How Cameron confirmed our democratic deficit

Those readers who have also been following Dr Richard North’s developing theme of Referism over at EU Referendum may remember his original post on the subject early in May.

In his piece, Richard made reference to a piece by David Cameron in the Barclay Brother Beano in April 2010 titled ‘My credo for my Country‘. Cameron’s piece is insightful as he underlines in his own words the fact that this country suffers a democratic deficit. Cameron actually validates the need for people to take back power from the insular, self regarding and self serving political elite. Consider these words from Cameron’s op-ed:

Thankfully, the gods were smiling on me that night in June 2001 and I was elected MP for Witney. Barely a week later, my party leader resigned and I found myself being canvassed by this paper on how to revive the fortunes of the Conservative Party following its second defeat at the hands of Tony Blair.

The party has to change its language, change its approach, start with a blank sheet of paper and try to work out why our base is not broader,” I told the reporter, with what was, looking back, alarming confidence for someone just starting out in Parliament. “We need a clear, positive, engaging agenda on public services.”

Did you notice what was missing? In describing what he felt the Conservative Party needed to do to revive its fortunes (i.e. win a General Election) nowhere did Cameron say anything about asking the people what they want.

This is not an example of representative democratic politics. Cameron knew then as he knows now that once safely in office there is no need to pretend to consult the people and seek to follow their wishes, hence his autocratic and arrogant pronouncements on issues such as the EU. As Prime Minister he presides over a Cabinet Government (junior to our EU government) that can basically do what it likes (within EU law and bureaucratic control) domestically until the next election. There is no need to refer to the electorate. That is why Referism matters.

Cameron went on to add:

Believe me, I’ve had some run-ins, but I never wanted to annoy party stalwarts or pick unnecessary fights. I just knew that unless we got in touch with the modern world, we would not get the chance to bring our beliefs and values to bear on the challenges of the hour.

Therein lies the problem. It’s all about internal party spats, control and personal agendas. In a referist system there would be no need to talk of getting ‘in touch with the modern world’ because politicians would have to listen actively and continuously to the wishes of the people before embarking on activities that require the spending of our tax pounds.

The political class would know our views, our concerns and our priorities and it would have to react to them and present plans to address them. Cameron rounded off his pre-election pitch thus:

So, I have the team, I have the ideas, I have the values and I have the energy to show you, to show Britain that a better future for our country is not only possible but is just weeks away.

Sadly what he did not and still does not have is a pair of ears, or a desire to listen to our wishes and take heed of them. Power must be wrested away from the political class and they returned to their proper role – that of servants, not supposed masters.  Until we have the power and politicians are required to refer to us to seek our approval for their legislative and governance agenda this country will not be democratic.

13 Responses to “How Cameron confirmed our democratic deficit”


  1. 1 jameshigham 02/06/2011 at 6:07 am

    We have to start over with a blank piece of paper. Socialist rhetoric. Danger signals right from the start.

  2. 2 right_writes 02/06/2011 at 7:14 am

    I am in full support of Richard’s initiative AM, but I do see a massive problem…

    In the only place(s) in the world where “referism” has some legs, i.e. Some US states and Switzerland, the voters have got guns!

  3. 3 tux1952 02/06/2011 at 7:38 am

    “…In the only place(s) in the world where “referism” has some legs, i.e. Some US states and Switzerland, the voters have got guns!”

    Excellent…I have my WD40 at the ready!!

  4. 4 Grumpy Old Man 02/06/2011 at 8:06 am

    “Ask not what your country does for you, but ask what your Country wants you to do.” I cannot see the current crop of unintelligent, pusillanimous control freaks masquading as our political elite even contemplating to dare to follow such an approach to governance.

  5. 5 cosmic 02/06/2011 at 12:37 pm

    “So, I have the team, I have the ideas, I have the values and I have the energy to show you, to show Britain that a better future for our country is not only possible but is just weeks away.”

    This sounds like the sort of thing you expect from someone selling soap powder or double glazing.

    What exactly are Cameron’s beliefs and values?

  6. 6 right_writes 02/06/2011 at 1:02 pm

    “…Excellent…I have my WD40 at the ready!!”

    Actually tux1952, WD40 is made of fish oil, and the way things are going here…

    You won’t even have that soon!

  7. 7 PanP 02/06/2011 at 1:06 pm

    @cosmic: What exactly are Cameron’s beliefs and values?

    Beliefs: That he is the best person to run this country on behalf of the EU.

    Values: Anything that will make it more likely that he will run this country on behalf of the EU.

    Next!

  8. 8 Brian H 02/06/2011 at 6:05 pm

    right_writes 02/06/2011 at 1:02 pm

    “…Excellent…I have my WD40 at the ready!!”

    Actually tux1952, WD40 is made of fish oil, and the way things are going here…

    You won’t even have that soon!

    Urban/web legend.

    But Cameron’s grease is definitely snake oil.

  9. 9 cosmic 02/06/2011 at 7:20 pm

    @PanP

    Your analysis of Cameron is succint yet completely exhaustive.

  10. 10 Lynne 03/06/2011 at 9:09 am

    I’m all for referism. The Richard North kind (which I’ve been following with interest) and the kind that sees expenses fiddling politicians have their cases sent to the DPP. In my mind there should be a lot more of both.

  11. 11 John E Payne 03/06/2011 at 10:02 am

    This article does get closer to my views on how political parties take over an individuals’ view. Therefore I make not apology for repeating my previous comments to ‘The Peoples Pledge’

    Whilst I agree in general with this article, it does put more emphasis on an individual than commitments of the Conservative party. We seem to forget that all politicians are made to fall in line with their party policy, even if they, as individuals have an opposite point of view, even if it is the current Prime Minister.

    The Peoples Pledge team have very honourable intentions by trying to capture individual MP’s commitment to a referendum on Europe. However we know when it comes to a vote in Parliament these individuals will be ordered to vote along party lines, which could be: Not to have a referendum. In these circumstances many MP’s will not vote as they pledged, and therefore not telling the truth.

    Too often the press and media attack or praise individual MP’s for their comments and commitments, when they should be attacking their party machine.

    I make a suggestion to the Peoples Pledge team to include in their project the official view of each party and their future manifesto’s. Only those parties committing to a referendum in their next manifesto should receive the public’s vote.

  12. 12 Sile Mairin 04/06/2011 at 4:09 pm

    Question is do you know this is being done in your name ? So much for fighting wars in the name of Democracy.
    my link http://www.lawfulrebellion.org.uk/node/12
    I tried to access the item below from the Lawful Rebellion site and:-

    Full Video Hats Off Productions – Rebellion of the people

    On 24/05/2011 You tube displayed this message:-

    This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.
    Sorry about that.

    You Tube info
    Government removal requests
    YouTube occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from our site, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.

    That is just cod’s wallop, they don’t want to be challenged!

    So nice to see that our Big Brother police state is alive and well.

    However on a search engine other than google at:
    http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/English-freeman-Lawful-Rebellion—Roger-Hayes-challenges-Liverpool-City-Council-Birkenhead-7th-March-2011.shtml


  1. 1 How Cameron confirmed our democratic deficit (via Autonomous Mind) « English Warrior Trackback on 02/06/2011 at 8:07 am
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