They have lost their fear, so we must lose ours

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dr Richard North of EU Referendum examines why the people who serve us just don’t give a damn. The central thrust is that our public servants have lost their fear of us and now feel they are our masters. As North explains:

It is my belief that the rot starts at the top. But for answers, you need to go back to the great Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

He saw how the people and their governments should relate, declaring: ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.’

There lies my conclusion, gained from a lifetime of experience at all levels of -government. Our ‘rulers’ have lost their fear.

You have only to go down to the Houses of Parliament or Downing Street to see this. Our masters have retreated behind concrete barricades, blastproof windows, policemen with machine guns, armoured limousines and riot police.

The political classes are now a gated community. They feel safe. They are not afraid of us.

Have you noticed in recent years how public service doors are increasingly closed to us? How previously open avenues to simple solutions to problems have been put off limits and we are forced to accept complicated and bureaucratic rules that serve every interest but ours? How the distance between us and those previously accessible people responsible for those who deliver our services has widened to the extent they are now completely out of reach?

The services we pay a huge sum of money to have delivered are performed by people who want the money that comes with the job without the need to do the job. It is blatant contempt. Only a trivial anecdote maybe, but my request to speak with the headmistress at Mind Jr’s school was rejected out of hand. I was told she did not meet with parents, that is the job of the head of year and the deputy head.

Another many readers will be familiar with concerns our binmen.  Previously these rugged men would march up your garden path, grab a heavy metal bin and swing it over their shoulder, march it to the rubbish vehicle and empty it, before bringing the bin back and picking up anything that may have been dropped. Now? You must put your bin out on the pavement so pedestrians cannot pass. If the lid is partially open it gets left. If the bin is not fully on the path it is left. If the bin is not brought in that same day you risk being fined. Some authorities task binmen with rummaging through the bins to see what is being thrown away and if there is anything in the bin they say should not be there, a red sticker is affixed and the bin is again left.

Letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives are sneered at and ignored. Government creates teams to ‘nudge’ us into doing what government wants us to do, rather than what we want to do. The democratic process changes nothing because the alternative political parties capable of winning an election comprise a cosy consensus so the only thing that changes are the faces.

They know it. We know it. But the charade continues as too many of us foolishly play the game by their rules and believe they can bring about change by doing so.

The only thing that has changed, as North says, is that they have lost their fear – while too many of us are too scared to act. They will not give anything to us while we do what they want us too. The time has come to turn the tables and assert our power. If we want our country back we need to lose our fear. They will not give us anything. We must take it.

The people of America did not cast off the British yoke by playing by London’s rules. They declared their independence and literally fought for their freedom. History is littered with examples of people rebelling and removing rulers who ignored the wishes of the people.

Due to their arrogance, the political class in this country think it could not happen here. They believe they are immune. This is Britain, after all. If their abuse of the law and corruption of democracy continues from behind their barricaded positions then must lose our fear and prove them stunningly wrong.

35 Responses to “They have lost their fear, so we must lose ours”


  1. 1 MrT 09/01/2011 at 1:08 am

    As Dr North has mentioned earlier…there is a Census coming up…

  2. 2 right_writes 09/01/2011 at 8:13 am

    Unlike Dr. North, I am confident that the primary EUsceptic party, the burgeoning UKIP is gaining traction in the UK.

    They have two gems in their stated policy:

    1: The UK will leave the EU.

    2: The newly empowered Westminster government (and local government) will be compelled to implement “Swiss style” direct democracy, designed to hold these types to account, at any time, as opposed to superficially at government designated elections.

    I am hoping that some high profile old school party hacks (MP’s) will defect to UKIP, which will start the ball rolling at Westminster. Once they have a few MP’s (however they are acquired) it will be easier to get more, through elections.

    As a UKIP activist, the one thing that I have heard over and over again, is that people are frightened of voting UKIP, even though they agree with them, for fear of letting Labour/Tory back in.

  3. 3 Techno 09/01/2011 at 8:52 am

    North has become one of my favourite writers recently. Unfortunately, he restricts access to his forum so I can’t tell him directly.

    But in any case I agree with the both of you.

