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Editorial

What is WRONG with the British People? WHY DO WE ALLOW THIS SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS?

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This Country is being made a laughing stock by a Government and Parliament that treats British People with complete disdain and yet we do nothing about it.

Britain gave the World a legacy of Common Law and democracy and yet, Britain no longer practices either.  Politicians and Public Servants are bringing Third World politics to Britain and nobody feels able or even have the wish to do something about it.

The European Union has done Britain far more damage than most people realise.  It has, over the past 40 years, introduced a sense of complacency and apathy that is entirely at odds with a Nation that had the entrepreneurial spirit to influence directly one fifth of the World.  I am NOT advocating that Britain returns to its Colonial practices but whatever happened to the old ‘Dunkirk’ spirit that used to be an attribute of the British People?

It is that ideologues and corrupt politicians have been allowed to impose their will on the British People in such an insidious manner that few realised what was happening in our Country.

Even leaving aside the fact that Parliament shewed at least some semblance of propriety a few decades ago, even despite Heath’s and Wilson’s Treason in taking us into the EC illegally, it has been overtaken by a ‘Personality’ cult that has allowed such charlatans as Blair, Mandelson and the Kinnocks to flourish.  Even the inept Cameron and Clegg were advanced because they looked ‘pretty’ and promised the ‘earth’ knowing that they could not deliver.

The whole problem can be covered in a nutshell.  Parliament, instead of evolving is devolving into the same state of corruption as was prevalent in the days of the old ‘Rotten Boroughs’.

Although in much of the last Century, there was at least a semblance of altruism among MPs, that has over the past 3 decades or so, been gradually been overtaken once again by a system of ‘patronage’ in appointing candidates for Parliament.  The difference being that instead of being installed by wealthy landowners, most MPs have now been installed by a ‘closed shop’ of political parties that ensure that their preferred candidate is in place at elections irrespective of whether the Candidate has any connection with the Constituency in which they are placed.  The only function of that Candidate is then to show their gratitude by giving allegiance to the Party before the Electorate with few exceptions.

The Parties, on the other hand, have decried the principles of working for their respective demographic group to worshipping the God of Mamon.  All of the Parties in the relatively recent decades been in thrall to the media (read Rupert Murdoch and other media giants) and big business.  They have, in most cases, become ‘career politicians’.

Setting aside the proliferation of ‘fringe’ groups such as the Green Party and the LibDems, the Conservative Party has always been on the side of ‘big money’ but in the past, have at least been the party of low taxation which is of benefit to all.  But now, a Conservative Government is intent upon betraying us all in its illegal pursuit of a trade deal with the EU post Brexit which, at worst, will see us still tied to the EU, still paying for the privilege of trading at a deficit and tying our hands in trade deals outside of the EU.

The Labour Party, on the other hand, has completely betrayed the principles of their former demographic group, the ‘Working Man’.  It has always, to a certain extent, been the home of the radical ‘lefty’ partly due to its patronage by the TUC.  It has now, however, been joined by a massive contingent of ‘Champagne Socialists’ largely comprised of failed Lawyers who see the Labour Party as a platform for their own career advancement at the expense of traditional Labour Supporter.

The overall effect of a lack of a credible Political Party has left millions of voters in Britain disenfranchised simply because they are unable to vote for any candidate that will follow their wishes.

Many who will wish to vote regardless and spoil their ballot paper will do nothing to end this situation because, quite frankly, the political parties do not care as long as they get one more vote from deluded ‘tribal’ voters for their candidate than does any other group.

This is a catastrophe for not only has it removed any semblance of democracy in this Country, it is an insult to the British People and the thousands that died or were imprisoned to get the vote in the first place.

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The British Bill of Rights 1689

The Electorate are not happy.

Parliament, over the centuries has been busy consolidating their power over the People.  Parliament declares itself ‘Sovereign’ but it is notSovereignty belongs to the People of Britain and once every five years or so, we lend that sovereignty to Parliament through the ballot box.  We give them the right to govern in our name but it is the British Electorate that decides which Party or parties form a Government.

Yet still the outcome of the Electoral process is controlled by a small ‘elite’ in the Parliamentary Parties who select candidates to stand in the various Constituencies often without that candidate having any historical ties to the people of that Constituency.  The candidate is simply ‘parachuted’ in to stand for election.  The specially favoured are placed into Constituencies with ‘safe’ seats on the premise that the candidate is almost guaranteed election to Parliament.  What is worse, local Constituency Parties are completely ignored or overruled as to who stands for Parliament in their name.

