Some questions

It is always a source of amusement when reading the outpourings of political commentators on the subject of democracy. One only has to consider this from Gabby Hinsliff (and where she is concerned, ‘Gabby’ is so appropriate); or this from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown; or this from Philip Booth.

The first two articles centre on l’affaire Mark Clarke and intimate that young potential politicians, to quote Hinsliff: …..weren’t knifing each other over ways to change the world, but over getting seats, or jobs with MPs, or proximity to power of any kind. Hey, never mind the ‘young’ tag; isn’t that what politicians of all ages do? Alibhai-Brown reckons: degradation of politics by any party disables our democracy, and no party is immune to the effects. Hey, in order to disable democracy, first it is necessary to have democracy. That of Booth’s centres on the fact that: we have representation without taxation and an intrinsic big government bias in the electoral system, while suggesting that: a proper federal structure must be created for the UK.

What we have with all these articles is an extension of the accusatation contained in my preceding article; namely that we are blessed with brain-dead political commentators or ‘hacks’ who know not the meaning of research; who, to quote from a comment from the preceding article: would think that an aspirational writer, looking for another angle to be a little bit original, would seize upon something that is not being discussed by other reporters or columnists.

The answer to all the ‘complaints’ in the linked articles already exists, namely: The Harrogate Agenda.

However this blog – and many of its readers – are slightly puzzled. It has been written:  ……The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU movement, and wait until it has achieved it aim, in order that we should be able to progress ours; likewise it has been written: ……there is little point in recovering powers from the EU, only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place (FlexCit –  page 375). Neither can it be, as the Director of THA informed me in an email, that once the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) launches, hopefully THA will receive more coverage (my emphasis).

We all know that the European Union is not ‘democracy’ by any manner of means, but then neither is the system of democracy currently prevalent; so: why is THA stage six of FlexCit; why, if there is little point in recovering powers from the EU only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place; and why is it only hoped that once RPG launches, THA will receive more coverage, when it has already been stated The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU campaign – which it currently does.

The questions in the preceding paragraph have been raised previously on this blog and still no answer (logical or otherwise) has been forthcoming. Bearing in mind the greatest reason given for over a third of the electorate not participating in local or general elections is that for whoever they vote, nothing changes; is not THA the answer to their complaint? It has also been maintained on this blog that reaching that section of the electorate will be crucial to winning the referendum, because if shown that within the EU (and within representative democracy) they can never have a voice, then once that understanding is embedded, the result surely cannot be in doubt.

So I repeat: why is THA stage six of FlexCit?

Readers should know by now that I am behind FlexCit but with one doubt about the ‘stage order’. Let me say at the outset that by raising that doubt does not mean I am being argumentative, working against Brexit or undermining FlexCit or RPG; but is:

Just asking why THA is not being run alongside, but separate to, FlexCit and with equal prominence?






2 thoughts on “Some questions

  1. I take your point David – but there is a “but”.

    We are now set up for a decision on our membership of the EU, and for the arguments for our exit to be heard, doesn’t it make sense to put the HA part of Flexcit on the backburner.

    I believe that whatever the outcome of the referendum local government is going to become prominent as an issue. We know that the EU has a large influence within our town halls, and their future operation is going to be dependent upon the outcome of the referendum.

    The same, obviously, can be said for our national government.

    I also believe that, if the result of the referendum goes the right way for us, there will be a lot of thinking about what type of democracy we want to replace the EU-dominated one.

    The Harrogate Agenda may well then become a powerful tool.

  2. Like the faithful dog brings back the stick for you to throw again I see The Harrogate Agenda is back! However, I say this time it’s different. Political life can be mapped out in terms of big events, so for example we can define politics pre-or post the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s a bit like that now post-Paris, oh and we all know that the Islamic inspired attacks on Paris had nothing to do with Islam don’t we?

    Life and not just politics has changed and it simply will not do to pretend otherwise. So continually adjusting the glide-path to freedom from the EU without any other reference looks ridiculous. After all we can have a life free of the EU but dominated by Islamic terrorism, or remain in the EU and be dominated by Islamic terrorism. Not much of a choice is? But it’s up to this nation to decide.

    Hence I say that keeping up the quality of domestic life, regardless of our association, or not, with the EU now at least equals our attempts to leave that political union. A union that by virtue of what Merkel did, and without proper consultation, will at least stumble and possibly fail as a consequence. Leaving the ordinary citizen of the UK worse off.

    It’s time for THA to come out from behind Flexcit and have its own independent voice.

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