Democracy: the unfinished revolution

Beyond Brexit:

A programme for democratic reform

Democracy: the unfinished revolution

spiked launches its programme for radical democratic reform.

Brendan O'Neill
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Topics Brexit Politics UK

The 2016 vote for Brexit, and the political establishment’s increasingly unhinged reaction to it, revealed many things about life, society and politics in the early 21st century. But perhaps Brexit’s most important revelation, its most enlivening revelation, has been this: that democracy remains the most revolutionary political idea of all.

Still. Two millennia after it first crossed men’s minds. A couple of hundred years after it was instituted in a meaningful way in Western nations. And one hundred years after working-class men and some women in the UK finally won the franchise. Even after all of that, still no political idea is as disturbing to the political elite as the one that says the woman who cleans their parliamentary office or their university lecture hall or their high-rise boardroom should have the exact same power as them when it comes to determining the political future of the nation.

It’s an idea that horrifies them. They cannot fathom that any civilised society would entertain it, not really. They kept their horror well-hidden for most of the postwar period, when democracy consisted of little more than ordinary people having a say once every four years over which party should run society. But with Brexit, when we used the franchise not simply to change the overseers of political life but to change political life itself, their horror at the temerity of the democratic ideal came back to life. And it has dominated political discourse ever since.

The elites have reorganised themselves almost entirely around their contempt for democracy. You see it all the time. In Richard Dawkins’ suggestion that there should be an IQ test for voting. In the House of Lords’ arrogant claim that it falls to them, in their unelected but well-educated wisdom, to thwart this thing the dim-witted public voted for. In the Labour Party’s manifesto-betraying embrace of the idea of a second referendum. In the liberal media’s undiluted fury with the throng which gives rise daily to raging missives against the ‘low-information’ public and open cries for government by expertise.

They want to reverse the gains of the democratic era, to curtail the democratic ideal. All because a vote – admittedly the most important vote of the modern era – did not go their way. We cannot let them get away with this. Because far from democracy needing to be reined in, it needs to be unleashed, deepened, expanded, made real and meaningful and powerful. We don’t need less democracy – we need more.

The Brexit earthquake may have given us a glimpse of the fury of the elites when politics doesn’t go their way. But it has also revealed a public desire for greater democratic accountability. For the stripping away of the layers of unaccountable bureaucracy that the EU machine attaches to political life in the UK, and in every other member state. And for a truer form of popular sovereignty in which people’s ability to impact on the political future of the country they live in might become a real, tangible thing.

This is an opportunity we should seize. In this era of democratic hunger, the case should be made not simply for leaving the EU, but for dismantling all the other ways in which the people’s will is filtered, tempered, hampered and, in many cases, outright thwarted. Not just the EU but every institution that is unaccountable to the people and yet has the power to stymie the people’s political wishes must now be called into question.

To that end, spiked is launching a programme of radical democratic reform. Fighting for Brexit remains the priority, but we must also look beyond Brexit and make the case for reforms that will disempower unelected elites and empower the public. Over the next five weeks we will outline our five key cries – listed below – and after that we will publish a series of essays and articles making the case for popular sovereignty, democratic engagement, a philosophy of nationhood and a universalism based on democratic nations, not unaccountable global elites.

To kick off, here are the five reforms spiked thinks we need now to start the process of energising popular democracy. Over the next five weeks, one of our writers will expand on these five points. And we want to hear what you think, too. Comment and let us know!

1) Leave the EU

This remains a must. The people – the largest number of voters in UK history – demanded an end to the UK’s membership of the EU, and that must be acted upon – no ifs, no buts, no backtracking and no betrayals. The EU stymies national democracy – breaking away from it is a first key step towards enlivening popular sovereignty.

2) Abolish the House of Lords

It is an outrage that the UK has an unelected second chamber that pores over legislation drawn up by people we elect. The Brexit quake has exposed just how rotten and archaic the Lords is. From Baroness Wheatcroft openly admitting she wants to block Brexit to the fact that one in eight peers in the 800-strong Lords is a Remoaner Lib Dem – even though us voters returned just 12 Lib Dem MPs in the General Election of 2017 – the anti-democratic nature of the Lords has become clear for all to see. It has to go.

3) Abolish the Royal Prerogative

This archaic device that allows ministers to behave like monarchs is an offence to democracy. The Royal Prerogative is the notion that there are some things so pressing and profound – like declaring war or signing certain treaties – that they may be done in the name of the monarch without recourse to parliament. But the presumed wishes of an unelected head of state should never override the right of the public or our elected representatives to a genuine, determining say in matters of war and diplomacy. The prerogative is for the dustbin of history.