  4. 4 Dave H 09/01/2011 at 9:27 am

    I was inside Parliament on the fees protest day. Getting in was interesting, but otherwise the only reminder of what was going on outside was the fact that the helicopter could be heard, even in the Lords chamber. For the most part, everything seemed to be carrying on as normal. Even in the open air walking to/from Portcullis House the demonstration was a long way off, although I happened to be in that region when the division bell rang for the fees vote (lots of MPs rushing over from Portcullis House to vote) and there was an audible roar from the crowd outside.

    Yes they are out of touch. Express an opinion to a government MP that doesn’t meet the official line and you’ll get a sympathetic response that basically tells you that they’re going to carry on regardless. Express it to an opposition MP and you’ll get a sympathetic response explaining that while they’re fighting the government, there’s not much they can do because the government will carry on regardless.

  5. 5 orkneylad 09/01/2011 at 10:25 am

    We need a new Politics, but I fear it is already too late.

    “In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again. ”
    Edward Gibbon

  6. 6 Richard111 09/01/2011 at 11:47 am

    I agree something needs to be done but I feel voting for UKIP or BNP or whatever won’t change the faces. Too many people on the gravy train will vote for more of the same and the faces know it.

  7. 7 Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs 09/01/2011 at 12:00 pm

    It’s the same false hope that people have when they wish the government would disband the BBC Licence Fee for instance. No government would, it would be political suicide.

    The answer lies with us: if we want to see the end of the licence fee then we ourselves must act by reading up how others have done it and cancelling the direct debit now.

    It is fear of being prosecuted that people don’t do this, but a few minutes on the internet shows you how you can protect both you and your family quite easily.

  8. 8 GP 09/01/2011 at 12:10 pm

    Techno,

    With regard to being able to comment at any blog or forum – it is indeed a shame that spammers always seem find ways to cause much work for no benefit. Very mindless. One might almost wonder if they were government sponsored on some sort of work experience scheme. There are rumours that some organisations prime ‘activists’ with information and pro-forma posts and then pay them to operate on some of the newspaper comments sections. I have no idea how true that might be.

    I have a sort of honorary moderator status on a couple of software product dedicated forums and every now and again they are hit my people spamming – some for no obvious benefits to the spammer. It takes up time to get rid of the stuff and the people. No problem if you are a Monbiot divorced from the task of the minions provided to act as gatekeepers for you. More problematic for the loan blogger.

    There are other ways to communicate with most sites including email contact (for example) and through third party sites as you have done here. I have posted comments before at Dr. North’s site as a guest. It may be time to register for the future at some point when the window is opened, though I fear any contribution I might make would be poor compared to the usual standards.

    Meanwhile I am very much enjoying AM posts, though perhaps not so much the implications of the content to our futures.

    It is interesting that across all types of ‘business’ the rush to become ‘efficient and effective’ by using call centres – internal or outsourced – seems to have simply led to making communication more difficult, resolution more challenging and accountability more remote.

    There is a well worn management philosophy that says “What gets measured gets done”. It has worried me since the day I first came across it. Because what it really means is “We do what is measured.” This will mean that the first things that get done are always the things that are, especaally in the computer age, the easiest things to measure. Often systems will not go much beyond that – implementations get stuck as soon as they get to the difficult bits and the software is not capable anyway. But consensus will have people believe that an ineffective system, presented as ‘successful’ in terms of sales, MUST be the one to adopt.

    Failure to function usefully therefore becomes endemic. Those accountable will, by this time, already have retreated behind the lines to a point of safety and comfort from where they can ignore the crowds and point to the evidence that all their peers are in exactly the same situation (as per the Key Performance Indicators expensively generated by ‘independent’ industry monitors for the main players) so this must be normal. In the worst case they are no worse than their ‘competition’. All is well with the world.

    This is not a new phenomenon. The signs were there a couple of decades ago, perhaps longer. In fact right from the start of the drive to ‘improve’ customer service and make it the primary business ‘differentiator’ at the level of the masses. It may take something radical to happen before we see a change of direction.

  9. 9 DP111 09/01/2011 at 4:44 pm

    I believe that Dr North also wrote that when he was young, he was shocked at the brutal manner French revolutionaries dispatched their masters. No longer.

    On the issue of council flunkeys- I remember an episode in the Good Life where Margo Leadbetter takes on one these. She simply refuses to hand the cheque for Council rates until she is given a firm undertaking that the Council will do what she asked them to. No work no cheque. Delightful.

