JRE Launch: Direct Democracy. What is it? How could it be achieved?
Along with our Senior Editor I attended the launch of JRE’s (John Rees-Evans’) campaign in Westminster on 12th July. Hopefully invitations will arrive for the launches of other campaigns. Who knows?
After a rather pedestrian and tedious beginning the star of the night came on. He made a fairly passionate speech, or rather it began passionately. Then the pace slackened. He apologised because it was so long. In the body of the speech the message became somewhat muddled and confused. Then he lost his place in his pre-prepared script. Hence the impact this speech should have made was lost.
It was not at all clear whether Mr. Rees-Evans’ proposals were for party organisation or for national government. He seemed to be suggesting a plutocracy, in one breath, then periodic referendums in the next. The latter is feasible, the former is wholly impractical. There are a series of essential functions, necessary for Government to work, on which it is physically impossible to have such a level of involvement by the general public. Imagine, for example, constructing a budget! This requires in depth familiarity with the laws of economics, finance and budgeting. It requires access to detailed financial data and much of that is of such strategic significance its widespread dissemination would pose a severe risk to national security. There are times when even I have to “get a man in” to perform some skill-requiring task! (No double-entendre there either!) I suggest there are also day to day decisions in a political party’s administration that need to be made by an elected forum with clear Terms of Reference. That is the failing in the present running of UKIP.
Liars Cheats and Officers
There is indeed a democratic deficiency in both UKIP and Government. It is wrong, however, to suggest that every politician ever born is a liar, a cheat and a scoundrel. I could name some for whom those descriptions would apply (if only for the Defamation Act!) Equally I can only agree with Mr. Rees-Evans when he says the British people have been lied to repeatedly over decades. However the predominant cause of broken promises, in politics, is the Civil Service. To understand why requires a detailed knowledge of its history and how it came to be. I felt it was unwise to focus so heavily on blame for the “ruling class”. Especially when, in truth, they are merely a façade; the camouflage covering the real villains: the mandarins.
I spent quite a time in Local Government and it deploys very similar tactics, to the Civil Service, to prevent the public’s will from being applied. To challenge those who manipulate the levers of public administration requires a knowledge of the techniques that are used to obstruct the democratic will of the people. UKIP has few people with that background knowledge and experience. Indeed those UKIPpers who occupied positions, in the corridors of power, found themselves “ethnically cleansed” by the most scurrilous methods over recent years. From what I witnessed I would say that a deal of what happened was criminal.
John Rees-Evans is a plausible candidate for the leadership but has not, as yet, demonstrated an adequate grasp of how public administration functions. He needs a strong running partner to cover those areas of weakness. He is certainly up there among the stronger candidates.
Judge for yourselves.
His presentation is here >
(click on the photo)
© PJW Holland MMXVII