MAKE the POLITICIANS LISTEN to YOU!
[Daily Telegraph -Wednesday, June
Traditional Tory supporters could be
forgiven for raising a slightly sceptical eyebrow at David Cameron's
recent promise to open his policy-making process to public debate.
The STAND UP, SPEAK UP initiative calls
on Conservative Associations across the country to organise meetings for
members of the public to have their say on PARTY POLICY
In a letter to party activists Cameron
calls this an unprecedented policy debate, but many Labour supporters
may have felt a queasy sense of deja vu.
The Big Conversation, launched by Tony
Blair in late 2003, promised to give the public an opportunity to
influence Labour policy. Blair toured the country holding consultations
and thousands logged on to the campaign website to post their
suggestions. However, when the 2005 election arrived, not a single
policy could be traced back to the
IN REALITY MANY FELT, IT HAD BEEN A
The eagerness of both Labour and Tory
leaderships to reach over the heads of their own members in order to
formulate new policies indicates
A SERIOUS BREAKDOWN IN THE
People join parties to effect change
and expect their input in terms of activism to be rewarded with a say in
the direction the party takes. Yet internal democracy has been largely
sidelined in favour of a reliance on focus groups, policy forums and
non-binding votes at
Becoming an MP does not guarantee that
you will have significant input into policy. many hard-working members
end up frustrated by the lack of consultation that has become the norm
on both sides of the House. If even MPs find themselves side-lined in
the policy making process,
WHAT HOPE DO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC HAVE
ON INFLUENCING THE DEBATE?
The temptation to throw up our hands
and say a plague on all your houses may be great - and from the tone of
the comments on the Telegraph website, some readers may have
already succumbed -but this is not the time for cynicism.
The urge for PARTIES to CONTROL DEBATE
has been accompanied by a significant FALL in VOTER TURNOUT.
PARTICIPATION at the last two GENERAL
ELECTIONS has been THE LOWEST SINCE THE WAR.
Party leaders recognise that something
needs to be done to reconnect the electorate with the political process.
Gordon Brown has already shown he is
aware of the scale of the challenge, promising to take action to build
TRUST IN OUR DEMOCRACY
-using his first speech as
PM-in-waiting to call for a more open form of dialogue between citizens
and politicians genuinely to debate problems and solutions..
When he committed himself to bringing
forward reform proposals to
RENEW THE CONSTITUTION
-with the first draft
CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM BILL
-later this year - many sat up and took
notice. Although viewed by many as dry and dusty, constitutional reform
has the ability to addresss the
ISSUE AT THE HEART OF THE MALAISE IN
-THE LOSS OF TRUST IN POLITICIANS OF
The first step would be to construct a
NEW BILL OF RIGHTS
-and the settlements of the 17th
century, but also reflecting modern notions of
Such a document would embody
traditional British values of
FAIRNESS and TOLERANCE
-while reminding us that we have
RESPONSIBILITIES TO ONE ANOTHER
It would also protect the
RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
-when they come into conflict with the
POWER OF THE OVER-MIGHTY EXECUTIVE
Ultimately, a new
BILL OF RIGHTS
would provide politicians with a
SET OF RULES
WE THE PEOPLE CONSENT TO BE GOVERNED
-rules that would be known by
-unlike the present situation, whereby,
under our currently invisible constitution, any government with a
majority can simply move the goal-posts.
BUT WHO SHOULD FRAME THIS NEW
Surely politicians have a conflict of
interest in formulating the rules that govern their behaviour?
While welcoming Brown's initiative on
this ISSUE, should we just sit back and wait for him or David Cameron -
TO TELL US WHAT OUR RIGHTS ARE?
The fact the Gordon Brown already has a
draft BILL planned has caused concern that any consultation will be
bogus, providing merely a figleaf for more top-down decision-making. The
time has come for people of all political persuasions and none to become
pro-active in this debate.
BROWN HAS SET THE AGENDA-LET US TAKE
Last week, the
-published a call for Brown to
undertake a full deliberative process before reforming the
Instead of relying on a
-which can often deliver pre-determined
solutions, Power wants Brown to convene Citizens Assemblies, where the
true meaning of
BRITISH [ENGLISH] VALUES
-can be openly debated before enshrined
BILL OF RIGHTS
Power has drawn together a wide
spectrum of people and organisations -it is not often that I find myself
, for instance -illustrating that
THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE THAT LENDS ITSELF
TO THE OLD STRUCTURES OF LEFT AND RIGHT.
