortly be made public, that four more years will not be wasted.

Direct Democracy Website

In order to keep followers of this website (and development of the new promised website) who are interested in the promotion of direct democracy, informed; please be aware ‘the build’ of the new website is progressing with all possible speed.

As the intention of this new website is to provide the progression of direct democracy; and for it to be ‘people led’, it will contain, what I believe to be, some innovative features that will allow the project to be ‘people led’; which, after all, was the original intention – before said original intention got ‘high-jacked’.

My ‘techie’, IPJ, is working flat out on the project (at my expense, I hasten to add), however we are still a week (or two – tops) from ‘going live’. The remaining time is being spent checking that the various ‘facilities’ – aka the ‘bells and whistles’ – do in fact do that which they are supposed to do (famous last words where ‘testing’ is concerned).

So ‘stay tuned’ please,  as all this work is for your benefit thus allowing you to regain control of that which should, rightfully, be yours; namely your lives and that of your nation.

The state in which the United Kingdom finds itself

……..and what a ‘state’ it is!

The reason for the parlous ‘state’ in which our nation finds itself can, in my opinion, be laid firmly at the door of ‘representative democracy’.

First, a few reasons for the preceding statement:

  • Representative democracy is but an alternative term for a dictatorship that has yet to emerge from the closet;
  • Representative democracy is ‘sold’ to us as government by the people, for the people; however, without the responsibility of the people and the involvement of the people what have you left? Just ‘government’;
  • Under representative democracy, elections may well determine which party is ‘in’ power; what they do not determine is how and what use is made of that power;
  • Representative democracy in the United Kingdom is to decide, once every few years, which ‘representatives’ of each political party will misrepresent the people in Parliament;
  • Representative democracy is simply totalitarianism by another name, one  that allows its electorate the illusion of having a voice in ‘matters du jour’;
  • Representative democracy is but a prison of our own making, one which forces us to agree to a government of our ‘choice’ to fight for their right to oppress us;
  • Representative democracy betrays the electorate especially when laws which the people must obey have no roots in them but in oligarchies – be those ‘home grown’ or of a ‘foreign’ origin.
  • Representative democracy only fosters an illusion of government by ‘representatives’; and that is not ‘government by, for, or of the people’; but instead produces conflicts of interest which result in an unstable balance of power, some of the power being held by unelected groups of those with other interests, one of which most definitely is not that of the people;
  • Just who  is an elected government that can decide it will not tolerate dissent from those who elected it?
  • Finally, to those wishing to overthrow their current tyrannical government and look with envy at the British system – is there much point in overthrowing that which you have only to replace it with yet another similar form of government?

Like many others, I will not stand by while democracy is trampled upon by politicians more concerned with amassing power for themselves than helping the people who elected them to Westminster in the first place. It should be recalled that democracy was born of philosophers – unfortunately, it has now been murdered by politicians.

Let us remember that ‘democracy is derived from the Greek: ‘demokratia’, in turn derived from the words: ‘demos’: people and ‘kratos’: power’ – in modern parlance: of the people, for the people, by the people. It is inconceivable that people who have ceded the habit of self-government can correctly decide by whom  they should be governed; coupled with the fact that no government who might profess to be liberal and wise will surface from the choices of a people who are but serfs.

The problem the people have in the United Kingdom is that politicians mainly have only one agenda it would appear; and that is to feather their own nests. Many have their hands deep in corporate pockets, acting as advisors. Whatever else they do can be classified as sleight of hand and distraction with a view to keeping the public occupied with trivia, divided against each other; and thinking their vote matters.

Democracy should never be left in the hands of politicians because they tend to only like democracy when it can be used to their personal advantage – witness the recent case in the High Court which began last Thursday. Likewise, referring to the ‘debates’ held on the referendum of last June together with that held recently in the House of Commons on the subject of parliamentary scrutiny of the Government’s negotiating strategy for leaving the EU – and one thing we rediscovered is the old adage that we usually learn from debates that we seldom learn from debates.

Politics ought to be the part-time profession of everyone in the land as, bearing in mind the venality exhibited by our politicians past and present, there can be no safer repository  for the ultimate powers of government than the people themselves; because, where democracy is concerned, the key element is participation of the people.

