Readers of this blog will be aware that for some time now I have complained about the deficiencies inherent within our current system of representative democracy, the lack of knowledge – and thus expertise – exhibited by our politicians; coupled with the inability of the electorate to hold said politicians to daily account.
Today I posted on Twitter the following which elicited an almost immediate response :
At the outset let me make clear that it is not my intention to begin a public spat with a blogger I hold in high regard for his skills at research coupled with the enormous amount of excellent work he has produced on his blog with regard to Brexit. Indeed, I have also made known my support for his exit plan encapsulated in FlexCit; although I have also made known that I totally disagreed with the order in which the six aims were placed within that document.
In rebuttal to the responses received to my tweets then I must repeat:
- Had as much effort been put into The Harrogate Agenda as has been put into FlexCit, might the nation, where ‘politics’ is concerned, not be in the mess it now is?
- While funds were found to produce and publicise FlexCit, I was informed by the Director of The Harrogate Agenda that there were no funds available to promote it. Yet could not The Harrogate Agenda have secured funds through ‘crowd-funding’? This, I was informed by said Director, had not been considered.
- ‘Changing the system’ is what the Harrogate Agenda is about, yet does not FlexCit state (page 377): We see little value in withdrawing from the EU if it only means returning reclaimed powers to the political elites who held them previously – which begs the question of why is it the last aim?
That The Harrogate Agenda was ‘usurped’ from the original attendees at the first and subsequent meeting is beyond doubt – possibly because said attendees originally had not grasped the core principle of direct democracy; namely that of people power and what it entailed. Unfortunately, having ‘usurped’ said idea, once again the question has to be asked: just what have those that usurped it done to promote it?
Where ‘promotion’ of The Harrogate Agenda is concerned it would only appear to have involved what may be termed ‘interminable’ workshops concerned with the promotion of same – said workshops being attended by virtually the same people (at least those I did attend were).
To rely on the history of the Chartist Movement and their ‘success’, together with the period it took for them to achieve most of their aims, is to my mind, a ‘red herring’. It should be recalled the Chartist Movement did not have the means of communication we have today and neither, more importantly, did they have recourse to the world-wide-web.
Bearing in mind the preceding point, I would refer to the ‘speed’ with which AfD and the 5* Movement gained support among their electorates, coupled with the electoral success they achieved, in what is in electoral terms, a relatively short time.
As with any ‘prophet’ who presents a new ‘belief’ or’idea’, he/she may well garner many followers who achieve what may be termed a ‘psychophantic’ nature in which their prophet can do/say no wrong – as illustrated by those zealots who hang on every word of Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn or Nigel Farage.
As with most ‘prophets’ there comes a time when they appear to believe in their own superiority and thus almost what appears to be a ‘divine right’, in that only their views are correct; the process crushing dissension and/or discussion.
With most ‘prophets’ of an idea or belief, there comes a time when said psycophantic followers need to begin to think for themselves.