A political philosophy

Referism is a political philosophy which states that, in the relationship between the British people and their governments, the people should be in control. The state is the servant not the master. Control is primarily achieved  by controlling the money governments have to spend, through the mechanism of an annual referendum to approve the State budget. Governments are thereby forced to refer to the people to obtain the funding they need, hence the term “referism”.

If you’ve not read about Referism on EU Referendum yet, I heartily recommend you find out more about it. It is a philosophy that would put democratic control back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.

13 Responses to “A political philosophy”


  1. 1 John E Payne 09/05/2011 at 10:34 pm

    This article begs the question. What is a Government?

    We elect each politician in the hope that they represent the view of their constituents. They make up the so-called Government of the day. However it is the political parties that control the politicians who are made to follow their party line, even if that goes against promises made to their constituents.

    If the political parties control their politicians then it is the unelected party elites controlling Government. If this is not true then why do party whips make their MP’s vote along party lines rather than with their conscience?

    Until we solve this problem and remove whips from the Commons and Lords we do not have a freely elected and democratic Government.

  2. 2 permanentexpat 09/05/2011 at 10:43 pm

    The Whip is an anachronism…it must go.
    An MP should represent his constituents, NOT his Party

  3. 3 Brian H 10/05/2011 at 1:32 am

    Chances of getting a Government to enact such changes: Bupkis.

  4. 4 Martin Brumby 10/05/2011 at 6:41 am

    Brian H

    The chance of those turkeys voting for Xmas seems very low.

    Sooner or later the people of this Country will realise that the only way to get rid of them is to bring in the men with hatchets.

    The only snag is that the record of revolutions and uprisings isn’t great. Mostly they usher in a bunch that might be a bit more competent but who are more venal and vicious than the ones they replace.

  5. 5 Peter Risdon 10/05/2011 at 8:37 am

    I’m coming round to thinking that the Chartists and the Levellers were both right (though they had different reasons for wanting this) in advocating annual Parliaments. And the Levellers went further and said no lawyers should be allowed to practise while MPs, and that no MPs should be able to stand for re-election – people could stand more than once but not for successive Parliaments.

    Although both had very different concerns, the need to prevent a professional political class from emerging remains constant.

    The other, fun, thing about this is that it’s hard for the left to object to proposals that originated in these radical movements.

  6. 6 The Gray Monk 11/05/2011 at 12:48 pm

    You may be very sure the Whitehall Sir Humphreys and the Westminster Turkeys will be very determined to block any such attempt at democracy!

  7. 7 jameshigham 11/05/2011 at 5:23 pm

    The PTB have always gone to the people for money, often by force but they just haven’t gone for permission.

  8. 8 Span Ows 11/05/2011 at 7:08 pm

    Yes indeed. He has a top-up post today too. Well worth a read. Referism…like it…as it should be.

  9. 9 Span Ows 11/05/2011 at 7:10 pm

    John E Payne is correct but a parliament of 600 “independents”, although probably the best for local representation, would get NOTHING done at a national level. In fact they would probably get nothing doe for their constituents either because there would never, EVER, be consensus.

  10. 10 John E Payne 11/05/2011 at 9:15 pm

    Span Ows, Many thanks for your agreement with my views. The present party whip system means many elected MP’s can never make their own free view count. Labour in power make their own politically whipped legislation. So the Conservative gain power and whip their MP’s to change to an oposite point of view. The Public suffers. As an example we can see this happening now with the NHS. Is it not better to get cross party consensus before legislation is produced. That is real democracy.

  11. 11 Span Ows 12/05/2011 at 11:19 am

    Is it not better to get cross party consensus before legislation is produced

    Yes, always.

  12. 12 Rut.N.Branch 12/05/2011 at 12:54 pm

    With regard to Referism, I really like the concept and feel it is long overdue but I do not like the word at all. It is not clear enough in meaning or direct enough in purpose. It is not uncompromising. Rather than weakly ‘referring’ to the people I would prefer a word which states that the people must judge. And why not let it have an Old English ring to it, for goodness sake?

    If we look up the modern word ‘deem’ we find it comes from Old English ‘deman’ which has the meanings “to judge,” “to pronounce judgment.” So let us keep the beginning of the word: ‘dem’. This has absolutely nothing to do with the word ‘democratic,’ although some people might find it hard not to make a connection. Now we need to express ‘everybody’ too, because we all must be involved in the judgement. We can simply take ‘all’ or even just ‘al’ as a prefix. The proposal is therefore to use the word ‘aldem.’

    The chancellor proposes a budget. It is debated in parliament. The Lords may or may not debate it simultaneously. There may or may not be divisions. But before the budget is put into practice there must be an aldem. If the aldem returns a ‘No’ the budget will have to be altered.

    Anyone who adheres to this philosophy, ‘aldemism,’ might well be called an ‘aldemist,’ which rolls off the tongue rather decisively, but I am not qualified to state whether etymologists would be entirely happy.

  13. 13 Autonomous Mind 12/05/2011 at 11:58 pm

    Is it not better to get cross party consensus before legislation is produced

    Exactly the kind of behaviour that has seen to it the British public has been denied a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and on EU membership. Consensus is not a good thing by default. It is as if some folk here still do not realise the interests of the political class differ greatly from the interests of ordinary people. Only when a cross party consensus matches the wishes of the people can it be worthy.


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