4) Bring in proportional representation

Our first-past-the-post system is one of the least democratic in the Western world. It implicitly disenfranchises large sections of the electorate through conspiring to the keep the people and ideas they vote for out of the political system. It is outrageous that UKIP won nearly four million votes in the 2015 General Election but got just one seat in the Commons. Under PR, it would have got more than 80. PR would give rise to a parliament more directly representative of the people. And it would encourage people to experiment with setting up new parties because they’d know that breaking through to the Commons was finally possible.

5) Kick judges out of politics

Judicial interference in the political system is one of the newer ways the elites meddle in issues that ought to be decided by the public and the people we elect. From their rulings on immigration law to the way they’ve been invited to rule on whether or not the 2016 referendum was ‘legal’, judges are being called on far too often to decide the fate of political life itself. They should stick to the law and leave matters of governance to the people and our representatives.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

fret slider

1st August 2019 at 1:59 pm

When it comes to democracy, The Irish, the Scots and the Welsh have devolution.

The English have no assembly or Parliament.

Hard to think of a more inequitable settlement than ours.

Richard Denson

27th July 2019 at 7:14 am

Ban all lobbying. All political parties to be funded from the public purse.

Michael James

17th July 2019 at 9:15 am

The citizen-initiated referendum is essential to reviving democracy. Switzerland uses it a lot and is perhaps the most prosperous and stable democracy on earth. New Zealand uses a form of it too.

Samsundar Duvakemar

18th July 2019 at 9:24 pm

That is very interesting, sir.

Owen Morgan

13th July 2019 at 10:14 pm

I am less convinced by (4), Brendan’s call for proportional representation, than by the others. Since PR is widely used around the world (bits of it, anyway), the self-appointed elites will know that there are many ways to fix any PR system to suit themselves, from candidate lists, to assorted versions of transferable votes, to arbitrary minimum percentages required for any representation, as, I believe, they have in Germany.

I am not optimistic that a PR system would lead to the ready creation of new parties. Some countries with PR also require parties to be licensed; licences can be terminated in an instant, either with no recourse, or with appeal only to those judges who, Brendan rightly argues, we should not want to have interfering in the democratic process.

I’d like to add (6) to the list: abolish the Electoral Commission and replace it it with an impartial arbiter of election issues, which the current EC manifestly is not.

Oh, and (7): prosecute the current commissioners. Malfeasance should have consequences.

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 11:45 pm

It helped prevent Australia from becoming a de facto communist state only a month ago.

“Democracy” means that in the west we are ruled by a two-party dictatorship, and l don’t think that it would make any difference if there were another five parties to choose from. It would just make it a seven-party dictatorship.

mister wallace

23rd July 2019 at 3:31 am

Australia is a big place made up of federal (1), state (6) and territory (2 which are just big councils controlled by the Commonwealth at its whim anyway) governments and some might say hundreds of nosey sticky-beak local governments. Does in this huge place with various voting systems Australia use PR? Yes in some instances. The Senate is elected by PR as is the Legislative Council in NSW. However most foreigners confuse PR with Preferential Voting which is can be used in conjunction with PR but it is a completely different concept. Preferential Voting removes low vote candidates and transfers those votes to other candidates according to the voter’s wishes; whereas PR is a curse because it encourages minor pain in the backside parties.

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 7:34 pm

What kind of conspiracy is preventing spiiiked from reporting on the political persecution of your fellow countryman Tommy Robinson?

He’s been jailed, but isn’t guilty of anything. He broke no laws, and yet the British government has seen fit to imprison him, with the aid of the judiciary. His imprisonment hasn’t even been reported on by fake news.

What is the point of the pronouncements of all these lofty goals if you aren’t even able to divine right from wrong?

Credibility is the currency in the battle against diversity-communism and lies, and it’s pretty incredible that you guys would ignore the muslim attack on a political rally in your country. Ask yourselves why? Why would you be loathe to report on such a thing? Are you prejudiced against the working class? Is it rhat you are afraid of upsetting musloms? What is it? What prevented such an act of political violence being reported on?

Mr Robinson was wrongfully imprisoned on Thursday by the state. Spiiiked ought to be ashamed of themselves for not reporting on this. Nothing. Not one word. Loads of fake news about kommie-rubbish, tho.

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 8:07 pm

And while I’m here, how about the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, or is that one a little too close to pommie-paedo home?

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 9:22 pm

Tommy was born in Luton in 1982. At that time there was one mosque in Luton, and there are now thirty-five of them. And the mosques in Luton have produced all kinds of terrorists and bombers, including the arseholes that murdered Lee Rigby in cold blood on your streets. Tommy is responsible for exposing paedophile-rape gangs in your country. Shouldn’t he be getting a medal? Instead, he has to deal with barbarians attacking him in the street for it.