  10. 10 David 09/01/2011 at 5:41 pm

    Join the Lawful Rebellion:

    http://www.lawfulrebellion.org

    http://www.tpuc.org

    “You may not see anything on the surface but underground it’s already on fire.

    Y.B. Mangunwijaya

  11. 11 TinyCO2 09/01/2011 at 6:04 pm

    OK, Richard North was spot on about everything. Now what are we going to do about it?

    It has to start with government, we need a good one, only I’m just not sure how to go about it. The whole electoral system is geared towards getting exactly the same sort of idiots, no matter who or what you vote for.

    I largely blame the media who savage anything that resembles original thought. Any initiative that hasn’t already failed is routinely ripped to pieces. No matter how sensible, the press manages to find someone who will speak out against it. So year after year we get wishy-washy policies that never get the job done.

    What reasonable person would go into politics knowing that their families and friends would be subjected to painful scrutiny? I’m not even sure what sexual history you have to have had, in order to avoid scandal. Not enough, too much, wrong choice of partner, wrong type of flying helmet and egg whisk (Allo, Allo joke). What sort of a career could you have to avoid someone telling tales about you, your work, your unguarded opinions or even the way you park your car?

    Since none of the existing parties satisfy the public (who are either far more right wing or far more left than the existing lot dare) there needs to be new parties but they’re nearly impossible to elevate from obscurity. And what policies would you go for? Even amongst like minded friends you’ll totally disagree on at least one serious issue. In addition, no matter what your high minded intentions, there will be at least one area where you routinely break the law or do something your really shouldn’t. To make a good society, everyone would get a bit of aggro.

    So do we need to take up arms in defence of our liberties? I suggest we use the most effective freedom weapon presented to us, ever. The internet.

    The ultimate solution would be to do away with parliament as it stands and replace it with single issue voting via the net. It would have its problems but at least you could say that the majority of the public had a voice. I’d propose that in order to vote, you’d have to absorb backup literature/vids from the pro and anti sides and answer questions on the issues. Fail the questions and you can’t vote till you get them right. Sadly, this isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    Perhaps the answer is to create a new pair of parties by brainstorming and then voting for policies over the net. Choosing the favourites and then trying to float them as a unified party manifesto into the real world. The parties would have to be loosely designated left and right or you’d get one set of policies that satisfied neither group. Since policies would no longer be the domain of the cabinet, each member is no longer allowed to vote with their conscience, they have to vote as the internet voters dictate.

    Worth a thought?

  12. 12 Derek Buxton 09/01/2011 at 6:46 pm

    GP,
    An interesting comment, I am sorry you cannot get on to EU Referendum, keep an eye on the site, registration windows do occur.
    As to your mention of the “measurement of things” driving policy, this stems I think from the British Standard 9150 or similar number which later became ISO10000. It made a lot of money for the companies who saw it as a blank cheque to extract the maximum amount of money from Companies for nothing. When we looked at it, it was obvious that, far from doing anything about production standards, all it did was proclaim that if the paperwork said you were going to produce junk, you could do so with a clear mind. The paperwork was all.

  13. 13 Jonathan Stuart-Brown 09/01/2011 at 7:00 pm

    Dr Richard A E North (to avoid confusion with other Richard North journalists, authors and defence analysts) is “The Godfather of Britain’s fifth estate” ie internet journalism and campaigning

    http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2010/09/the-godfather-of-britains-fifth-estate-dr-richard-a-e-north-of-defence-of-the-realm-has-epic-victory-in-getting-snatch-landrovers-outlawed-so-there-is-hope-for-getting-sound-stages-and-250-000-jobs/

    http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2010/12/why-dr-richard-a-e-north-is-sadly-right-about-the-telegraph-who-just-do-not-know-who-or-what-007-james-bond-is-nor-what-pinewood-shepperton-plc-actually-is-and-why-it-matters-to-the-uk/

    The Mail On Sunday have done well to give him a page and it should become a regular column.

    It is a huge shame that he has no interest in popular culture and no time to study the subject of The UK film industry and its potential to affect the battle place for ideas, but he really does not have a spare minute. He would of course do the subject better than the rest of us campaigning to get 250 000 jobs and £25 billion a year inward investment by diverting Lottery Monies wasted on London quangos to building physical sound stages in the regions.