It has been reported that the Broxstowe Constituency Party wish to deselect Anna Soubry at the next General Election but has been overruled by the Parliamentary Party.  This is despite the fact that Broxstowe voted heavily for Brexit and even though Soubry was re-elected it was with a very much reduced majority.  This is not democratic in any sense of the word.

But we now have a chance to put things right.

The EU referendum gave the Government on both sides a bloody nose.  The People have made a tacit attempt to show politicians that they will not forever be led by the nose by voting to leave the EU.  The fact that many politicians have gone against the wishes of the Constituents that voted them into Office by deliberately obfuscating the terms of the referendum or even outright opposition have caused many otherwise ‘tribal’ voters to turn against their respective parties.

The referendum itself was of such importance to the Country as a whole, that it has provided a clear demarcation of the People which has the potential to finally start to have democracy in Britain.

Britain is not and never has been a ‘democratic’ Country, it may justifiably be referred to as an ‘Elective Oligarchy’ whereby MPs when elected, can then proceed to do exactly as they wish without having to pay any regard to the Electorate.

The very word ‘democracy’ comes from the ancient Greek work demokratia which unlike a ‘Representative’ democracy involves the direct control of the People.  Whereas direct democracy can, on the surface, be very appealing, there is always the danger of ‘mob rule’ which can allow a small, vociferous group to take control even if detrimental to the larger whole.  This, paradoxically, can also occur within a ‘Delegate’ Parliamentary system where MPs are merely mouthpieces of the People’s wishes.  What is more, it is fraught with many difficulties as to how the MP is made aware of their Constituencies wishes unless it is by way of a fully fledged plebiscite, but is more likely to be construed from a group that shouts the loudest.

Which leaves only the concept of ‘Representative’ Parliamentary democracy by which the elected Member is ‘trusted’ to do the right thing for his or her Constituents.

But this system too is proven not to work for the interests of the People.  How can the Electorate reasonably expect their wishes to be adhered to when so often, especially in ‘safe seats’, a large proportion of the Electorate whose candidate was not elected finds themselves perpetually represented by a member of a Party that is diametrically opposed to their own wishes?

All too often, a candidates election manifesto is totally ignored by an MP for Party political reasons or even for personal gain.  This is particularly true when the Party candidate has no historical connection with the Constituency and is ‘parachuted’ in with the intention, solely, of the candidate becoming just a Member of Parliament to further their career.  The ‘placement’ MP, all too often, are considered and consider themselves as beholden to the Parliamentary Elite that allowed them to join their ranks.

This procedure is true of all of the established Parliamentary Parties in order to gain power and allow a small ‘elite’ in Parliament to control our lives by dictating Party policy and doctrine.  It will also be true of UKIP should they gain any standing in Parliament as they are already doctrinaire in their selection of candidates and will be even more so in order to increase the number of the seats that they hold.  But, to be fair to UKIP, they have a policy that Councillors at local level shall not be subject to a ‘Party Whip’ allowing UKIP Councillors to comply with their Constituent’s wishes and apply at least a modicum of democracy at that level.

But how can we establish a system that will work for us?

First of all, it has become all too obvious that the present Parliamentary Parties have completely ‘stitched up’ the electoral system by ensuring that most of their likely seats are filled by a compliant membership.  Therefore, it is imperative that in the next election, irrespective of the Brexit result, that the stranglehold of the Parliamentary Parties be broken.

It does no good whatsoever to not vote or to spoil a ballot paper.  It makes no difference to the mainstream Parties as it is still likely that they will have their candidate elected and they will be happy even if it is only by a single vote.

The only way to ensure that is that the Electorate must completely ignore candidates from the mainstream parties and vote only for local, independent candidates who live and work among their Constituents.  It is preferable that these candidates also have sufficient experience of life but without being affiliated to any Political Party.  It is obvious that insufficient seats will be gained by these independents but, at least, it will help to break up the stranglehold by reducing the number of seats to the mainline Parties and will go some way, eventually, to slowing the practice of ‘parachuting’ in preferred candidates.

Once such a system is achieved, it must be maintained.

The most viable system that I have heard of is that proposed by Robert Henderson of the ‘England Calling’ blog. (copy at:  http://www.theunituk.org.uk/england-calling-britain-needs-electoral-reform-but-the-abolition-of-first-past-the-post-fptp-is-not-the-answer-april-29-2015/).

In it, he advocates that the First Past the Post (FPTP) system is the best because coalition politics only results in a series of ‘horse trades’ in Parliament that achieves nothing.  A prime example is that of the Tories and the LibDems under Nick Clegg in the 2010 Government.  The 2011 AV referendum was justifiably defeated.