Check the vid at around the two-minute mark:

https://youtu.be/HbxMR3c2Pws

The globalists are happy for the importation of cheap labour to continue, in that it drives down wages. They aren’t so happy about any resistance to their plans, even to the point of denying free-speech and denying Tommy his liberty. I suspect that there is some kind of paedo ring that they themselves are protecting as well.

Why isn’t there national outrage over a man wrongfully imprisoned over this? Whose side are you on?

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 10:22 pm

Interesting to hear that the British Sikh community has been suffering at the hands of these muslim grooming gangs for even longer than other communities.

https://youtu.be/yMsOTSKJ8CI

Why should being a kommie prevent you from an impartial, journalstic expose on these crimes by your government? Or is this a left/right issue that is beyond the pale? Farking wake up.

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 11:21 pm

Perhaps ” Islamophobia” does have an actual definition after all and isn’t just some word that’s made up as a way do deflect criticism from the satanic pox.

Islamophobia: The rational fear of having tooled up barbarians come knocking because they couldn’t handle free speech in the west.

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 12:23 am

You’re gonna have to forgive me, because perhaps it’s just that I’m not a pommie, and must be missing the reason why you aren’t covering a story of such political and societal import.

Here’s some police brutality against your British brothers.

https://youtu.be/NsslTRzlmA8

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 1:01 am

Ezra Levant is the head of Canadian-based Rebel Media, and was in court to report that the prosecutor had alleged that Tommy “molested” the two paedophiles that had already been found guilty by asking them how they felt. Tommy “molested” THEM.

https://youtu.be/iLwGny0WhpE

When l was a kid it was about left and right, but when your country’s PM deems his position on brexit untenable and his party then hands over the reins to a woman with a long history of support for the eussr…

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 1:10 am

Wendy has the answer, even if you don’t.

https://youtu.be/EWlJ2L2zFMg

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 2:20 am

And l notice that you’re whoring for donations under the banner “Help spiiked with free speech”, even as you introduce a system to inure certain groups from being exposed to it. How does that one work in your mind?

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 3:24 am

Thousands upon thousands of people march through London and it doesn’t rate a mention? You even reported on the green-nazi’s and their protest. What the fk is going on there?

https://youtu.be/rqNNLZlsPaA

I’ve just seen that sniveller andrew doyle describe Tommy as far-right whilst being interviewed about titania. If this has anything to do with anything like that….do you value credibility?

Hana Jinks

14th July 2019 at 9:53 am

This is about muslims knocking up 13yr olds. In which western society is that not a scandal? This came out around the same time as the saville story, which received blanket-coverage while this one was ignored.

When l was a kid, l was taught that journalism was supposed to contain some kind of investigative element, and yet British society is obviously intent on keeping this covered up. Aren’t you interested in finding out why? Is it a conspiracy?

Vivienne Parker

12th July 2019 at 8:14 pm

You are what I’ve been waiting for, what do we do to make it happen?

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 11:01 pm

9 1/2 weeks. They are mocking us all now.

John Millson

10th July 2019 at 3:25 pm

Agree largely with the reform ‘topics’, except Brexit, which is separate, I feel. However, the opening shots of this piece are too hyperbolic. We have to distinguish between ‘direct’ and ‘representative’ democracy. Despite FPTP, which can ‘waste’ many votes, we do live in a fully democratic country already. If people choose not to vote, for whatever reason, that does not mean the country is less ‘democratic’.
Direct democracy can work in relatively small settled populations, where the sense of community is strong. (The fallout from the 2016 vote surely illustrates the folly of using direct democracy in a huge, diverse electorate, when it was known the issue was highly contentious. (Make no mistake, if the result had been the other way round, i.e. a slim majority to remain, Nige F and his unmerry band would still be agitating noisily. As has happened now with the Brexit Party, admittedly with fewer people.)) Regular direct democracy could work at local and regional level not at national level, in a nation as large as the UK. That is why we have representative democracy.
Direct democracy on its own will not produce a more coherent, secure and happier national society

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 8:37 am

J Millson
I disagree, had the referendum result been respected and implemented as promised … remember that ‘promised’ ! at the time, Brexit would be a long distant memory, it would be business as usual but better.
It has been allowed to fester by the anti democrats, fester along with ‘remainer’ vitriol on a daily basis now for over three years, of that their can be no doubt whatsoever.
You make an unfounded presumption that had Brexit lost they would be reacting in the same way.
Two points :
Most ‘remainers’ accept they lost , it is a vociferous minority in the political and media class that will not accept they lost , it is they that have caused the ‘divide’ which I actually believe to be pretty negligible.