Therefore it becomes imperative that our system of democracy be changed to one wherein the people become ‘sovereign’, which they in fact are; and thus become the final arbiter, thereby having the final decision over what is acceptable law under which they are prepared to lead their lives and, at the same time, safeguard the future of their nation.

The problem that the people will face is that our political class are not ‘the people’. Not only that but they do not – and will not – like us because we will be occupying the ‘ground’ which they consider their domain.

It will be up to us who no longer wish to be ruled by a chosen few, to put them in their rightful place in the hierarchy of democracy – and that is where the new website that will shortly ‘go live’ comes into play. It will be your opportunity to decide the form of direct democracy you wish – and, more importantly, to decide how it should be progressed.

 

An addition to our family

This is Fizz, 9 weeks old, a  short-haired border collie who we collected yesterday – or she will be when she grows up.

At the moment all she is interested in is food or ‘cuddles and puddles’.

100_0442

 

Afterthought: Oops, forgot to set the date on the camera………

A ‘Catch 22’ Syndrome

Yesterday in the House of Commons we witnessed 650 supposedly wise people producing nothing but a great deal of debate hot air on the subject of parliamentary sovereignty, encapsulating the question of whether they had the right to have the definitive vote on the government’s plans for Brexit.

The fact that not one of the 650 appeared to have any idea of the detail about that which they pontificated on either sovereignty or Brexit can only underline the complaint that most of us have: just why the hell are they there?

Couple the foregoing with  the fact that Sovereignty is defined as:  ……the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. Therefore, by acceding to membership of the European Union, a situation in which parliament has to enact, without question, law dictated by the European Union, it can no longer consider itself ‘sovereign’.

We then have to consider the point that Parliament handed the decision of whether to remain a member of the European Union to the people – in other words it handed back sovereignty to the people, from whom some may say it had usurped in the first place yonks ago, one can argue that Parliament should, thereafter, ‘butt out’.

In affect, what we are now faced with is – as the heading to this article states – a ‘catch 22’ situation. Such a situation often results from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual (in this case, Parliament) is subject to but has no control over. ; ie the referendum result. Having passed the decision elsewhere, they can hardly then insist that they must be involved in the result of a decision which they, in effect abrogated.

Y’know, the sooner we have direct democracy in this country, the better; whereby we tell the government what it can and cannot do, rather than the government telling us what we can and cannot do. Government is necessary to manage the country on behalf of the people, according to the wishes of the people; it is not a ‘fiefdom’ of the 650 to do with as they wish – and boy, do they so wish.

The basic problem we have, at present, in this country is that we have no written constitution – and that is a subject that I hope, when the new website promoting the introduction of direct democracy ‘goes live’, participants of which will address – encapsulating perhaps what ‘expertise’ is necessary for those wishing to become Members of Parliament.

Having witnessed the events in the House of Commons yesterday where we had 650 unknowing nonentities full of nothing but hot-air and thus their own importance; is that not a reasonable suggestion?

Just asking……….

 

Hiatus (regarding blogging) (2)

To keep readers informed as to progress with the new site promoting direct democracy, it is hoped that it will ‘go live’ the week after next, Currently, final details in regard to presentation, etc, are being ‘ironed out’.

There is a definite need to progress the idea of direct democracy, especially as four years have been wasted since its ‘inception’ during which nothing but ‘talk’ has occurred – as those of us interested in direct democracy are only too aware. 

Direct democracy brings to the electorate the opportunity to have a voice where democratic power is concerned; consequently, the new site is designed to be a ‘forum’ for ‘contributory ideas’ to achieve that aim.

Stay ‘tuned’ people, you will shortly be given the opportunity to exercise your voice – something unheard of under representative democracy.

 

 

 

 

Hiatus (regarding blogging)

To keep readers of this blog informed, articles may be a tad sparse for the next few days as I am in the process of drafting the introductory article for the new site which will be dedicated to the promotion of direct democracy.

I also have to discuss with my ‘techie’ (IP-J) matters in regard to logos and ‘mission statements’ which I wish to form part of the site ‘banner’.

Needless to say SfS will continue alongside the new site (name to be disclosed when it is launched).

Stay tuned………please?

Update: ‘blog’ was the wrong word to use (see my response to a comment below) consequently ‘blog’ has been changed to site.

