Friday, 6 January 2012

Well, Douglas?

Douglas Carswell, in his latest post, states:
"Perhaps it is time for the government to set out clearly and precisely what its Europe strategy is."
To which I have replied (awaiting moderation):

"Perhaps it is time for the government to set out clearly and precisely what its Europe strategy is." In view of:
Perhaps it is time for you to clearly and precisely set out what your view of direct democracy is? Your colleague, Dan Hannan on twitter, thought it "a fine initiative"
What say you?"
Simple question - wonder how convoluted the answer will be?


graham wood said...

wfw. Excellent challenge to DC and it will be interesting to read his response, but I assume you will run up against the usual brick wall - Party first, me and my career structure within it, second, and oh, of course, not forgetting the national interest third.
Slightly cynical and simplistic I know, and hope I am not judging DC by the standard of the vast majority of the politicos in the House.
I personally wonder whether the 'Westminster bubble" is capable of the sort of reformation we are looking for? How will it be possible to reduce, never mind get rid of, the entrenched fanatacism of the tribal divides which characterise and vitiate every attempt at reaasoned and objective discussion for very long.
Direct democracy and the 'Westminster' model, with the absurdity of our existing political party fiascos as it exists at present are completely incompatible.
What we need to see is further and deepened mass disillusionment by the electorate so that turn-outs at elections drop dramatically lower than at present. The message may then start to permeate slowly into the thick party insulated skulls of our MPs & governing elite that something is wrong somewhere.
Hurry up the day!

IanPJ said...

When the process is over, if we manage to get that far, there should be 3 distinct documents.
A Constitution
A Limitation on the Powers of Government
An Operation of Government

Armed with those, I would hope that an army of independents would stand in elections, both national and local, with a single aim. To implement those documents and effectively do away with their own role.

We can but hope..

Stuart said...


Are you sure documents 2 and 3 are not part of one?

IanPJ said...

No, most definitely not, but could be considered to be addendum to 1.

the Limitation of Government would need to go into great detail about what government could and could not do.

Whilst the Constitution may say that any powers not granted to government belong to the people, we may want to specify what powers they may not assume under any circumstances so that referenda may not be rigged.

How they could raise taxes, under what circumstances and limit how far in the future they could mortgage future tax earnings, thereby limiting their ability to raise cash to waste, what monies they could use, etc.

Operation of Government will spell out exactly how the localism/referism will work, at the Parish, local, county, National and UK levels, and how each level interacts with that above and below.
How representatives would be selected, elected, kept in harness, checks and balances, recalls and voting rights in each chamber.
It would also lay out how many representatives at each level, how they would operate, when and how they would need to refer back to the public, how the public would raise initiatives or call for referenda on items etc etc.

Hope that gives you an overview of what is being attempted

Stuart said...


The US Constitution is not that many pages long. The Swiss constitution is much longer and contains what actually amounts to policy which shouldn't be included. The EU Constitution bullshit conatined a lot of policy. In my opinion, a constitution contains how many, when and how they are elected etc, what the institutions are and are called, all that kind of stuff. Think about the separation between state and county or however you want to split powers and include that. Have a bill of rights, with political rights only, not civil rights. But my point is that a constitution should be the definition and hence limitations of government. That's what it is.

IanPJ said...


And that is what the forum is for, to discuss not only the content but also the best way of going about getting there.

What we have produced so far is only a guide, not set in stone. It is to get the debate going.. the participants will make the final decision of what it looks like and how it is constructed.

..but, what I will say is that it is far more than anything our so called leaders have done.

microdave said...

Well your comment got posted, but I don't see any reply as yet. It strikes me that most commenter's are pretty critical of his (and the Tory party's) position. This extract is exactly what I've been saying for ages:

Stop all payments (and I do mean ALL) and the commission lose 30+% of their budget.

Of course it will never happen - there are too many "Sir Humphrey's" infesting the Civil Service for that...

WitteringsfromWitney said...

IPJ has done my job for me and dealt with most points - Thanks Ian.

md: DC very rarely replies to comments!

Goodnight Vienna said...

The govt under Blair appropriated most of the Royal Prerogatives for itself so, yes, we definitely need something new to limit the power of government. Government has grown way too big for its boots.

On a different matter, MrW, I pointed someone in your direction regarding Ten-T but you have no labels and no search facility on your blog. Hint ;)

WitteringsfromWitney said...

GV: Probably being naive, but I geet a ssearch facility on my screen.

On Labels: Admittedly I have only just started using them during the last two/three months (shud have done way before) but if you 'Google' 'TEN-T WitteringsfromWitney' about four/five posts come up on the subject.