Nigel Farage accepted defeat on the eve of the referendum .. only to find out later he had indeed won.

In short the divisiveness of the referendum is solely down to the ‘remain’ whingers, I think the onslaught from ‘remainers’ on us Brexit voters and our well controlled reserve in taking it pretty much on the chin without recourse to viciousness shows that we are far more respectable than our opponents.

Winston Stanley

10th July 2019 at 2:38 pm

I can only apologise for the dr/nk/n posts below. I would never post that stuff sober. A week of dinner parties took a serious toll. From now on I drink only when I want to and not when other people bring bottles. All of those posts would have been deleted but there is no delete function on this set up. Anyway, I am going to hide my face in shame for a while from that massive embarrassment. The cringe is still unbearable..

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 3:41 pm

Yes pretty embarrassing , but it’s not the first time you have mentioned shooting BON.
I find that a bit disconcerting, there must be a reason for it.

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 4:53 pm

I’d rather be friends with you Jerry, but at this stage there are just far too many things that I’m finding to be disconcerting.

1. You accused me of being a fifth-columnist, which is pretty ironic really. You were also very condescending towards me in telling me that this is a site for adults.

2. You called Linda Payne a dimwit. I had to tell you that as she was trying to enjoy the site, being called a dimwit by a creep like you would tend to compromise this. This was after you told me it was a site for adults.

3. Something happened at some brewery in Lancashire or wherever, and you didn’t like something about what the owner of the brewery said. So you decided to organise some kind of thing on here whereby everyone go to his brewery’s fb or whatever and give bad reviews as a way that he might lose his business as punishment for his wrongthought. This one is pretty serious. When l confronted you about how wrong and stasi-like this was, you attempted to justify these actions and and basically scoffed off what l said. Those commie-red waters sure do run deep.

4. It’s extremely disconcerting to find you trying to stick the knife into Wattie and twist it. Far more disconcerting than to actually use the word ‘disconfuckingcerting’ as a way to use something that was obviously said in drunken jest as a way to …kick him, basically. What I’ll find extra disconcerting is if you attempt to use jo brand as a loophole. Wattie is a gentleman.

5. What isn’t so disconcerting is to find you to be a fifth-columnist, and to be stasi-like.

kipple ubik

10th July 2019 at 1:49 am

Get yourself a written constitution.
But above all, you need to get a UK equivalent of the First Amendment of the US Constitution before free speech in the UK expires completely, as it is it’s in intensive care on life support with the plug about to be pulled at any time.

unself-conscious policeman

9th July 2019 at 11:25 pm

Brendan thinks life can be lived out of a textbook. He’s funny like that.

James Clow

9th July 2019 at 8:27 pm

Yorkshire is 11,903 km². If it were a country it would be big enough as a country to not even make a ’15 of the worlds smallest countries’ list (Vatican City – 0.44 km² The world’s smallest country is the Vatican – according to google) . Yorkshire even has it’s own flag. No particular point being made here, just sharing an interesting fact.

I’m so glad we’re not delusional in thinking we can reform UK democracy.

Peter Gardner

9th July 2019 at 10:34 am

On the other hand some people voted to remain in the EU which by definition is anti-democratic.

Neil McEvoy

9th July 2019 at 10:07 am

Like the essay, not sure about the programme. PR solves nothing by itself – look at Germany. The Germans haven’t properly chosen their government in decades, and nothing ever changes. I also prefer a bicameral system. One way forward could be a HoL elected by PR, with delaying powers. It could delay a manifesto commitment by one year or a non-manifesto policy until the next parliament.

Other ideas:
• Do not use legislation to enshrine executive policy beyond one parliament. The most egregious example is the Climate Change Act, which has just be amended by Statutory Instrument to make us progressively poorer all the way to 2050. The practice disenfranchises our children, by making it much harder for them to enact their own will when they become adults.
• There absolutely must be a bonfire of the quangos (and the BBC) whereby the establishment entrenches itself and awards itself power without responsibility or accountability. The ICO has just fined IAG – a company that pays wages and dividends to tens of thousands of regular men and women – £183 billion: acting as prosecutor, judge and jury.

Winston Stanley

9th July 2019 at 3:47 am

Winston Stanley

9th July 2019 at 3:12 am

Anyone is legitimate to shoot BON and Frank.