 

 

Navigational problems

Pilots, to a large degree, are like salesmen. They have to be confident to be good at their careers. They have to practice relentlessly and plan out all the scenarios of the things that could happen when they’re out there. Nothing is more important than preparation. They are also mighty competitive  as individuals
Simon Sinek

Politicians too, under representative democracy, are salesman who have to exude confidence if they are to succeed in their careers – none more so than when they are trying to sell the people a ‘pig in a poke’. They are also competitive in that they will grab every opportunity to further their wealth and position in society.

Unfortunately, while they may practice relentlessly at improving their public image by having us  believe they know more than squat-diddley about squat diddley, there the similarity with a highly skilled profession, such as a pilot, ends. They most obviously do not plan for what the future might hold, they do not ‘prepare’; ie, they do not consider the ‘what if’ factor.

In general when we board an aircraft we are taken to where we wish to go – although there are instances when this does not happen – albeit due to other factors such as ground control; and for ‘ground control’  read, where politicians are concerned, ‘charities’; ngos, etc. Methinks that where representative democracy is concerned  I would rather have a pilot guiding the direction of this nation than an unknowing politician who has not considered all alternatives and would have us believe he knows everything.

Until such time as we have politicians of omnificent capabilities then I for one believe we need the safeguard of being able to ‘rein them back’ from their dictatorial tendencies and say: whoa, just a minute……. Likewise, when they refuse to countenance legislation on a particular subject which we, the people, want, then we the people also need the ability to inform them: you may not want this,  but we do – so get on with it!

As I have written previously this nation of ours does not belong to 650  – neither does it belong to pressure groups such as The Harrogate Agenda who would have us believe that they can dictate ‘democracy’, especially direct democracy – which is supposed to be ‘ground up’.  Democracy belongs to 64+million; and until the voice of 64+million can be heard, we can have no democracy – ergo: we need direct democracy.

Of course The Harrogate Agenda may wish to respond – without regurgitating the words of their ‘guru’……..?

Just saying……………..

 

 

Power and Control

Having attended yet another ‘workshop’ held on 1st October (by invitation) – the aim of which was to take the movement forward – it is with regret that yesterday  I emailed the Director of The Harrogate Agenda, Niall Warry, to advise him that I can no longer support, nor wish to be involved in or associated with, that movement. One of the reasons for this decision is that, four years since the inception of The Harrogate Agenda, the idea has not moved one inch from where it began. There is still talk of ‘Advisory Panels’, ‘Ambassadors’ and ‘Co-ordinating Committees’ – but where is the vision, the strategy to move forward? They say bureaucracy, which incorporates ‘hot-air’, never dies –  do they not?

The agenda was scheduled as:

  1. Welcome, Introductions and THA background.
  2. Syndicate discussion on ‘way ahead’ and feed back.
  3. Lunch
  4. Way ahead support and development
  5. Tea
  6. Open forum, summary and close

‘Introductions, naturally, involved each attendee providing details of who they were, their political background and their reasons for attending.  Of the 16 attendees 11 were ‘new faces’, which begs the question that, presumably, as they were ‘versed’ in the aims of THA (and if they weren’t, why were they there) why was time spent on the third part of point 1?

At ‘Harrogate 1’ attendees were spit into small groups, asked to consider democracy and how it could be improved; and then to report back their views to the meeting. This format did not work well and thus did not produce ‘workable’, or pertinent, feedback as the majority of attendees had their own agendas to pursue. Prior to this meeting starting I overheard Niall Warry and Richard North (there were only three of us in the room at that time and while I  was not part of their conversation, being pre-occupied rolling what is known up here as a ‘tab’ – ‘down south’ its called a cigarette) discussing this. I felt bound to interject that in prior discussions, some time ago, with Niall Warry I was under the impression that ‘syndicates’ would not be used, but that it would be a ’round-table’ discussion. At which point Richard North strolled over and informed me that much as it would upset me, syndicated discussions were what would happen; upon which I reminded him that that had not worked previously  – and left to have my smoke. When the meeting eventually began, lo and behold, what took place was a ’round-table’ discussion – which also did not produce anything worthwhile, probably with two exceptions, due to attendees not having thought about the subject (which they had been previously asked to do) and which therefore resulted in a wasted morning.