    A film or TV documentary should be made about Dr Richard North’s starting the lonely but noble campaign against deploying Snatch Landrovers in Iraq (at huge cost to British lives, limbs and family life) against literally billions being spent in bogus PR by The MoD with a hopeless BBC just printing the bogus PR for years…and having the courage, tenacity, stamina, persistence to win and be proved right. The unpardonable sin. They hate him as a result.

    A TV documentary series should be made on his book “The Great Deception” which is the only detailed analysis of all EU treaties.

    Moreover a documentary series should be made about his book called “Scared To Death” about the scares which have led Governments and moreover pan-Government bodies move against personal political freedoms won over centuries and move to Global Governance (which by definition has to be permanent and unelected).

    His magnificent blogging on exposing the lie of global warming, the bogus science, the corruption behind it, deserves a documentary and an Oscar. Maybe they could strip Al Gore of his Oscar and give it to Dr Richard A E North.

    It is absolutely true that Government Departments, quangos and Council Leaders now routinely ignore letters from MPs and even the media.

    Ironically they only fear the mob and these are now only galvanised by mob leaders or celebs…which is why they really matter.

    If Simon Cowell, Susan Boyle, Cheryl Cole, Wayne Rooney, Alesha Dixon, Jordon, Robbie Williams, Take That, Lady GaGa, Jonathan Ross, Catherine Zeta Jones, Lily Allen, Liz Hurley,Peaches Geldof, Mylene Klass, soap stars and celebrity chefs, sport stars, spoke out against the global warming myth, the 1.3 million windmills the Government want to build, the threat to our electricty energy supply in an age utterly dependent on computers or Snatch Landrover type campaigns then David Cameron would jump to change policy.

    They do fear celebs. Council officials and bureaucrats fear celebs who can mobilise the mob. This is also why quangos and charities and council departments spend hundreds of millions each year in paying them to hand out prizes or attend events.

    Dr Richard A E North needs just one celeb to read his stuff to become a real force in the nation. He is already but his campaigns and forensic analysis get diluted by others including the Westminster bubble.

    http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2011/01/liverpool-fc-chairman-has-sacked-roy-hodgson-and-now-david-cameron-must-sack-his-failures-in-cabinet-and-promote-peter-bone-david-davis-john-redwood-charlie-elphicke-john-hemming-and-david-laws-i/

  14. 14 Katt 09/01/2011 at 7:43 pm

    Just a thought on your little anecdote. I have a child at a private school and one at a state school.

    I couldn’t quite put my finger on the difference until recently (apart from the obvious – smaller classes etc).

    It’s power.

    In the state school you have NO power. You can’t complain you can’t take your child out (or if you do manage to do it they don’t care – ‘churning’ is it? They can ignore you, be rude to you, teach your children badly or not at all and there’s nothing, in the state school, that you can do.

    In the private school they are professional, polite, and approachable. There is a balance of power and it means we’re all working to the same end. To get the best out of the children.

  15. 15 Autonomous Mind 09/01/2011 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for your comment Katt. I think you have gone a long way to explaining the problem here.

    Public services are encouraged to refer to us as customers or stakeholders. In reality we are just a nuisance that distracts them from doing what they would prefer to be doing. The notion of service has become obsolete. The problem is we have no choice.

    But of course when you are a direct paying customer, such as when having a child in a private school, you do have a choice and can spend your money elsewhere. That is why I am in favour of vouchers that allow parents to buy education in the best schools possible. Such establishments go a lot further in ensuring the education children receive is the best out there, or else they lose the child and the money and fall by the wayside.

  16. 16 Katt 09/01/2011 at 7:59 pm

    I thought about that too – you’d need to be able to physically expand schools and let others go bust. Almost like the real world.

    In primary schools the answer would have to be far-thinking, revolutionary and completely completely unheard of – two storey buildings.

  17. 17 London Calling 09/01/2011 at 8:23 pm

    Celebs like Annie Lennox you mean, now with gong, campaigner for Greenpeace (lies about Global Warming) , Amnesty International (riddled with a political agenda), Nelson Mandela (yawn), and the “Gaza War” – of course not against those firing missiles daily into Israel, or calling for the extermination of Israel, but the standard lefty-tripe backing Pallywood-Hamas.