And shoot the British state boyo

Boom boom boom, pow pow pow, biff bong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti88lIGvSuo

Winston Stanley

9th July 2019 at 12:03 am

Give me, give me

The Lambs’bread

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVtcs31qx7E

Arthur Pewtey

8th July 2019 at 11:54 pm

6. Reform BBC funding and governance. Abolish license fee

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 11:53 pm

Der British state

Come and fight with me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFZxe3IX5pQ

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 11:39 pm

And just remember how you killed us in public.

And lets be honest about it. – How I killed you all in public.

We Is the IRA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s4zRw16tMA

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 11:17 pm

We are the Muslims. We beat up the British in front of every one, if they want to have at us. It took you 5000https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf6-lnLcy88 years, it took us 50 years. Come and fight with me.

We is the Islamic State

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 10:59 pm

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 10:53 pm

For slavery fled, our noble dead
When you fell in the foggy dew

Volume 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6oDr-WLuIU

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 11:12 pm

We is the Islamic State

For the sake of allah we will march through the gates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdrfVwjGErc

Hana Jinks

9th July 2019 at 6:30 am

This one’s been removed by yt. What was it?

Jerry Owen

9th July 2019 at 8:31 am

Winston Stanley
What on earth are your posts about , they have zero to do with this article ?
You used to post as Watt Aver, I remember your previous name now as you talked about shooting BON back then. You would then delete your posts.
We all post stuff that perhaps is not well thought out or post off the cuff .
But these posts are simply unintelligible.

Hana Jinks

10th July 2019 at 1:30 pm

Hana Jinks

9th July 2019 at 6:32 am

Really, really enjoyed this one.

Hana Jinks

9th July 2019 at 6:33 am

Sorry…l was referring to vol 5

James E Shaw

8th July 2019 at 10:45 pm

Several points Brendan.

1/ With Boris about to become PM, and with Leave being spearheaded by a public
schoolboy educated at the same public school as Ernest Shakelton and PG Wodehouse,
how is that magnificent revolt against the elite going?

2/ You call for the abolition of the Royal Prerogative and state “this archaic device that
allows ministers to behave like monarchs is an offence to democracy”. So, when
Theresa May invoked it, perhaps you think Gina Miller was right to challenge it, and the
judges were right to uphold her challenge?

3/ This really follows on from my previous point. You state that we should “kick judges out
of politics”. Presumably, they were right to uphold a challenge from Gina Miller against
Theresa May for behaving like a monarch in triggering Article 50 by herself, rather than
Parliament. oh, sorry, no. They were, in the words of the Daily Mail headline “Enemies of
the People”.

4/ You claim to be defenders of liberty. But only in your own minds.

Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 10:37 pm

And we must have referenda to let the British state know what we think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKEqdSD4TF8

James Clow

8th July 2019 at 9:04 pm

I like the ideas, they definitely get a thumbs up from me as an improvement. Where I would be concerned is in the fact that it concentrates more power in the hands of politicians without accountability. We’re still left with a Parent – > Child relationship where Mummy/Daddy MP can pick or choose what to implement or vote for. The more power you hand to individuals or groups, the stronger the Parent – > Child relationship will get.

We still only get let out of our cage once every five years to vote for our favorite parent. The referendum was the first time we got to be democratic Adults. We all get to use modern technology to make choices in our adult lives, yet we are still left with paper and a pencil for voting. I’m surprised they don’t just give crayons for us to draw a pretty little dinosaur next to our choice. Online voting opens up the possibility of voting on policies direct, instead of a single party, ending political bundle deals and tribal party identity politics. Hell, imagine having a Trade of Policies Act where you get to return a vote for policy if you were lied to.

That’s what I would call a democratic revolution. But if all that’s on offer is a fairer choice of Mummy and Daddy then it’s better than no change at all, being the lesser of two evils.

Carlo Verda

8th July 2019 at 8:58 pm

I would certainly like to see the influence exerted by lobbying, upon our democratic process, removed, or redirected to an alternative version of the HoL (as suggested in one off these posts)

Stef Steer

8th July 2019 at 8:27 pm

Also I think we need a written constitution (that say can only be altered by referenda or at least 75% of the commons) and a bill of rights too.

Stef Steer

8th July 2019 at 7:40 pm

The elites hate democracy as it is such a threat and I agree with all your goals.

In fact I would go even further and have a localist agenda and yet further and have elected representatives looking out for the publics interest on quango boards and in the public sector. Frankly the more checks the better and the more people get a say in their lives the better. Also I believe all of this democracy will start to bring us back from this polarised world as people will have to start making a case accepted by the majority and not just rely on a corrupt system.

Of course the elites will claim people are sick of democracy and they may be but even if they are you ask them would they rather have the chance to vote (even if they don’t use it) than not and who is going to say no to that. The elites will point at turnout and cost and “strong” government but in the end they are just about them maintain power.

