"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are."
H. L. Mencken
Richard North, EU Referendum, continues his series of posts on the political problems encapsulated within our democracy and suggests a voter's alliance and in so doing links to CallingEngland, in which post her crie de coeur is:
"There is no political party or even an outsider who can lead us out of this mess. The change that must happen must come from us as individuals and we must be responsible for our own actions instead of looking to others. No-one will come."
The more I consider Richard's idea the more attractive it appears as it is becoming even more obvious that asthese words are proven to be increasingly more evident by the day.
Nothing illustrates that more than the leaders of the Lib/Lab/Con who all maintain that our country's membership of the European Union is necessary in order for us to succeed in the world. Power has indeed corrupted the reasoning of those three men - with opinion poll after opinion poll showing that the country wants a referendum on EU membership, they repeatedly refuse to grant one. MPs elected to Parliament are controlled by their party leaders and are forced through the whipping system to place party before their country and constituents. Political manifestos are produced at the time of general elections, the contents of which bear little relation to what actually is subsequently promulgated into law - and in some noteable examples manifesto promises are completely ignored.
The foregoing are examples of a situation which cannot and must not be allowed to continue. As I have stated on many occasions the present political system is enacted on the basis that politicians are those with the power and that the people must serve the politicians - when in fact it is the reverse that is true, namely that power rests with the people and politicians are no more than servants of the people. In this context Richard North poses the question of how to we get from where we are to the position where we wish to be - a people free from central government interference. He makes a telling point when he writes:
"..... the answer is to recognise that we are seeking to overthrow the status quo, changing the order of things. That makes us, by definition, revolutionaries - and no revolution ever succeeded by working within the system."
which kinda makes a mockery of Cameron's stated wish to change the European Union from within - but again I am guilty of digressing.
Much has been written on how to fix our democratic system and the cure for all our ills would seem to be the creation of an English parliament, one to rival that of Scotland and the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also a movement for the United Kingdom to become a confederation, one comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst our country remains a member of the EU, all the creation of an English parliament would do is to cement the break-up of the United Kingdom - a course of action on which the EU is intent in accordance with it's NUTS programme. In any event all that the creation of an English parliament, or a confederation, will accomplish is yet more politicians resulting in more cost to the public purse. Yet another cure for our ills is outlined in "The Plan" (see righthand sidebar) , a treatise by Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan, in which they propose a "100 day plan". Ukip have also their version as the panacea to the problem of national politics and governance here (page 13). The problem with all these ideas is that we are still left with pesky politicians - and far too many of them!
To add my twopennworth to the mix - and admittedly not yet fully 'thought-through - it would seem that a mix of the US and Swiss system of government might just well provide that for which Richard North wishes. First, reduce the number of MPs elected to Westminster (they wouldn't be needed as all that Westminster would be left with would be matters such as defense of the realm, foreign policy etc); devolve to all county local authorities responsibility for internal matters - health, education, law & order - whilst also giving them tax-raising powers; and combining that with Richard North's idea for annual referendums.
Ok, so that may well produce some anomolies within the UK on how health, education, law& order are managed within the UK - so what? By giving local county authorites tax-raising powers - and here I 'pick-up' on a point mentioned in "The Plan" - it would create something I do not believe we have ever had in this country; namely a downward pressure on taxation.
Anyway, just thought I would 'stir the pot' even more..................................