    She is a great singer but just another tory-hating misinformed Scottish socialist. Why Cameron sucks up to her God knows. Perhaps he hasn’t a clue?

    Can’t think of any celeb I would trust to tell me the time of day. Vacuous fame-obsessed emotional cripples, they are not the way forward. Kerry Katona to lead the revolution? Please…

  18. 18 Dave Gill 09/01/2011 at 8:28 pm

    The only ‘change’ we need to restore democracy is the abolition of the Whip.
    All politicians should vote on their own merit and according to their conscience.
    This way the CONSTITUENTS would hold sway i.e the POPULACE. If the local party MP didn’t vote according to their constituents wishes s/he would be out at the next election.
    Quite an incentive.

  19. 19 Jonathan Stuart-Brown 09/01/2011 at 9:32 pm

    LondonCalling

    You make my point for me.
    Celebs are heeded -by political masters and bureaucrats – whether right or wrong. You list examples of wrong.
    Non-celebs are not heeded and have no power. MPs are only heeded in proportion to their personal celeb status.
    A celeb parent would have power at a state school.
    It is lamentable that the brilliantly researched Dr Richard A E North is not an ex-pop star (with a few hits of yesteryear), standup comedien, Strictly Come Dancing contestant, X Factor finalist, …. but let’s pray he gets more and more heeded anyay.

  20. 20 clothcap 09/01/2011 at 9:33 pm

    The government and the EC are prepared to fight to retain the privilege of raping the country. It is not just the 3 main parties that have sold out the UK. It goes higher. The original plan was for the UK to be the seat of the at first EU empire, later the world. The machinations are still happening, more and more EC offices in the UK. The UK peasantry are a mere minor source of funding.
    But the plans are going tits up with such as climategate, wikileaks, the euro heading for ground zero, the Ruskies not playing ball, Republican TEA party gaining control of the House and so on. The dollar is hastily being rescued, it was supposed to go the way of the It lira with first the euro then the bancor replacing it. The weather misbehaved too.
    These tosspots have killed millions, first with DDT lately with biofuels, they’ve totally screwed the trade system, they’ve totally screwed the democratic process and their attempts to bring down the capitalist system has brought the west to its knees. The crises have all been stage managed. All I can say is that the stable door is wide open and the last of the horses are galloping out.
    People are waking up? Excuse me while I roll on the floor. So they are waking up. What then? Some bitching and then carry on as usual getting paid a bit less each day for the same work while the cost of living rises. Till a foreigner replaces you or the business relocates to China.
    The US is prepared – http://www.prisonplanet.com/conspiracy-theory-with-jesse-ventura-fema-camps-police-state.html
    What is the mindset behind this kind of crap? – http://www.twawki.com/?p=10450
    http://unitypublishing.com/Government/Maurice%20Strong.htm
    http://soldierforliberty.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/maurice-strong-man-behind-agenda-21/

    It is probably too late already. Mind numbing docility has committed the grand children to be debt slaves. The debt, of course is an artefact that could be paid tomorrow with the same currency it was created with, printed pieces of paper of no value.
    Me? I’ll keep waving my arms – till they take me away.
    :-)

  21. 21 Barry 09/01/2011 at 10:39 pm

    AM,

    The State doesn’t view the public as stakeholders in anything. Otherwise we would be welcomed into their stakeholder conflabs that take place between Government and charities, business representatives, the Police, NHS and other public services and so on. The politicians are meant to be there on our behalf to represent and protect *our interest*.

    Instead what they appear to have become is a manager trying to get all the others round the table into agreement that they can take the credit for. So there is plenty of input into decision making from public services, business interests, charities, lobby groups or whatever relevant voices are required by the circumstances *except* that of the public.

  22. 22 Autonomous Mind 09/01/2011 at 10:42 pm

    You’re right Barry that the State doesn’t view the public as stakeholders, but it frequently says that we are in order to keep us passive and make us feel like we have some kind of control. It really is cynical.

  23. 23 GP 09/01/2011 at 11:04 pm

    Derek Buxton,

    Yes I’ll look out for the registration opportunity of course at EURef but I still fear that my contributions will be of low calibre compared to the others.