Willie Penwright

8th July 2019 at 6:33 pm

The system of PR that is already in effect in part of the UK is the most effective and democratic and accepted as such by all parties and citizens. It just needs to be extended to all the regions of the UK.

James Knight

8th July 2019 at 6:26 pm

Brexit has forced some of the demophobes in the main political parties out of the closet. For a long time and for many it was a secret shame. But now more and more are “out and proud”. They should have their own march like PRIDE.

And isn’t it interesting to here all the blather about “equality”. Actually demcoracy means equality. The vote of the factory worker counts the same as the vote of the billionaire. And that is why it is so important that the power of the vote should not be diluted by membership of the EU. For all the Remoan talk of a “meaningful vote”, it seems they are the ones who want to render our votes as meaningless as possible on a permanent basis.

James Drozdz

8th July 2019 at 6:17 pm

I fully support this move by Spiked! but I would have liked to see one of these points covering free speech and the repeal of the hideous hate speech legislation. None of the other points mean diddly squat without free speech underpinning and allowing all of them.

Carlo Verda

8th July 2019 at 8:46 pm

well said!

Hana Jinks

8th July 2019 at 2:33 pm

This is all good, but let’s imagine all of this happens tomorrow. Then what? PC is the thing that needs to be addressed.

Jonnie Henly

8th July 2019 at 4:04 pm

How do you address PC then?

Simon Wilkinson

8th July 2019 at 4:33 pm

Preserve freedom of speech above all, that means no new blasphemy or ‘hate speech’ laws for starters.

Somehow (?) get our education system promoting free thought and open discussion, rather than PC indoctrination.

Simon Wilkinson

8th July 2019 at 4:47 pm

Political Correctness is ok until it runs counter to common sense. People need to be encouraged to think for themselves and be fearless in pursuit of truth. I completely agree with Brendan that our solution is more democracy, not less.

Hana Jinks

8th July 2019 at 5:42 pm

It’s taken generations for diversity-communism to come to full maturity, and it’s destroying our societies. It’s backed by the globalist-bankers, and they control our parliaments and media as well. Even nominally-conservative Western politicians serve them, as opposed to us. PC is a weapon of control, and we’re currently witnessing it being utilized to punish dissent, as seen with the guilty verdict against Tommy Robinson. People are attacked for wearing MAGA hats at July 4th celebrations, and yet there are people that have been conditioned to see these attacks as an acceptable and justifiable.

Trump is good in that he’s anti-PC, but he’s not doing nearly enough. And that’s in America. The media crucify any attempts at a pc-heterodox platform in all other western countries. The globalists want war, and they’ll get it.

Geoff Cox

8th July 2019 at 1:51 pm

House of Lords reform – here’s my starter for 10.
Abolition the current House, but immediately replace it with a new HoL with the same reviewing/legislative powers. Having a body of our finest minds offering review, guidance and observation is a mark of the great societies of the past and future. However, we haven’t got it at the moment. So here is how it could be different:
• Make the Salisbury convention law – the recent behaviour of the HoL has been a constitutional disgrace.
• Appoint Lords for a fixed period of 10 years, they can keep the title afterwards but they can’t participate. Membership should be about 500 (see make-up below).
• Non party political, no parties no whips etc.
• Take it out of the Westminster bubble by moving it to Oxford our greatest seat of learning (sorry Cambridge). At a stroke this will end all the chancers who drop in for 5 minutes to claim their £300. Expenses could be paid but they have to spend a day active on HoL business to claim it.
• Limit appointment of new Lords (or re-appointment) per annum to cover those who retire, pass away etc and selection should be in the hands of a non-party political body.
• Any retiring or former MP should only be offered a peerage by exception and only if they can show they have a particular non-political skill to offer.
• Selection – sack the current lot, except (for now) the Supreme Court members and remaining hereditary members who tend to be useful. A non-parliamentary body to decide membership comprised of no-one in the current HoL. Representative should be appointed from every county and part of the UK and should be selected from Science, Academia, Business, Technology, Medicine, Law, Finance, Arts, Religion etc. Appointment to this HoL should be seen as a genuine honour for service to our country and respect for genuine ability not 35 years in the Civil Service.
• Power should be retained to sack anyone who doesn’t contribute materially. If they are sacked they lose the title.

Amelia Cantor

8th July 2019 at 11:03 am

Spiked’s support for Brexit is the fat blowfly on the fetid pile of dog-sh*t. If anyone is in any doubt that Brexit is a v. v. bad idea, just take a look: Brezza O’Neill and the gang are all in favour of it.