However, what Henderson advocates in a nutshell is that the first past the post system is completely retained but instead of voters only allowed to vote in their own constituency, it is proposed that the Electoral Commission ‘pairs’ constituencies with another that tends to return the candidate from the opposing party.  Then each voter is allowed one vote in each Constituency (but not two candidates from the same Party).

This has a two-fold advantage.  First of all, the Elector that votes for a candidate that is always outvoted by the incumbent Party (sometimes by a regular small margin) has a chance to vote for a candidate of his/her favoured party in whichever Constituency has the highest chance of returning their favoured Party and as the two highest number of votes in both combined Constituencies is elected (even if the second is considerably less than the one with the highest number of votes), it will re-enfranchise those that always lose out because of the Constituency in which they live.

The second advantage is that many ‘safe seats’ will no longer exist and the two elected candidates, though probably of different parties. will be forced to work together for their Constituents rather than blindly following Parliamentary Party doctrine as to do otherwise will risk them losing their seats at the next election.

A week in politics is a long time……

…but the 5 years between General Elections can be an eternity if your MP fails to work for the benefit of their constituency.

If nothing else, the debacle over the EU Referendum with the constant attempts of the majority of MPs looking to either water the result down or even to completely overturn it is a case in point.  Despite the fact that the majority of Constituencies voted to leave, far too many MPs are ignoring their own Constituents in trying to alter the result.  It is untenable that a legally constituted Referendum should result in MPs having a second (casting) vote to the detriment of the result.

May’s abortive attempt at calling a second General Election has resulted in the next General Election not being scheduled before 2022 under the Clegg/Cameron inspired ‘5 year Parliament Term’ legislation which serves only to protect the jobs of MPs.  2022 will be well after the results of the Brexit process is beyond change.

The 2015 ‘Recall of MPs Act’ allows only for the recall of MPs who are subject to a prison sentence or are suspended from sitting in the ‘House’ for more than 21 sitting days.  It should be extended to include MPs who ignore the wishes of the majority of their Constituents on important matters such as local and national referenda.  There is a petition to that effect at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/222041

They say you can’t fight ‘City Hall’.

You can, but only if you ensure that ‘City Hall’ is run for your benefit and not for the benefit of MPs and Local Councillors.  Image result for images ballot boxThe only way to do that is to demand the return of sovereignty back to the People where it belongs.

The Referendum result has already given the ‘Establishment’ a bloody nose.  But to continue that, we need to break up the stranglehold that the Parliamentary Parties have over the Electorate.  It should be the other way around.

Many, many people are suggesting that Labour and the Conservatives need to be punished at the next General Election.  That is entirely true but the only way to do that is to break up the power that all of the main parties have in Parliament.

The only way to do that is to vote (you must use your right to vote) for any independent candidate in your area that is prepared to stand on a manifesto of the above.

If enough people do that, then we can start to actually have ‘Democracy’ in this Country which gives the proper control of power to the People.

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Graham C Smith
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Graham C Smith

Dear Peter, A great big thank you for your most informative post a post put into print that even not so well informed can understand, A mind of information which I have already started emailing to such people that with Gods grace will also send on, I in my own way have been researching what our Country is becoming ever since the possible the UK leaving the EU, I joined up with UKIP I researched and researched went to UKIP conferences to weigh up all the pros & cons of leaving so I new exactly what I was voting for… Read more »

margaret Robinson
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margaret Robinson

Hi peter. Nice to hear from you again. Hope you are managing ok. A decent swing to ukip from tories but tying to move tribal labour is difficult. If only our outlying parties would get together and work as one party for the next election we could get a couple of mp,s in, and that would be a start, but that wont happen. You probably know remainers are starting a new party. They are calling it centrist. Makes me laugh. The only thing they have in common is brexit after that it will be continous war. I think there will… Read more »

ceedeeaboutit
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ceedeeaboutit

My area has had the occasional Independent candidate in GEs over the past ten years. Unfortunately they stood on tickets of more EU integration and thus would never have got my vote. But I would support one, certainly, especially as I rarely get a UKIP choice. But how does one encourage other people to break their tribal voting habits? How much do they have to suffer before they realise there is only one obvious way out?

daneuxNick Toeman
Guest

The revised election proposal may have theoretical advantages but seems unlikely to ever be adopted. Perhaps it’s a bit complex and confusing. Switzerland seems to have a functioning democracy, though I’m no expert. There they have a more devolved form of government with cantons having far greater authority than our local governments. They also have referendums on lots of things. This may mean that citizens are better informed because they don’t just allow everything be left to a not-very-representative Representative. I would think British citizens know a lot more about the EU now than they did a couple of years… Read more »

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