    The BSI and ISO standards for whatever, achievement of which was probably more a result of attempts at marketing differentiation than real long term improvements, became widely popular in the late 80s and early 90s at the same time that ‘business improvement’ ‘workshops’ also became hugely popular among ‘forward thinking’ companies. The small company I worked for at the time was completely owned by one such visionary who was totally committed to the ‘quality’ message. Well, more or less. He was not wrong to aim for that in the software market in which we operated but things got out of hand for a number of reasons and the business was lost.

    What he perhaps would not have foreseen at that point was that the whole world was adopting the ISO measure of ‘operational quality’ by paying the fee and doing the paperwork (usually in the week before an inspection) resulting in the playing field seemingly levelled (but with additional bureacracy) and a great shortage of assessors. The latter situation meant that assessments were never likely to be as stringent or as regular as one might expect in order to ensure theat the playing field was still in good condition. In effect the only things that were done were the things that were easy to measure and so perhaps not too important.

    Of course as soon as people realised that ‘good practice’ could mean as little as doing what you said you would do even if that was not especially good, and keeping a record of it the entire assessment system became very easy to deal with.

    The mistake in the early days, when there were a number of under employed BSI/ISO assessors to be kept busy, was to set out to prove to the BSI/ISO people that you ran a really smart company that did some very clever and complicated things that were good for your business. Basically an ego trip about which they cared not a jot in principle but if you wanted to make your own administrative red tape they were happy to charge the extra days for extended audits. It made it easier for them to find some negatives to report to keep you on your toes and paying re-inspection fees.

    It also meant that the business could hardly function once a few other cult ‘standards’ were introduced.

    The product we offered to clients was specifically for customer service management – dealing with establishing service contracts and managing the needs of the service business with field engineers (typically). Had the company survived in its original form it would no doubt have discovered that many existing and potential clients were in fact outsourcing their customer contact systems to make a buffer zone between client and management, er, sorry, so be able to provide a more effective level of service through local and global partnerships with ‘world class’ third parties. Subsequent to the business problems I left the company and watched this market evolution at close quarters with one of their clients over a 6 year period. 2 false starts internally so they signed up with ‘the big names in global outsourcing’ and shelled out a load of cash on a project that was an unmitigated disaster.

    The most senior managers, by this time, seemed very remote from the needs of the customers, the biggest of whom had worked out how to manipulate things for their own fiscal benefit without recognising the knock on effect that such a policy might have on their own clients in turn. Still, they must have been doing things right because they all had ISO accreditation and the expensively delivered ‘Industry Standards’ surveys always showed about the same level of relative performance.

    The general business principles most often espoused by the largest global consultancies, seem to have seeped into all walks of life and spread through the ‘civil’ service. A problem shared with one or more ‘partners’ is a problem that can be fobbed off easily since no one will need to admit responsibility. Or, as our politicians would put it, ‘We are just implementing EU policy previously agreed ….’

    Mabe we should just bypass the Parish Council at Westminster and find a way to deal directly with Brussels. Or perhaps head for Waterloo?

  24. 24 phill 10/01/2011 at 12:07 am

    yep sooner or later there heads are goner roll

  25. 25 Andy Baxter 10/01/2011 at 1:27 am

    In the immortal words of Paul Foot (dscd)

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few’

  26. 26 Riddi of England 10/01/2011 at 10:35 am

    What none of them will ignore is a “flash crew” visitation to their home addresses and local area offices of the relevant sitting MP.
    Preferably carrying gifts…
    a toy windmill ,

    a european arrest warrant

    a global warming piece of coal

    and whatever else may be apposite.

    This is in no way to suggest intimidation .

    It is to be the expression of democratic political localism in action as urged by our current regime.

    I expect this to become a national pastime quite shortly!

  27. 27 Rut.N.Branch 10/01/2011 at 12:47 pm

    AM, this is my first comment, but I’ve been a long time admirer of your well written, well argued pieces.

    Reply to Dave Gill at 09/01/2011 at 8:28 pm

    Getting rid of the whips would probably improve democracy, as you explain, but I believe there is an even simpler measure which could be implemented immediately and which should have a similar effect by increasing the power of backbenchers.

    I quote from a Wiki page:

    The demand for a secret ballot was one of the six points of Chartism. … Lord Macaulay, in his speech of 1842, while rejecting Chartism’s six points as a whole, admitted that the secret ballot was one of the two points he could support.