“The Brexit earthquake may have given us a glimpse of the fury of the elites when politics doesn’t go their way.”

<smh> It wasn’t an “earthquake”: it was a blast of stale ideological flatulence from racists, xenophobes and in-bred northern proles who see a brighter, juster, fairer multi-racial and multi-cultural future coming and know that they lack the self-starting skills required to take a place there. Their white privilege and male privilege won’t be enough any more and, quite understandably, they don’t like it.

So, nah, there’s no “fury” on the part of Remainers such as myself: only disgust and weariness that we are having to clean up the mess left by an infantile political tantrum.

Hana Jinks

9th July 2019 at 6:43 am

Are you a humour-troll?

Jerry Owen

9th July 2019 at 8:37 am

Amelia Cantor
Thank you indeed for showing us all a glimpse of your true inner thoughts.
What an unpleasant place it appears to be.
There is help available to release that inner burning cesspit of anger I’m sure !

Carlo Verda

10th July 2019 at 10:05 am

So that’s what happens when you don’t have a coffee in the morning!

Samsundar Duvakemar

17th July 2019 at 10:40 pm

“the fat blowfly on the fetid pile of dog-sh*t.”

What a filthy dirty mouth you have.

Samsundar Duvakemar

18th July 2019 at 9:32 pm

I am from Pakistan, muslim family. I am dark brown skinned and I am still young (30’s). I support Brexit for reasons of democracy and national sovereignty . Your insults are racist. ageist, juvenile and lack real substance.

Ian Davies

8th July 2019 at 10:50 am

The other abomination is lobbying. This must be made a criminal offence.

Not convinced on PR. I notice in countries that have this or other mechanisms of divvying up the vote that they have masses of parties all now able to get on the gravy train and the governments end up endless coalitions that never seem to change and have policies that are completely watered down.

FPTP is not ideal but PR brings a whole other set of problems.

Adrian W

8th July 2019 at 1:19 pm

For those concerned with the party list version of PR, there are other forms available. Such as Single Transferrable Voting, or even open lists where you vote for a choice of (say) five candidates from each party for (say) three seats.

Ian B

8th July 2019 at 9:36 am

I agree the House of Lords needs reform, but I wouldn’t want to see an elected upper chamber. That just leads to another layer of useless career politicians.

We need to think about some radical new model, perhaps something akin to jury service. People co-opted to serve for a couple of years on a rolling basis, their employers compensated by the state. Anyone who has previously been involved in politics excluded from serving.

Richard Lines

8th July 2019 at 1:21 pm

Every facet of the state has been corrupted, from charities to the arts. All these organisations have to be pruned of all state aid, either direct, or indirect aid. Simply voting for the Torys in the hope that they may get back to their old selves has proveen to be a waste of time.

Jonnie Henly

8th July 2019 at 4:06 pm

Corrupted by what?

Hana Jinks

8th July 2019 at 5:49 pm

By diversity-communism Jon.

Stephen J

8th July 2019 at 9:22 am

The reason that the recent referendum has caused so much problem for the elites, is that we (non-elites) have discovered that if a poll is taken on a one man one vote basis, we arrive at completely different and expected results.

In the end, representatives always represent their own interests, however much you pay them to act in yours.

I reckon that the Lords needs to be replaced by a system whereby a lobby group can be formed to campaign against or for a vote on a particular issue. The lobby group in a successful campaign will ultimately offer us a binary choice on a given issue in such a way that there is very little room for politicking by our representatives in the executive.

We have an example of this happening as we discuss. The Brexit Party has emerged with the express objective to keep the executive honest. It is organised in a totally different way to a traditional political party, and let’s face it, it doesn’t have a huge future once it has overseen a successful British exit.

So once it is past its “sell by”, it would disappear until another pressing issue emerges, at which point a new pressure group with a new set of advocates comes to the fore.

Way cheaper than the Lords and will never become the mouthpiece of a crooked executive, through patsy appointments of Lords (or whatever), since the lobby groups that I mention would need by definition to be privately initiated and funded, they are not part of the establishment.