After lunch we were treated to a power point presentation of the six demands encapsulating a ‘bullet point’ summary of each ‘demand’.  It was at the stage when the bullet-points for  ‘demand 4’ began to appear that I ‘stirred’ because included in them was the statement that the people would have no right to propose law. I queried this on two points:

  1. If the people have the right to challenge/negate law, then by the same principle they have the right to propose law;
  2. If the people are ‘sovereign’ then only they can impose limits on their rights – no-one else.

At this point it should be noted that in the booklet: The Harrogate Agenda, Demands for governance by the people for the people (authored by Dr. Richard A.E. North) it states on page 14: The power to make law, and especially to reject it, is a measure of sovereignty. If the people have the power to demand that specific laws be made, or if they can refuse to accept proposals for new laws, this is known as direct democracy – the only true form of democracy…….However compelling legislatures to frame laws in response to popular demand is problematical. It can create inconsistencies and anomalies within the legal code and contravene treaties. To an extent, these problems can be avoided by requiring proposals to be compatible with the constitution. A greater handicap, though, is that the process is prone to abuse by well-funded or dedicated single-issue groups, and by popular press and television. This exposes law-making to rule of the mob. Giving the public direct access to the law-making process can end in petty tyranny. As, with official bodies, therefore, we need checks and balances to avoid the system becoming oppressive.

The booklet continues (pages 14/15): The point here is that there is rarely a problem in getting laws made under the current system. Largely, the public is able to raise a hue and cry sufficient to force the legislature into action when there is a perceived need for a new law……To enable the public voice to be heard, we see no reason why a ‘take note’ referendum should not play a part in raising issues, calling for legislatures to consider new laws.  A formal requirement for referendums could even be included in a new written constitution. Nevertheless, we believe that such referendums should not be binding.

So, to borrow from the dilemma in which Theresa May now finds herself, is The Harrogate Agenda proposing a ‘soft’ direct democracy or a ‘soft’ representative democracy? I think clarity on this question must be provided. If the Harrogate Agenda is intending to deny the people the right to make law – and in so doing negating its own definition of sovereignty – then it is not; and cannot be, a voice for direct democracy; especially as, interestingly, the author of Demands for governance by the people for the people is on record stating:  The idea of direct democracy, therefore, is to an extent simply swapping one form of oppression for another.……………. this [Referism] happens alongside our current system of representative democracy, which I rather like. Hmm……. The article ends: We take control to protect ourselves from our rulers … not in an attempt to replace them.

The foregoing would suggest that there would be a plethora of ‘initiatives’, which is far from the truth –  witness Switzerland where there are, annually on average, four referendums which include matters of ‘local interest’.

Direct democracy does, indeed, provide the people to take control in order to protect themselves from the ‘over-reach’ of a political class and as such it cannot, in any way be an attempt to replace them, as obviously we need ‘government’ to manage our and our nation’s affairs. What ‘people’s initiatives’ does provide is the ability of the people to propose law that the political class may not want on the statute book but that the people do.

One of the suggestions made at the meeting – by Richard North – was the creation of a think tank, the name of which he suggested might be: The Institute of Power – a name that was ‘available’. This was, so we were informed, to counter-balance the ‘bottom up’ of direct democracy with an element of ‘top-down’. Er……….?

Whilst such a creation is a good idea, it is only that if its purpose is to ‘inform’; but if the information that is produced has an element of ‘skew’ – ie it attempts to inform us that which we can and cannot have and for ulterior motives; namely to control our decisions, then such a think tank serves no purpose. In such a case, then a think tank would be no better than the current Harrogate Agenda as the latter is, in my view, attempting to inform us that which we can have and that which we cannot.

Why is it I get the impression that, where a new think tank is concerned, coupled with the suggested name, that two words were omitted: ‘and control’?

In conversation with Ian Parker-Joseph it was agreed, where ‘safeguards’ may be required, that a completely neutral constitutional court would, perhaps, serve the purpose in that such a court would be designed to protect both the people and the state from the ‘useful idiots’ such  as lobbyists – and what I might term ‘professional interferers’, ie, those with their own agendas – were concerned.

For too long we have witnessed a third of the electorate complaining that there is no point in voting as nothing changes; coupled with the comment that London is ‘X’ miles away, what do they know of my area – this needs to change.

It is my intention to float a new blog within the next  4/6  weeks which will make the case for ‘full-blown’ direct democracy – no ‘ifs’, no ‘buts’.

Stay tuned people – things are about to get interesting………..