    The secret ballot was eventually introduced in the Ballot Act 1872 … and was first used on 15 August 1872

    Before the secret ballot was introduced, voter intimidation was commonplace.

    After recalling a bit of history here is my modest suggestion. There would be no need to abolish the whip. Its authority would be automatically and severely reduced by the simple expedient of requiring all divisions in the two houses of parliament to be conducted in total secrecy, thus bringing the transactions of government business into the civilised world.

  28. 28 Autonomous Mind 10/01/2011 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for your kind comment Rut.N.Branch. Welcome to the comments section. And what a fine debut with your suggestion!

    In respect of your modest suggestion, not a chance. It’s exhibits far too much common sense… :)

    Joking aside, there would still be a problem due to the candidate selection process of political parties, which is increasingly controlled by the central office structure. Think back to Cameron’s influence over candidate selection and the reduced role for constituencies in determining who represents them. The party system is rotten and is undermining democracy because of the inordinate amount of power wielded by the leaders. So that needs to change too.

  29. 29 seedfeeder 10/01/2011 at 3:46 pm

    The State is definitely switched off to the people. My son was driven into by someone who refused to give their insurance details. We went to the police station to complain and the officer at first said that my son was equally to blame, but when challenged accepted that the other person was breaking the law and took details. Needless to say we heard no more. I was pursued for years by HMRC for a fluctuating ‘debt’. Every time I asked for an explanation as to where I had under paid, I got a gobbledegook reply. Then, on three occasions they set their ‘distraint’ people on me (who have the power, without reference to a court to break in and seize property). Eventually they concluded I didn’t owe them anything. And my complaints at my treatment were ignored. It was quite frightening and we were powerless to stop these ignorant bureaucrats because of the power they have been given. Fear the people indeed!

  30. 30 concerned american 11/01/2011 at 5:17 pm

    Remember your Einstein:

    “Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created.”

    Terrific post; linked below (along with Richard’s piece) and added to the Western Rifle Shooters blogroll:

    http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2011/01/from-cousins-across-pond-they-have-lost.html

  31. 31 Mark Matis 11/01/2011 at 7:20 pm

    Ah, but y’all STILL want the US to get rid of it’s 2nd Amendment, eh? You DO realize, of course, that it exists to let one’s Betters know they need to worry…

  32. 32 J. Croft 11/01/2011 at 7:36 pm

    Your town hall wankers want you to dispose of your own trash? Fine-drop it off on their front doorstep. (All of you. At once-mass protest and you get the trash off the street. Don’t worry they’ll be pretty motivated to do their jobs…)

  33. 33 Dedicated_Dad 12/01/2011 at 4:39 am

    Oh, Once-great Britain, I weep for thee.

    What you’re suffering is the logical consequence of socialism.

    Once upon a time, people feared loss of job, status and income. They did a good job, and worked hard, because that was the path to advancement.

    Universal welfare has removed all fear of loss. Why should I bother working hard? First, the “public employee union” pretty much guarantees I can never lose my job, and no matter how horribly I bugger things, even if I get fired I can always have a council house and all my needs provided!

    Further, your Masters in government have no fear of you whatsoever. They told you to hand in your weapons and you did — so now that guns are outlawed, only the REAL outlaws (in and out of official uniform) have the guns. Brilliant, that!

    You’ve traded your Liberty for safety – and, as Franklin said, you deserve and HAVE neither.

    We in the (former) colonies aren’t far behind – but we’re not going to go quietly. Enough of us understand the little dot at the end of our Second Amendment (…shall not be infringed(PERIOD!)) that our would-be oppressors will have one hell of a fight on their hands if they push us too much more.

    You’re going to have to get together, rise up, and take back your country – by whatever means necessary.

    Collectivism is evil – and you’ve just begun to taste the horrors.

    God help us all – and God Save Our Republic!

  34. 34 Arctic Patriot 12/01/2011 at 9:18 am

    The last time a group of Brits reached a breaking point with their masters, we got America out of the deal.

    People the world over are tired of the ruling class. Freedom is awakening.

    Do it again, brothers. Cast of your chains, teach the tyrants a lesson. After all, it was Brits who did it here in America all those years ago. Do it again.

    Rise up for freedom.

    Resist.

    AP

  35. 35 n0njy 04/04/2013 at 2:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Reality Check and commented:
    Lose your fear!


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