Jerry Owen

8th July 2019 at 9:18 am

Agree with all of those. I would also like to see the Royal Family abolished as it is now becoming political with the incoherent rantings of Charles and the woke politics of Markle and increasingly her lapdog hubby Harry. Why should we the public pay over 2 million pounds for lovely home for a pair of political activists ?
I do feel that we empowered ( not me personally ) the Westminster elites by continuing to vote for them after the expenses scandal broke all those years ago, many of us thought this was the beginning of the end for them, but they still claim dodgy expenses now and so many of the public still vote for them.
Is it any wonder they treat us with contempt ?
Things are changing in terms of peoples political nous which is great, but so much more is changing for the worse such as the chap losing his job at Asda .. their are profound implications there that people really should be more concerned about.
TR ( who I have little time for ) being imprisoned for the same thing pretty much as the BBC did .. filming him going into court and publishing it.
We have so many battles on so many fronts, most we are losing, even Brexit we are losing as each day goes by.
As has been stated so many times before here there is a real disconnect between the political and media class and the public. It will get a lot worse unless there is real mass mobilization on the streets. This is where we need to be now also.

Rocky Pelugro

8th July 2019 at 9:09 am

4. Is the only one which I have doubts about. In the EU system, (de hondt?), you vote for the party and that means that the MP is chosen by the Party and remains anonymous. This needs a lot of discussion.
1., 2.,3. and 5. I should ahve said were urgent.
Another small thing is the traditions and crumbling edifice of the monarchy. As a keen royalist, I want to see it look modern. All the Faery Coach stuff and the Opening of Parliament etc ought to be modernised and I am very pleased to see that the wise old Queen (God Bless her) is doing just that.

Helgard Muller

8th July 2019 at 8:54 am

In South Africa we are having a debate about abolishing PR for greater accountability. We have seen MPs beholden to party whips and party structures – not party members or supporters. This applies to both the ruling ANC and the opposition. The dominant faction in the party can often threaten the position of minority factions and or individuals that are held hostage to the party list / leadership and not some constituency that voted for the MP. Being proposed is a mixed PR/constituency system…I guess the bottom line is that institutional arrangements matter but so does institutional culture and across the world it seems democratic accountability is in short supply. (We have the same problem by the way with most political disputes going to courts / judges and is a main tactic of the opposition that would argue it has no chance politically to oppose some policies of the majority ANC).

Keith Young

8th July 2019 at 8:23 am

Agree with all of these.
For voting reform, we need to look at MMP as used in New Zealand, Germany and in some elections in the UK. If well-designed, this can bring the benefits of a strong relationship of elector and representative with the need to for proportional representation.
For the second chamber, we need to replace the elected/appointed/hereditary systems with Sortition as a mechanism through Advocated Citizens Assemblies. Ordinary citizens form committees with advocates to scrutinise, deliberate and revise legislation (removing the power to initiate). We need to extend the role of the second chamber to place oversight at the centre of its activites, especially with public organisations such as EC, CC, BBC and NGOs, which would also take over powers of patronage from the Executive. We need to widen “civil society” to ordinary people.
We need to look at technological solutions used in business such as virtual assemblies and instant meetings so that we can place the citizen body at the centre of the political process and this requires investment in technological infrastructure. We are late, but we need to make the UK ready for the 21st century.
Interesting that many in The Brexit Party are arguing many of the same or similar points.

Jane 70

8th July 2019 at 5:33 am

Splendid call to arms.
Another matter which should be brought out in the open for public scrutiny, no matter how contentious, is the UK’s immigration policy, or lack of.
For far too long, growing public concern has been dismissed and suppressed.

And let’s develop a legitimate challenge to the austerity measures which have dominated economic policies for so long.

The Sovereign Grant should also be reviewed ,together with the taxation rules which apply to the royals.

And the television licence should be abolished.

let’s review the Sovereign Grant: who qualifies, what for and how much

Charles Stuart

8th July 2019 at 2:36 am

PR is a really terrible and stupid idea, because it is in effect totally anti-democratic.
The issue is that PR is made for voting and not for representing people. Guess what voting occurs once evry 5 years, but MPs represent people all the time.
IN a PR system you don’t have constituencies, so there is no local connection to your MP. MPs no longer represent anyone except for those who voted for them. That means that it will be very difficult to petition the government through a politician to get any redress of problems you might face. It also means that politicians wil become even more of a closed in caste who don’t give a toss about the people at all, only for the narrow sectional interest they ”represent.”
But it is in the aftermath of elections where we will see the most undemocratic result. If there are 20 parties vying for office, all with different platforms, it is clear that any government that results may not be able to implement the policy that voters wanted. Politicians will of course happily compromise so as to get themselves office. We saw this when the Lib Dems were forced to drop their committment on university fees.

Eric Praline

8th July 2019 at 9:11 am

It’s swings and roundabouts. Do the problems with PR outweigh the problems of FTPT under which millions of people vote for UKIP and Greens and end up with nothing?

There are many forms of PR, some of which I think retain a link to constituents which I agree is important.

Brandy Cluster

8th July 2019 at 1:06 am

Brendan; thoughtful and intelligent as ever.

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