The formulation of a
BILL OF RIGHTS
-goes to the heart of
WHO WE ARE
BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A NATION
It will not solve the problems we face
in the modern globalised economy, but it will provide us with a set of
principles around which we can build a cohesive society.
THe process by which we agree the
principles will be crucial if the final document is to have and
legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
A CONSTITUTION WRITTEN BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS BY POLITICIANS WILL NOT RESTORE TRUST
Worse ,it would squander a great
opportunity to the public by empowering them to participate in a genuine
FREEDOM and RESPONSIBILITY
Between now and the next
-both Brown and Cameron will be
searching for ways to differentiate themselves not only from each other,
but from what has gone before.
Already ideas such as localism and
constitutional reform are being aired in the hope of engaging the public
interest. In order for our politicians to replace warm words with
action, we have first to demonstrate our willingness to become involved.
POWER INQUIRY PETITION
-is the first step in this process.
YOU CAN SIGN UP AT
[Before this ISSUE can be properly
dealt with the following matters will have to be aired and honest
answers given and drastic action taken for there to be any possible
success with this major undertaking.
1) We need to know and clarify how
everything would have been today with regard to our
RIGHTS and LIBERTIES
if the UK had rejected the EEC
Accession Treaty in 1972.
2) WE would need to withdraw from the
European Union for the very reason that our accustomed system of law and
our constitutional parliamentary democracy is not compatible with the
3) On this side of the English Channel
STATE is the SERVANT of the
THE REVERSE IS TRUE IN EUROPE.
4) We have advocated that no MP should
serve more than one term in the House of Commons which would encourage
more people from all walks of life to give time to serve their country.
It would also make our representatives more able to stand against the
party line as they would not have to consider that they might be
de-selected at the next election.
5) PR-PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
should be introduced at Westminster which would give a voice to the
millions who have no representation in
OUR HOUSE OF COMMONS.]
THE PEOPLE HAVE
SPOKEN-IS THE EU COMMISSION LISTENING?
Ditch the EU
TREATY after IRISH REJECTION
[Daily Mail-Wednesday, June
MORE THAN HALF of voters believe Britain should
drop the controversial European Treaty in the wake of its
rejection in last week's
The poll comes as the Tories launch a last-ditch
bid in the
HOUSE of LORDS
today to delay the
have signed a
within the past few days
, calling on the
NOT TO RATIFY THE BILL
[WHY DON'T YOU?]
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION
to the EU
GORDON BROWN WANTS TRUST-BUT WHY WON'T
HE TRUST YOU?
HELL ON EARTH IN IRAQ
67% want powers back from
EU-ICM poll-June 21-2007-95%
of British people want a
SIGN TODAY ON LINE
JOIN THE 10 DOWNING STREET PROTEST
Readers can add their support to the growing clamour for a REFERENDUM
on the '"REFORM TREATY" by signing up to a 10 Downing Street 0n-line
The Petition reads as follows:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to
guarantee that the British people will be permitted a binding REFERENDUM
on any and all attempts to resurrect the EU " CONSTITUTION" (and any or
all of its content) regardless of nomenclature."
Deadline for the PETITION is 31st
Eurofacts 27th July 2007.
In London on St.George's Day -1953
WITH THE ONLY PARTY WITH A MANDATE
TO SET YOU
THE QUESTION THAT THE
VOTER MUST ANSWER
YOU WISH TO BE GOVERNED BY YOUR OWN PEOPLE, LAW AND CUSTOM OR BY THE
CORRUPT ,EXPENSIVE UNACCOUNTABLE AND CORRUPT ALIEN BUSYBODY BRUSSELS’
-SIMPLE IS IT NOT?
TO RECLAIM YOUR DEMOCRACY DON'T VOTE
FOR THE TRIPARTITE PARTIES IN WESTMINSTER
SMALL PARTIES THAT SPEAK THEIR MINDS
WITHOUT SPIN AND LIES.
-ITS PARLIAMENT -WALES-ITS
AWAITS ITS PARLIAMENT-WHY?
[All underlined words have a