On Governments

In the United Kingdom we are governed by governments chose by those we elect to Parliament. Today the old Parliament has run its course and the people will soon be electing a new Parliament. The old Parliament deserved to be extinguished; the people deserve better than what it offered. Members of the Government’s Opposition clung to their seats not to introduce or scrutinize legislation but to embarrass and humiliate the government as much as possible which largely left the government reasonably helpless and the people without a government that could govern.

It was said nearly two hundred years ago “that government is best which governs least” which a few years later Henri Thoreau turned into “that government is best which governs not at all”. But the world has changed in two hundred years. Life is extremely complex now and the people of each nation need competent governments and deserve governments, ideally good governments governing according to the wishes of the majority of the electorate that chose their representatives in Parliament.

The experience of the past few years shows that our representative democracy when mixed with plebiscite democracy leads to chaos. Many of the members of the old Parliament representatives did not feel bound by the referendum and thought it perfectly democratic to subvert the results of the referendum because they believed that representative democracy is more democratic than referendum democracy. If they did not believe that, they must have believed that they knew better that their electorate.

For all that, those purporting to believe in representative democracy are (ironically) anxious to limit their own democratic powers (and the wishes of the electorate) by subverting their own powers to the powers of foreign institutions. One Parliament, in constitutional theory, cannot bind a successor Parliament. The way around this rather inconvenient rule of the constitution is if one elected government can enter into a foreign treaty then the provisions of the treaty can bind every future Parliament for long periods of time, because treaties are so much harder to overturn than legislation.

For this reason, certain politicians seek to tie the hands of future governments in fields like employment (called workers’ rights) environmental policy and economic policy and immigration policy. Thus some politicians have sought to prevent future Parliaments elected by the people for putting into effect what the electorate may democratically vote for in future.

Effectively the electorate are told that they are not competent to elect a government with the powers that governments have enjoyed in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years. In fact governments that we may elect are also not competent; the only competent authority to govern us lies outside these islands.

I find this behaviour by certain members of the old Parliament as both immoral and disgusting.

A People’s Vote: Fake Words

I am highly suspicious when words are misused by politicians and those lobbying for something. The latest example is the us of the phrase of “a people” vote”. These fake words are used by many politicians seeking a second referendum on the UK’s previous referendum about the European Union. It is as though the previous referendum was not a vote by people. Continue reading

To be in or not to be in; that is the question

To be in, or not to be in, that is the question that the citizens of the United Kingdom will have to answer on 23 June 2016 when they vote in the sea of troubles that will comprise the referendum.

There are three matters that should influence a voters’ decision; different voters will give different weight to each matter.

  1. Freedom; will we enjoy more freedom within the EU or without it?
  2. Prosperity; will we enjoy a better standard of living in the EU or outside the EU?
  3. Safety; will we be safer within by being part of the EU by being outside the EU?

Continue reading

Democracy 1 Bureaucracy 0 (Half Time)

The Greek referendum vote contrary to predictions by journalists and contrary to the leaders of Eurozone nations that are not in default turned out to be a rather overwhelming vote which supported the Greek government and by implication supported their efforts to secure a what the Greek regard as a fairer deal to end or help end their financial crisis. Continue reading

An Inconvenient Interference

Politicians do not like democracy. It is an inconvenient interference in the running of the places they govern and reminds them, too clearly, that politicians are servants, not masters.  Continue reading

Vote For the Official Monster Raving Looney Party

No one wants a government that they did not vote for to run the country. The Scots who voted for independence recently used as a main plank of their argument for independence that Scotland had had to “suffer” a government which the Scots did not elect and by independence they would be able to enjoy a government that they did elect.
That argument is hopeless. Of course, a majority of people in Scotland did not vote for the same government (or coalition) that a majority of people in the whole United Kingdom elected. That is the nature of democracy. In the referendum the people of Glasgow did not vote to stay in the United Kingdom. The people who live in the house where I lived have during the last twenty five years voted for all sorts of political parties including the Green Party and on one desperate occasion when the candidates were all disgusting, the Official Monster Raving Looney Party. Perhaps I should declare my home to be independent of the United Kingdom. I could then set up my own government, my own tax regime and ensure that those who governed me always met with my approval.

Divorce in Haste, Repent at Leisure

It seems more likely now that the Scots will vote to separate from the Union of this island. I wish them well if they want to be independent as opposed to pseudo independent, which will merely enable a few politicians to exercise greater power than at present, but make no bones about it, a “yes” vote in the referendum will be the start of what will be several years of acrimony, argument and legal cases. No doubt the Scots will readily agree a constitution for a new state and the legal framework is already in hand; the Scots will simply have to decide whether their appellate system will incorporate the Supreme Court, or whether they will be happy to see divergence on the laws of the two jurisdictions with all the economic effect that would entail. Continue reading