It has become so common that people on the
taxpayer funded gravy train public payroll abuse the system to enrich themselves financially, the stories reaching mainstream media about the grubbing, self serving behaviour no longer shock, and rarely do they elicit sufficient public anger to generate a campaign designed to remove the said parasite from office.
It suggests people have conceded defeat and reluctantly suppress their disgust at the political class and the well-fed bureaucracy, then, believing that little can be done or that it will be too time consuming or focus the unwelcome attention of the state upon them, focus on other things – like that evening’s TV schedule.
Another example of this can be found in the Mail today where it is reported the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, nominated an ‘office’ location near his home as a detour destination from where he could claim mileage to the force’s Headquarters to which he would not be entitled if he simply drove there from home. The comments section contains the usual handwringing indignation and disgust, but nothing beyond that. Although one comment does stand out because its author gets what needs to happen:
Well if we the British people keep throwing our arms up in the air and say “OMG that is terrible, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO” We simply must unite and demand action be taken, we must collectively grievance issues with Councillors and demand that questions be answered not brushed under the carpet. I am not sure if Britain has always been so corrupt and I was blind to it or have things become so bad that I can no longer fail to notice it. I know one thing divided we are conquered but united we are strong. IT IS TIME TO BECOME STRONG.
– Beam MeUp, Cheshire, United Kingdom, 11/5/2013 23:06
Perhaps the thing holding people back is the sense of powerlessness in the face of the huge parasitic establishment that shields the likes of Stansfeld from proper accountability. Perhaps it is largely to do with not knowing where on earth to target their campaign in order to remove a grubbing parasite like Stansfeld, because the lines of control and power are not clear to people – and that is intentional on the part of the various authorities.
There are some people I like and respect who believe what is needed is an effective template, developed from apparently successful local campaigns – and ‘flashmob’ national campaigns such as the Fuel Protests – that can be dusted off and rolled out nationally for people to deploy. Sadly there is a major problem with this. It doesn’t take into account what exactly the final outcomes of such protests were.
All too often, having been apparently successful in achieving their intial demands after raising thousands of pounds for legal representation and exhausted their physical and emotional capital during a draining protest, the powers that be go away and quietly redefine the rules to overcome the objection – resulting in eventual defeat for people power. Look at any number of previous targeted protests from recent years and you will find many of the things they stood against have subsequently found their way into being, or are in the process of being pushed through using alternative mechanisms. The Fuel Protests are a good example as they appeared to gain concessions from the government, but most people do not know the campaign was stamped on in ruthless fashion by Blair’s government when the protest’s leaders were told they would be deprived of their livelihoods through confiscation of their vehicles if they did not bring the protest to an end. Fuel duty continued to rise and despite sabre rattling no follow up protest took shape.
This is why the answer lies not in improving the organisation and coordination of protests, but in changing the rules of the whole game by taking back power from those who are supposed to be our servants.
Why focus attention and waste energy on challenging power time and again when a carefully developed, thought through, concerted grassroots campaign to take power back would remove the capacity of the establishment to impose on the people that which they oppose? Not for nothing is the web domain www.peoplepower.co.uk devoted to a local authority energy scheme rather than the promotion of democracy. Even the image above is being used by ‘Conservative Future’ – a group devoted to furthering the aims of the same Conservative Party that is doing all it can to deny the people their say about how this country is governed. The establishment has no interest in addressing our interests. So we must take back the power we have allowed to be taken from us.
Over the coming months the Harrogate Agenda will continue to take shape as the foundations are put in place to enable people, who agree with the six core demands that have been developed and want to see democracy – people power – hold sway in this country, to learn where power resides, and how change can be brought about by challenging it and rebalancing the relationship between the state and the people in the people’s favour.