Old Swan

It has really upset me that I have been unable to attend the meeting at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate today.

Having fallen ill and thrown myself upon the tender mercies of the NHS, I am currently unable to drive any distance and have had to withdraw from something that I have looked forward to participating in for so long.

The discussions that take place today have the potential to form the foundation of a new settlement for democracy and representative government.  Like the Chartists, it may be today’s specific demands for reform are not realised by this group.  But they may instead become a catalyst for people who follow to secure those reforms later for the benefit of the people of this county.

As in the time of the Chartists this action has become necessary because of the nature of politics.  We have a political class that is unresponsive to the wishes of the people it is supposed to serve.  What passed for democracy has been further eroded by the outsourcing of control to an unelected, unaccountable and alien bureaucracy, whose mandarins are allowed to suckle at the teat of the taxpayer – claiming expenses for items they have not even purchased, and affording themselves the perk of not having to pay tax on their earnings.  Power is sought for its own sake.

As they enjoy the trappings of power, the politicians defer to the ‘guidance’ of faceless civil servants who take their lead from the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats overseas.  What results are spectacles such as that where the Prime Minister rejects the clamour of people to be allowed to decide how this country is governed, citing his personal belief that it is not in our interest.  Democracy denied.  A yawning chasm of a deficit.

It must end.  The dictatorship must be dismantled.  The people must be the constituency that determines how monies collected by the state are used.  The inverted master – servant relationship must be corrected.

Sentiments such as these will certainly treated with contempt by the establishment.  There is every likelihood that they will be considered threatening and hostile and therefore necessitate action by the state.  But that is only because democracy is the antidote to their grip on power.  Our interests are not the same as their interests, so we need to be as determined and ruthless as them in seeking to put our interests first.

The meeting at the Old Swan Hotel is but a small step on a long journey that has to be taken.  The thirty or so people who are currently engaged in the sharing and challenging of ideas are just the first of those who are prepared to stand up and be counted.  There is no doubt that as more eyes are opened more people will make a stand.  The sooner the better.

15 Responses to “Old Swan”

  1. 1 David Jones 14/07/2012 at 1:32 pm

    Don’t worry AM you are already part of it. It is clear that RN values your input. Just get well and there will be much to do in the future.

  2. 2 rightoverleft 14/07/2012 at 1:56 pm

    Get well soon AM.

    How do we find out the result of this meeting ?

  3. 3 John Coles 14/07/2012 at 1:57 pm

    Get completely fit soon, AM. I always appreciate your writing and this latest view on our “democracy” is spot on.

  4. 4 permanentexpat 14/07/2012 at 2:05 pm

    Sorry you’re not well…get better soon! Don’t worry too much about missing the meeting; you are already one of those standing up, Keep going. We are in the rirest of straits & good men & true are thin on the ground.

  5. 5 permanentexpat 14/07/2012 at 2:07 pm


  6. 6 Oldrightie (@OldRightie) 14/07/2012 at 2:48 pm

    Sorry about your health issues, AM. Not been “needled” with radium, I hope! get well soon.

  7. 7 Brian H 14/07/2012 at 4:26 pm

    What? You want to deny him the grossly undervalued stimulative and curative powers of the Hormesis Effect? (Stimulation and activation of immune functions by optimal doses of radiation.)

  8. 8 WitteringsfromWitney 14/07/2012 at 7:15 pm

    sorry to hear you are unwell AM and can but wish you a speedy recovery. Your absence was a disappointment to me personally as I had been looking forward to meeting you.

    In answer to ‘rightoverleft’ – Richard North will be providing a resumé, if not tonight (Saturday) then tomorrow morning.

  9. 9 bil 14/07/2012 at 8:38 pm

    Hi AM,

    Really did miss the opportunity to meet you. I have taken copious notes. Will writenthem up and get them to you somehow.

    Get well soon.



  10. 10 Autonomous Mind 14/07/2012 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks all for your good wishes and comments. Looklng forward to hearing about the meeting and the next stage in the development of the campaign.

  11. 11 Edward. 14/07/2012 at 11:59 pm

    Shame you couldn’t make it AM, your contribution would have been thoughtful and of value but notwithstanding your unfortunate absence – there are some worthy people attending – and btw – get well soon.

  12. 12 james higham 15/07/2012 at 12:04 pm

    The discussions that take place today have the potential to form the foundation of a new settlement for democracy and representative government.

    Which is why, possibly, a more widely distributed representation of the voices on this matter might have been included. No matter – there’ll be other conversations, no doubt.

  13. 13 theboilledfrog 15/07/2012 at 3:45 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re not well, hope you recover soon. I was disappointed not to have the opportunity to meet, but there will be other times I’m sure.

  14. 14 Andy Baxter 16/07/2012 at 7:44 am

    there will be opportunities to come to contribute AM, you invariably do with the blog anyway and provide great insight into many issues. would have liked the opportunity to meet you as I did TBF and WfW. focus on convalescence and we all look forward to meeting you soon.

    best regards

  15. 15 George Tetley 18/07/2012 at 4:01 pm

    Off topic, but I think very news worthy, Al Jazeera is reporting that there are 500 Russian Chemical weapons specialists in Syria, apparently the Russians loaded them down with these weapons to combat Israel in times gone by, who is going to be the first politician to ask the Russians if this is true, and is this one of the reasons for Russia’s stance ( other than the billions in arms contracts )

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