Thursday, 14 May 2009

Democracy & Britain

Ever since becoming a disciple of the Carswell/Hannan vision of democracy, it is a fact that this has made me a tad 'boorish' on the subject of Britain's governance, which includes governance by the people.

The need for a radical re-think on the subject of how we, the people, are governed is a matter which it is believed more and more individuals are becoming interested in. Burning Our Money is now voicing his call for a radical re-think.

Whether one considers national or local democracy it is necessary that those elected - the politicians - are truly answerable to those who elect - the voters. On this basis the following basic changes need to be introduced immediately:

(1) Withdrawal from the political aspect of the European Union, membership to be purely for trading purposes, thus allowing Britain to decide its own laws, maintain its customs and be able to re-elect or dismiss those that purport to act on the electorate's behalf.
(2) A fixed term for Parliament of 4 years.
(3) The introduction of referendums on both national and local issues, where a statutory number of signatures has been collected.
(4) A re-call system implemented whereby MPs, and even Councillors, can be recalled to answer to their constituents where it is obvious the politician has not acted as their constituents wished.
(5) National governments should deal with those matters of 'national' importance, namely areas such as Defense, Immigration, Foreign Relations, the Armed Forces, trade agreements etc. All 'internal' matters such as planning, law & order, waste, education, health etc should be the responsibility for local authorities and the residents of those local authorities.
(6) Disband all quangos, fake charities, political advisers - in fact any body/organisation that intercedes between the electorate and their politicians.

Ideas, such as those outlined above, may well bring a chorus of complaints/objections, yet the basic point is that without 'direct democracy' we, the people, will never be able to 'control' those that we elect, on a day to day basis. Otherwise, as Burning Our Money suggests, we will continually be subjecting ourselves to a '4 Year Dictatorship'.


Mark Wadsworth said...


The only bit of the book I didn't like was the idea about local sales taxes. Local property taxes are the way forward. In-your-face taxes must be better than stealth-taxes, because people will constant ask whether they're getting value for money.

Even better, local governments will only be able to spend money on things that increase property values, because otherwise they will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, let's start paying local Labour councillors for their public service, and thereby also ensure that they are not- like their Westminster counterparts- abusing the system. I know many local councillors who are active in local politics, putting many hours into local affairs and who also get paid for supposedly working full-time in the charity sector, creating not only conflicts of interests between their different roles but also forcing the charity sector to subsidize their public/political roles: one well-known example is Labour Councillor Antonia Bance who works in a senior managment position with Oxfam's UK poverty programme, blurring her cahrity and political roles. The whole system needs over-hauling!